4.11.06

I DARE- EVERYDAY


Savita: age 22 - I was walking down the road. Unknown hands ‘accidentally’ brushed against my crotch. Time 9 pm.

Mohini: age 25 - A stranger man in his rubbed his erect genitals on me. Time 3 pm.

Farah: age 16- I shouted at a man who was making sounds and looking at my breasts and the public started laughing at me. Time 12 30 pm

Sujata: age 13- I was waiting for my mother to pick me up after school. A man in a car stopped "How much for an hour?" Time 1 30 pm

Pinky: age 11- I was taking the bus to tutions. A hand up the back of my skirt. I was numbed. Time 4 pm

Sonal: age 13 - On the scooter with Appa. Two boys pinched my breasts as they speed by on their bikes. Time 8 20pm

Piya: age 27 2 men above the age of 50 passed comments about my breasts. I spat at them and hit them with my chappal. Time 5 pm

Niti:age 18. an unknown groped my breast and disappeared in the crowd. The hand is yet to be identified. Time 3 pm

Jaysree: age 19. I was walking home and a guy in a car tried to pull me inside.
Time 6 pm

Garima: age 16 was stalked for 1 hour and had to hide in a phone booth. Time: 7 pm

Laxmi: age 37 I was constantly ‘accidentally’ elbowed in my breasts by a man in front of me. Time: 4 pm

Alka: age 9 - A man I don’t know whistled at me when I was going to school. My mother did not let me go to school that day. Time 8 .05 am

Nupur: age 32 I was waiting for the bus. 4 cars with men stopped by and asked me to come with them. Time 8 15 pm

Radha: age 50. I was enjoying my daily morning walk until I saw a van kept following me and asking, how much? Time 7 am

Priya: age 17 . He held me from the back and tried to drag me into a lane. I bit him and ran away. Time: 6 45 pm.

Meetu: age 7 was getting inside an auto. A man put his hand between my legs.
I am speaking about it after 20 years. Time 5 pm

Gayatri: age 53 I was getting inside a bus. A man put his hand between my legs. I reacted. I slapped him hard. The public also joined in. Time 6 pm

Anusree :age 21 Man on a bicycle rode past and spat on me. Time 6 35 pm.

Mansi: age 17 Anonymous man kept mumbling, whispering that he wanted to 'fuck me'. Time. 4 45 pm.

Sushma: age 31 A man squeezed my breasts hard and disappeared. Time. 9 pm

And you?


( These testimonials are of bloggers who participated in the Blank Noise blogathon conducted in March 2006. The blogathon was
an online mass catharsis, with over countless number of bloggers building testimonies of 'eve teasing' online. Private has collectively become public , with people from all over the world testifying, speaking, debating, screaming, sharing their experience with the issue of street sexual harassment/ ‘ eve teasing’.In May this year Rehaan Engineer collaborated with Blank Noise to produce a sound peice from the blogathon.

We announce the start of a webspace/ a blog where you can come and share your testimonial of street sexual harassment. The testimonials blog space will be constantly building itself with your participation. If you would like to share your experience, let it out! mail us at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com

Thankyou!

The Blank Noise Team



10 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:18 pm

    # It was in the midst of a crush in the front of a very crowded 5 pm bus in Calcutta. I was sitting in a way that my face was practically pasted to the glass panel seperating the seat from the steps . Looking like a deranged dusty museum exhibit!The bus conductor was on the steps - seperated by an inch of glass. We could very well be literally in each others face if not for the face-saving glass. The thought might have crossed his mind- thoughts have a way of travelling!
    The man -grimy and hiresuite - started singing. My irritation was on the tip of my tongue. I'm sure it showed on my face. Inbetween he called out the destination stops. After 10 long minutes I started listening.He was singing a north indian raga-pradhana song (I forget which one). Never minded the bastardized pronunciation, 's' where it should be 'sh' or nasal quality.I listened more closely. He could work out the alankaras with care and had a richness in his tone. I ignored his side ways glances.I saw with great care he helped an elderly lady down . He resumed his song.Before getting off I said, " Dada, aapni ki shekhen ba chorcha koren? Apnar khoob bhalo gola?"( dada, do you learn or practise? you have a very good (singing) voice?" I genuinely felt what I said.
    He was quite taken a back. From a potential eve-teasing victim? And stammered it was his childhood 'shawkh'...'sadhana'- I remember he used that word.He blushed. He never sang again till I got off. I was standing - waiting for my turn to get down-just above the stairs.
    Many questions crossed my mind- what was his childhood like? So he nurtured a dream? Where and how did he stay? WWhere were his roots? Education? Struggles? Hopes? Did he have a sweetheart(filmy ,no?)...hmmm... I was allowed a tiny bridge to gap- anything more would have been forced. I had a quarter of an hour to get off.
    My intention initially was to embarrass him. But later I didn't really want him to stop singing . It had ceased bothering me anyway.
    I do not know if I could behave the same way if he was singing Jhalak Dikhla De or Chalti Hai Kya Nau Se Bara ( sung to me before!) But I'd like to believe that the situation that presented to me had the potential to end differantly. I understood the meaning of the word authorial and the potential and power to use it wisely/differant from usual/creatively presents itself every once in a while.

    It's getting long...so will pen the other ones later...
    love

    Was chatting with Jasmeen asked her whether she could use Munna Bhai's Gandhigiri:) tactics with her predatory men on the streets?! Also for every negetive story that's put up on the blog...each of those people/women/girls- can they narrate a positive one ...about strange men ...when you least expected ...or thought the worst...how they came forward with an unexpected gesture.

    Jasmeen has been asking me for ages to participate in the BlankNoiseProject- so Jas, I'm willing to give away roses to 'sick ailing friends on the street'.

    Atreyee
    atreyee.day@gmail.com

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  2. The audio sample was brilliant! Full appreciations to the Blank Noise team and Rehan Engineer, it was really well put-together.

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  3. Anonymous3:33 pm

    The audio piece made me cry. Extremely well made.

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  4. Anonymous6:27 pm

    what do you expect from an airhead generation constantly fed on a staple diet of 'item numbers', hip-hop stuff (where the booties are more visible than the panties) and the followers of rap stars who refer to their women as 'ho' and have served time behind bars and have been pimps at one time along with being gangstas?

    that is the american underbelly.

    what about our desi culture?

    come to think of a media that paints some movie stars as cultural icons who are known to have physically abused their girlfriends and killed endangered animals too. and what about the airhead followers of such individuals?

    no wonder a sick character (?) in the above mentioned story was singing that guy's songs.

    listen to most of the punjabi songs (bhangra stuff) or most of the folk songs of india where women are mentioned as chiknaa, makhnaa or something similar to that. this kind of thing is easily passed off as sharaarat.

    there are many instances of songs like 'cholee ke peechchey kya hai', 'nazuk nazuk daal pe narangi latke' have become mainstream hits in those bollywood potboilers. and these are all folk songs that have been sung through ages!

    does it mean that eve-teasing from one form to another has been an inherent part of our culture?

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  5. Anonymous6:27 pm

    what do you expect from an airhead generation constantly fed on a staple diet of 'item numbers', hip-hop stuff (where the booties are more visible than the panties) and the followers of rap stars who refer to their women as 'ho' and have served time behind bars and have been pimps at one time along with being gangstas?

    that is the american underbelly.

    what about our desi culture?

    come to think of a media that paints some movie stars as cultural icons who are known to have physically abused their girlfriends and killed endangered animals too. and what about the airhead followers of such individuals?

    no wonder a sick character (?) in the above mentioned story was singing that guy's songs.

    listen to most of the punjabi songs (bhangra stuff) or most of the folk songs of india where women are mentioned as chiknaa, makhnaa or something similar to that. this kind of thing is easily passed off as sharaarat.

    there are many instances of songs like 'cholee ke peechchey kya hai', 'nazuk nazuk daal pe narangi latke' have become mainstream hits in those bollywood potboilers. and these are all folk songs that have been sung through ages!

    does it mean that eve-teasing from one form to another has been an inherent part of our culture?

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  6. Lovely clip. But I found the music drowning the words at certain places. Powerful clip. Can I blog about this?

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  7. Anonymous12:08 am

    Great work!!

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  8. Things that happen very often in crowds, getting hit in the crotch, breasts, face. Getting grabbed almost everywhere. Mostly by women wearing unsound shoes loosing balance and not paying attention not even knowing they are doing it, mostly in the US and EU. You can not take such things personally and think it means anything. Most things are accidents. Yes there are mean people everywhere and they do things to hurt you on purpose but that is rare. Vast majority of people do not get any thrill out of hurting or making someone else uncomfortable. being a man I ofcourse could not do anything to the girl who kept doing things to me. But after getting married to her it was different, then I could hit back and jab her ... if she jabbed mine. Accidents are reciprocal if you dont like it.

    Also getting spat at at places where it is common like in india, a despical habit but seems almost everyone does it at any place they can except where they sleep.

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  9. Shiva's Shadow6:28 pm

    Namaste, and blessing to you and all your efforts. I am glad to see that there has been some progress in India for women, and I assume this because I have not read any recent account of housewives being set afire and murdered, where the police have ruled it a "cooking accident." I think it would be a good idea for all women to carry flamethrowers with them wherever they go, and deal with harassers that way, but it would not win any public support for women or our cause--rather, the contrary. I am asking myself, what would (Mahatma) Ghandi do to address this issue on behalf of women? He would not advocate violent retaliation, for certain, but I think using some Ghandian symbolism would be important for these efforts there. I have thought of an idea. Once I saw a hollow plastic figurine of a naked, winged cherub (made in Italy, perhaps) which also served as a water pistol, of sorts. It was what we call a novelty in the USA--used to play a practical joke. You'd fill the cherub with water, and a hole in its little pubic nub would squirt water. What about having Ghandi plastic figurines similarly manufactured, so that he would seem to piss on every man who rendered an insult to the woman who carried his little bronze-colored hollow plastic form in her hand? I think it makes an appropriate statement. As for us here in the West, I think the flame-throwers (pocket-sized or otherwise) would serve a better purpose. A groping, uninvited hand deserves to get burned! All power to you, sisters, and your noble supporters there. Keep up the struggle!

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