Event report:

Ratna and I met at 4:15 p.m. outside Java City on Church Street. We had with us the opinion poll and thumb print pads in red and blue and a bunch of pamphlets. We wanted
to put up the poll at a local paan stall but at the first one we went to, the guy was reluctant, claiming a lack of space. He sent us to another shop owned by his brother but this was a juice shop with not much clientèle. We left some pamphlets there and took the rest to another paan stall at the Premier Book store end of Church Street where the young boy was persuaded to leave them on his counter for people to pick up.

Now the opinion poll. We took it to Temptations, a sort of open liquor store, flanked by a paan stall. The owner was initially reluctant but there was a group of men sitting outside (all middle aged) and they got curious about the chart and began discussing 'eve teasing' and coming forward to leave their thumb prints. This sort of decided that the poll would be left there. After about twenty minutes of discussion with them, and inviting thumb prints, we moved on to Java City. (The opinion poll was later moved to outside Java City half-way through the intervention.)

The rest of the group joined us in bits, stickers were handed out and letters folded and divided up. There were a lot of boys, and Kunal explained to them what kind of documentation we needed.

The place for intervention was Church Street. Our brief was to occupy the space in a manner in which we would indicate that we belonged there and were at home there. We were not to talk to anyone. We could hand out the letters to whomever we felt like. Some of us had whistles which we would blow if anything untoward happened.

We started at 6:30. I think because Church Street doesn't really get very crowded before about 8, the energy was a bit dissipated. There were not as many people as we would have liked using the street. Perhaps if we, as performers, were standing closer together, we would have felt more group energy. We had a fair amount of space between us: we were stretched at reasonable intervals all the way to the first crossroad on Church Street. At a little before 6, Ratna, Kunal and I decided we would do better to move a little way down the street so that we were closer to the eating joints and right at the heart of Church Street. I walked along the street and on the way decided impulsively to go all the way to Brigade Road and occupy the railings.

Personally, I thought this worked better. It was crowded, people stopped to look, pamphlets were distributed and there was a sense of being able to feel the vibe from the rest of the group.

Here is the gist of people's reactions (these notes were taken at at a conversation witht he group after the intervention and then emailed to the group; some have added details to my notes. If you have been quoted here and want to add/subtract, then just email me the details or add to the google document that was circulated amongst the group on email):

Amrutha - My stare gave away everything that I wanted to say, and It seems like i am slowly mastering my body language in public places.

Hemangini - I thought the energy on Church Street was low, and felt a lot better once we shifted to Brigade Road. This time I think what I enjoyed most was just dawdling on the road - staring at things, watching construction workers, noticing people... even just listening. I heard someone drop a coin on Brigade Road and realised how rare it was to actually make out individual sounds in a crowded space where your main concern is your own safety and not just taking in the different ways in which the space can affect your senses. That was special.
Some other things: we needed more pamphlets and our original opinion poll - but these were logistical things which are normally better taken care of, so I'm not too worried about them. I think our support team - of men - need to meet on their own so that they can work independently of us with their own "agenda" so to speak. I hear Delhi dispersed "spies" into the audience just to record what passers-by were saying randomly and I would have loved for us to do that too. We could next time leave two boys just to handle the opinion poll and encourage people to use it.

Lalitha – Experience of meeting people's eyes and people watching. Could feel the gaze of people as they watched. I was actively courting their gaze. It was legitimate for men to look at me. I am always wondering about how anger morphs with age. I seem to be less angry as the years go by.

Swati – I wonder sometimes if I have become immune to street harassment. What is a good response to it? I am so used to looking down and walking; I might mumble and look away, but today I continued looking and smiling.

Varun – I feel we could have had more impact if we were even just joining hands and marching down the road and stating that we were against eve-teasing.

Alka- I usually look down and have never had the guts to have my chin up. I wonder why we weren't allowed to talk to women though; many women came up and wanted to discuss the letters I was handing out, but I couldn't talk to them. I think it would be better if we could interact with them.

Payal Dhar – In Delhi, if you are in a salwar, people think you are “submissive”.

Deepashree – In a group if there are women and men, the women refuse to take the pamphlet that our volunteers were handing out.

Weiting – I am wondering why today is any different. Shouldn't you always be like this? Maybe the presence of so many women is acting as a sort of safety net. Why aren't we always comfortable with our bodies?

Ratna – I don't feel as violated now as I used to before. I think maybe I have internalised the spirit of an intervention into my everyday life. There are also lots of differences in the way women are looking at you and judging you.

Joseph – When I was handing out pamphlets, the women were always reluctant to take it. It seems like women lose a lot of their spontaneity through their defensiveness. Older women seemed less defensive.

Surabhi – Sometimes it is just pleasurable to have solidarity in a group; there is something good in that feeling. These moments are precious also.



We invite you to engage with our new project- Blank Noise This Place.

The site is a witness and your photograph is your testimonial.

Blank Noise This Place will archive photographs that you send of public places and locations you have been sexually assaulted in any degree that you consider sexual harassment/ violence.

To participate
we ask you to revisit your site of violation with a camera. ( any camera will do-
quality is not important as much as your act of revisiting and documenting). Please email it to us at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com with an account of -
what occurred- what time-
which country.city it took place in
Please add in details such as your age and name

Your contributions will be put on a world wide map that will specifically identify each participant's site of sexual assault.

If you do not wish to have your name up- do tell us.

You are further requested to get others involved! Do introduce this idea to friends peers and all the women you know! In true spirit, cameras could be borrowed, shared, collective trips could be made to each person's site of violation. Organisations and groups are also invited to participate. We hope to hear from you. Let's Blank Noise This Place!

Blank Noise Action Heroes: Share your story of resistance

(ongoing project)

http://blanknoiseactionheroes.blogspot.com archives your testimonials of resistance.

Tell us how you dealt with street sexual harassment. How did you fight back?

Tell us if you know of someone else who had the presence of mind to flip the situation around.
Was it funny? empowering? inspiring? normal? an everyday mastered technique?

Men/boys are encouraged to participate by sharing what they witnessed or heard!
Share the Action Hero experience right here.

You may find this submission form useful to submit your story or you could even email us your story at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com- subject titled Action Hero Online.

An Action Hero is a woman who has dealt with street sexual harassment/ violence/ 'eve teasing' by confronting and challenging it.

Stories sent in do not have to be 'original', they could be tried tested and successful ideas. The emphasis is on how your reaction made you feel like an Action Hero. If you are sending in someone else's story, it could be an account of how it 'wowed' you.

We ask you to extend this by initiating conversations with people around you. We ask you to take this idea to a non blogging audience- for instance - have a conversation with your bai/ 'domestic help', or the stranger in a bus, or the fruit vendor, or your grandma, any one could be willing to share. Everyone has atleast 1 Action Hero story.

Be fearless. Be an Action Hero. Share your story, now.


Do you really think you 'asked for it' when you experienced street sexual harassment?
How often have you found yourself blaming the pair of jeans, the salwar kameez, the skirt, the t shirt? Do you really think it is your fault when you are violated? Do you really think you deserve to be humiliated? Do you really think that it is only certain kind of clothes that result in women experiencing street sexual harassment?

We say NO.
We say there is no such thing as 'asking for it' and we need you to prove that for us/ yourself.

Send in 1 garment you wore when you experienced 'eve teasing'. Your garment is your truth, your witness, your evidence, your memory. You can volunteer to collect clothes volunteers from friends, family, peers, associated and sent them in.

You can make this happen. It's simple- ask yourself and others around you to remember that one garment you wore when you were made to feel that you 'asked for it'.

Collect one, two or twenty, be the Blank Noise Action Hero from your city. town. locality.

What next?
We propose to install these clothes on the streets of your city and collectively challenge the notion that women ask to be sexually violated.

Suren Vikash participated in this event by bringing back a bag filled with clothes- belonging to his sister, cousins, and relatives. This is to say that men can participate in actualizing this as well!
  • There will be a contact person per city- that could be you. want to volunteer?
  • If you wish to collect clothes on behalf of Blank Noise from where you are based, email us. We would be thrilled to have you taking on this responsibility!
  • The mailing address will be shared on email and will be city specific.
  • Please attach a note about what exactly took place.
  • Please attach the age of the person who experienced it.
  • Your identity will not be revealed if you do not want it to.
  • You could also photograph the garment and send it to us. We will share it on the blog.
  • If you have any other ideas on how you can participate- actualizing the event, fund raising, seeking permissions etc, write in now!
  • If you have already discarded that one garment to this project- we will be adding your name to this list below. If you have not been mentioned, please email us and we will add you right away!
  • some of you may not have the garment with you- for instance if the incident took place in childhood and it was a school uniform- in that case do desrcribe the garment to us, or send us something close to it.

The idea- When women experience sexual violence/ harassment/ or are 'teased' they are made to feel guilty for experiencing it. We are taught to blame ourselves for being 'dressed provocatively', for being in the wrong location, at the wrong time. Public perception and blame also assumes that a certain female stereotype gets assaulted for the 'right reasons'. The truth is that we have been receiving all kinds of clothes- school uniforms, saris, short skirts, asexual-shirts, jeans, salwar kameez. No matter what you wear, a no means NO. There is no such thing as 'asking for it'

Blank Noise challenges notions of time, place , dress and person. With
I never asked for it- we challenge the notion that women actually 'ask to be sexually assaulted'

We take a stand and urge you to do the same.
I never asked for it. Yes we want 1000!

Our last street action on international women's day, March 8 asked Blank Noise Action Heroes from across the country to come wearing the garment they wore when sexually assaulted.
also see:
Cheap girls and this.

Blank Noise Lucknow. March 8. I NEVER ASK FOR IT

photographs and text from Blank Noise Lucknow is yet to come.

Stay tuned.
'Coming soon'.

Thank you for your patience



photo documentation: Abhishek Baxi and Jasmeen Patheja
They ran around-
Printing of stickers, photocopying letters- Aienla

Whistles and pamphlets - Chandrashekhar Bhattacharya

Blank Noise Action Hero, Atreyee Majumder shares her experience:

The March 8 intervention evoked in me a feeling I had forgotten about. A feeling that is a mix of power, amusement, cheekiness. Facilitated primarily by the act being a performance, as a group, though spread out. I have been in interventions before to know that the next time I am standing around in a crowded market, and a man comes really really close, I will still feel threatened. Coz that is my real life, with no sticker, no pamphlet/testimonial, no performative posture. So the intervention is invariably for me a treat- my day out for fun- I feel like saying out loud to those threatening shopkeepers giving me '' u think you re liberated? Let me show you...." looks that today if they mess with me, I have enough recourse to resort to. So I can stare back. Tomorrow I will again walk away with greater vigour.
Rest of my thoughts are still jumbled, will add to this soon.

Blank Noise Action Hero, Annie Zaidi shares her experience:

I had not been able the wear the exact garment I wore when I was last harassed, because this was in December-Jan and I was dressed in wollens. I high-neck sweater, jeans, a longer woolen jacket and sports shoes. To get an approximation in which I would not die in this weather, I had worn a full-sleeved, loose-ish shirt and jeans.
Wearing that garment, I didn't feel much. I was as covered as covered could be, but I did realise that if I had been wearing anything less - maybe a sleeveless shirt - or a skirt or even a saree, I would have been wondering whether it was because of my clothes, because the idea is just so deeply rooted in my head that somehow, I must be responsible.
I had been to two other interventions in Sarojini Nagar so was familiar with some of the dynamics of that space and was partially correct. What I was surprised by was the reactions from the men, which was only possible because our volunteers were mingling with them and eavesdropping on what the men said. Some of it was predictable stuff, but I was taken aback by some of it. I guess, I had assumed that the people who looked on and watched would at least feel apathetic, not hostile. The hostility was something I do not understand, because the only thing you can put it down to is malice and perhaps, a mixture of guilt and misogyny?
Engaging with the street: well, I have to confess I was a little bit distracted because we were in a clothes market and I was also looking around. But it was interesting too, because a lot of the shop-keepers around seemed hostile. Was it because they thought our activities would hurt their business?
Standing around was difficult because it was so crowded and there really was no place for cycles and bikes and carts and stalls to move between us. The letters worked, I think. They usually do, and if nothing, they break the taboo and silence surrounding sexual harassment, and that is the first step.

Sharad Kapoor and Nitin Sarin were our 'spies', disperesed in the public observing public reaction and making a note of it. Here's what they literally noted down-

* On being asked what you all were doing "yeh jo ladkion ke chedakhani hai unke lie kuch hai, hona kya hai insab se bhaisaab hindustan main, aaj tendulkar kal dhoni " ( these things come and go and no one pays heed to them)

* " Kyun bhai aurat nhn kar sakti kya yeh sab, unke lie bhi kuch hona chahiye "- ( don't women harass men on the streets? We need a campaign 'against' women as well.)

* A girl took the letter and just tore it part. ( we will address the why some women chose to tear and throw away the letter- what causes that reaction. Also note the reaction below).

* We noticed one of the girl who was given a letter, started laughing after reading the letter and said " pta nhn kya karte rehte hain, what's this shit"?

* A shopkeeper had a plaster on his hand and said" mere ko bhi saza mil chuko hai is cheez ki, aap hi karoge apko bhi yahan photo lagegi" showing me the pamphlet.

( he said- i have been punished for harassing women- pointing to the plaster on his hand. He told Sharad that if you sexually harass a woman, your photo will be printed on the pamphlet.)


The pamphlet being referred to is here

The three letters given to strangers were selected from participating blogger's testimonials from the 2006 blogathon. Annie Zaidi selected them.

Dear Stranger
I used to carefully calculate my outfit before leaving the house - I had to make sure my shirt wasn't too tight, my bra strap was safely invisible, my jeans weren't too low, my skirt wasn't too short - and despite the (positively oppressive) precautions I took, I still got pinched, poked, grabbed. Day after day after day.
No more.
Now I wear what I want because it doesn't make a difference. I didn't ask for it, I don't ask for it. I never will ask for it.
If you know what I am talking about, come stand with me anytime between 5 30- 6 30 pm this evening.
Today, I am wearing the clothes I wore when I had been sexually harassed/ violated/ ‘eve teased’ on the street.
There is no such thing as ‘asking for it’.
( signed by the Action Hero).

Dear Stranger
In Delhi, I was warned against wearing shorts to the gym so I wore my track pants the first day. I almost passed out from the heat while working out and resolved to wear my shorts the next day onwards. I wasn’t about to let fear of being harassed interfere with something as mundane as a good workout. I came up with a theory that if I appeared confident and unafraid, no one would harass me. I glared at any men who came too close and sure enough nobody harassed me.
This gave me the confidence to venture out alone to Connaught Place. I wore a knee length skirt, hailed an auto rickshaw and made my way to meet my friends in CP. On my way there I noticed a man on a motorcycle driving beside me and staring. I didn’t give it much thought and just looked away. When I got off the man also got off his bike and accosted me. He asked me for my number. I was taken aback but thought he was on of those “I would like to be friends with you” guys. I walked in another direction but he wouldn’t go away. I was zigzagging through cars trying to get away. He shouted at me “What do you think you are? I know exactly what you do!” I was too confused to react. What did that guy mean? What give him any indication of “What I am?” I looked around at people thinking if they would protect me if he tried anything funny. Fortunately I spotted my friend and walked towards her. As I was telling her about the incident the man disappeared. She told me that while she was waiting for me in front of the Wimpy’s an uncle-ji tried to feel her up. She even pointed him out while we walked away.
On my way back I kept watching out for any motorcycle that stayed with us for more than a couple of miles. Nothing had changed since I was a fourteen year old girl afraid to walk home from my bus stop after school.
We weren’t asking for it. No matter what we wear, we NEVER ask for it.
If you know what I am talking about, come stand with me anytime between 5 30- 6 30 pm this evening.
Today, I am wearing the clothes I wore when I had been sexually harassed/ violated/ ‘eve teased’ on the street.
There is no such thing as ‘asking for it’.


photo documentation by Kunal Ashok


The event makers include- Saptarshi Chakrabarty, Dana Roy, Sunanyana Roy and Purba Sarkar! Thank you for organizing.

Blank Noise Kolkata Action Hero Dia reports:
i could not exactly wear the clothes that i was sexually harrassed in.... i did not really remember because i hardly have worn something in which i havent been eve-teased.
the march 8 intervention is a day i will remember for long.
i have been for walks for various causes but that day was different.it was a day i felt free.
i had been to the busy corners of new market endless times before, always cautious of not bumping into people,avoiding deliberate pushes and wishing of not being satred at.....
but 8th march was my day....
as i stood there giving out testimonials and pamplets,as i walked with so many like me,blowing the whistle i almost felt i was the queen of the street.it was my street and i could be what i wanted....
street sexual harrassment is something that has always been there...and maybe i thought nothing would ever change it.i even had a discussion with Saptarshi about how difficult it is to change the mindset more than anything else....
but that day gave me a new reason to think again.
Dana had put in so much effort and ofcourse eeverybody else....i really felt that we could all make a difference.
i held my head high that evening....i stared back at people who stared at me...... it felt so very liberating. As i walked back home that day i wanted to go back and live those moments again.

Blank Noise Kolkata Action Hero Sunayana reports:

Blank Noise Action Hero Kolkata Shuktara Lal reports:
This was my first Blank Noise intervention. I went to New Market without really having any expectations from the intervention. Perhaps the only thing I went with was a sense of curiosity. Curiosity about whether I would actually feel empowered at the end of the intervention.

It didn't take me much time to figure out what clothes I should wear: I'm pretty sure I have been harassed when wearing each and every piece of clothing I possess. So anything I own could have fit the "wear something you were wearing when you faced harassment" parameter. However, I did think of wearing something I'd worn when I'd faced a scarier version of harassment (as I said, harassment for me is a daily ritual; what varies is the degree) quite recently. I changed my mind because it was low cut and torso-hugging. I decided to wear something very mundane to prove that it didn't really matter what I wore. I'd still be harassed.

The nice thing about Blank Noise meetings (I can add interventions here, now, since I've been to one) is that you form a completely unspoken, but, nonetheless, powerful bond with the other women/girls who come to the meeting/intervention as well. It doesn't matter if they are absolute strangers or distant acquaintances. During a Blank Noise meeting, I experience a much higher feeling of self-strength (I can't seem to think of a better way to put it) in just being with other women who have made time to come to the meeting because they have faced street sexual abuse. It's a statement I think all of us women make when we go to a Blank Noise meeting, and that statement continues into the intervention. Just the very basic act of acknowledging that street sexual abuse exists and deciding to protest it and simultaneously being with other women who are doing the same thing is incredibly self-strengthening.

Blank Noise Kolkata Action Hero Purba Sarkar reports:

The last bit with the whistles was a lot of fun, and I not only speak for myself, but for the entire gang. So much that we had a go at it again a few minutes after 6.30, when we all gathered together. It sure got people's attention. While standing there, by one of the most busiest streets, just standing, I was trying to read people, and guess if they were going to walk past, make eye contact, try to bump, or steer away. The ladies were busy walking to the shop of their choice. Not many noticed me standing there, those who did, did not have enough time to give it much thought. Some men looked curiously at me, at the sticker on my chest. I gave the letter to them. Some came up and asked for the letter I had in my hands. They got one too. I like to think of them reading it, and getting it for what it was.
The polls got varied reactions but I wasn't close to any of them to be able to give first hand account of it. They did look very filled out when we were taking them down. The soft toy seller J and I spoke to didn't turn up Saturday. On asking around, I was told he had gone to get goods. Whether he was going to turn up that day was uncertain. He did not. The Chat wala was not as friendly as when we had earlier spoken to him. This may have had something to do with it being a Saturday evening and the busiest hours of his week. We left him to his work and put up one of the polls near his stall. One poll was put up on Dana's car, which after 20 minutes of driving around she could finally park right on the main street. The other was on a lemonade stall. The stamp pads were stuck with tape next to the polls. We left pamphlets near the polls and with the Tea Stall guy. There were none left when we were checking back. Some of the members had people filling the strip and handing it back to them.
Interventions like this make me very glad because I am doing something which makes me feel stronger and more confident to deal with street harassment and it so helps knowing there are twenty people backing me up.


At Patna Kiran K. did a brave solo show! This was the first Blank Noise intervention in Patna. All it took was 1 committed person. This is to say , where ever you are, you can.

Kiran shares her experience before and during the event. Here are some of the responses she received when she tried to get peers involved-

"This kinda thing won't work in Patna"
"Patna is not ready for it as of now"
"How would this stop eve - teasing??"
"How would just 6 of us make a difference??"

A variety of reactions when I proposed starting a BlankNoise chapter in Patna.People attended the first meeting and backed out a couple of days before the intervention. The first positive response was...one of those people who had backed out initially joining me just minutes before the intervention started off.

In Patna, a walk round the Gandhi Maidan or a 50 mts. walk down any road is enough for you to decide "never to come out alone again."...Even if u wanted to...people would keep telling u please "not to do it"

Basically, I was damn nervous on one hand..people around me were telling me "in case anything goes wrong" and on d other i wanted to prove people wrong!Wearing a loosely fit tee[comments,stares,brushing...d tee sw it all],with my fingers crossed, we walked towards Maurya Lok!!!

The first half-an-hour saw totally negative responses...ppl did take the pamphlets...but read and went!They were people who sounded interested in knowing what Blank Noise was all about...and thats all!And then..finally towards the end of the hour,this girl came up,read and did not walk away - but stood with us till the end!

To me,that one girl standing with us was indeed a BIG step forward.And its "proven beyond any reasonable doubt" that Patna is ready,ready for a change!!

P.S : A BIG thanks to Ruchika[she joined me in d end],Nishant and the girl who stood with us!!!


Photo documentation by Abhishek Ray, Chiranjeev Chandok and Nishant Thakur
Running around by:
sticker printing -Aditi K
whistles and photocopy letters-Varsha Chandwani,

Aditi K - Blank Noise Action Hero, Mumbai , writes in about her experiences from March 8.

I wasn't sure what i was getting myself into when i decided to participate in the intervention. i was a regular on the blog for ages but actually participated only now...
Anyway this is what the March 8th event was like. I managed to print stickers a day in advance hence anxiety levels settled down...though i was still quite nervous about going into public standing there "doing nothing" for an hour and just soaking up the bandstand (bandra) atmosphere. On reaching the venue all were gathered at Barista...we started of by signing and folding the letters...some ran around for xeroxex...others got on the phone to chechk if more people were coming and after about 15- 20 mins when most of them had gathered Varsha did a quick briefing with Sanjana pitching in with her experiences....whistles we re handed out so were the testimonials...bags were dumped into Abhishek's car (awesome presence of mind to get his car) and at 5:30 approx we all took positions by Bandstand which would be the vantage point for street action for next 60 minutes to come....

I stood there whistle and testimonials in hands and confidence in heart...muttering in my head- today is my day, today the roles will be reversed- today i will look at the on goings and perhaps you will avoid my gaze...you will be the one to look away! I started noticing all the people jogging there, walking their dogs, couples strolling by hand in hand....aunties chattering so and so forth....initially though we were approx 30 girls no one seemed to notice us...but slowly people took notice of the fact that there are girls standing lots of them with stickers on their tops....all the people seem to take notice of the words Blank Noise than the message "I never ask for it" People would look at the stickers make a mental note of the words Blank noise and move on; not one person stopped to ask what we were doing why we were gathered here...i was getting desperate then i decided now if females pass by i am going to smile at them- randomly....i have rarely done this except ofcourse in trains so next time when i noticed a female reading the sticker on my chest i would flash the brightest smile and it worked they then started coming up and asking me what Blank Noise was about, what we were doing on the street etc etc and then i would offer them the testimonial- not one girl chose to stand with us but they did read the testimonial....one aunty in her late 50s prolly who came with her three young adult daughters immediately identified with our cause and was very appreciative. That sort of boosted my confidence....There were copuples walking by many of whom looked through us as if we were transparent or simply not present many women would look at us the stickers and appear to be in deep thought for a moment only to look away as if shrugging the very fact that "eve teasing" is an issue. There were men passing by....today we gave them a reason to look at our chests and we were not apologetic about it at all of what we were wearing and even the sticker on our breast....so they would read it and pass away...some would wait and ask...some would talk. engage in dailogue ....meanwhile the boys were doing a good job supplying testimonials to the girls who ran out of them and distributing it to those around...and generally getting the feel of all of it. There were a lot of people a LOT who did not understand English and such people though probably curious were immediately alienated by the fact that the stickers were in English which meant we needed stickers in national / local language. There was a couple who walked our way..newly married it seems...the wife read the sticker on my kurta and stoped to ask questions while the husband started laughing loudly telling her "lets just walk out from here" she broke into laughter too but immediately gained composure and mock-scolded him saying these sirls are doing this for a cause and both appeared amused at how we had decided to spoil suc a beautiful evening standing here. They also gave out the vibe that this was just another women's day gimmick. The man mocked at us....and couldnt stop laughing his dry sarcastic laughter. I calmly answered the questions posed by his wife but somehow chose to ignore him....did not want an argument. There was this one aunty who bluntly said- whats the point of you girls standing here? Whats going to come out of it? How does it help the situation? She was being very very cynical....but then i told her that atleast someone had chosen to go beyond merely contemplating the solution - someone had decided to speak against it...bring public attention to the gravity of the issue...isn't that a good beginning to which she remained mum as she could not sustain her argument...

Experience and conclusions:
On my way home, i felt much more comfortable in my own skin...and much more confident...i wasnt worried about walking though shady parts of my town even late in the night somehow...i managed to exude that confidence for quite a while.

I enjoyed my time on the street- i enjoyed being there soaking in the atmosphere without having to worry who is looking at me and whether i am going to be groped etc the next minute.

I wore a long full sleeve kurta...the same one i was wearing when i was groped (my breast was squeezed so hard that it hurt for three days). That time i had become ashamed of my body and myself because i could not protect it....i came home and took a cold water bath scrubbing my breasts extra hard just to get the touch of that horrible man off my skin but nothing had worked....it brought back old memories...painful ones as well on the other hand it had now given me the strength to fight back...

I walked home stronger in the sense that i was able to command my space on the street through my body language on my way back home....It felt good.

Blank Noise Action Hero Nisha Chandwani writes in-

It never fails to give us the feeling of being empowered. And for once, if not always, we can stand very casually without any kind of apprehension on the street.



I NEVER ASK FOR IT: Blank Noise Street Action - Calling all Action Heroes

    Action Hero n. a woman who has dealt with street sexual harassment by confronting it. Her final response might have been to choose to ignore the harassment, but she will have chosen to do so, not failed to notice it.

And you can be an Action Hero by participating in our all-India street intervention 'I Never Ask For It', on 8 March 2008 in your city between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Blank Noise street action challenges you to be an Action Hero. Participants are requested to come wearing a garment they wore when they were sexually harassed. By doing so, they are actively taking a stand that reads 'I never ask for it'. The only other requirement is - be yourself.

Public safety is every citizen's concern, and men are welcome too.

Location per city will be shared on the blog shortly. Sign up at blurtblanknoise@gmail.com with your city name mentioned in the subject line!


Locations and confirmations per city-

Sunita Aravind, Priya Abraham, Sulagna Mohanty and Dharitri Satpathy

Lucknow: The group meets at 5.30 in front of Barista, Hazratganj.

Snigdha Mishra, Damini Bajaj, Athar Beg, Shalini Cahuhan, Priyanka Arora, Anshna Chaudhary, Varun Ahuja, Siddharth Sinha, Aadil Rashid, Swati Meetu Agarwal, Anju Bajpai, Mamta Singh, Shalini Verma, Ankita Mukherjee, Shraddha Singh

Hyderabad: The group meets at 4 pm, at Eat Street. The meeting works towards the planned action starting at 5 30 pm.

Sandeep Malireddy, Pavan Soni, Saurabh Goyal, Tripthi, Ritesh Shah, Abhinav Saxena, Shruti Sharma, Sharath, Mythili, Tina, Shruthi Raju, Nanditi Goud, Kalyan Muvvala, Jaya Krishna, +

Mumbai: The group meets at 4 :45 pm. Barista. Bandstand

Ritika Ahuja
, Nisha, Nishant , Shiraz ,Abhishek Ray,Aparna,Pawan Sony, Aditi Kulkarni, Chinmayee Manjunath, Chandok, Sanjana, Varsha, Aditi, Ashik, Suniti, Arundhati V, Christine Delima, Sangeeta Chatterjee, Shraddha C, Pallavi Supriya, Nishant Thakur, Nihar Panda, Mansha Singh, Dheeraj , Loveleen, Ruby Tirkey, Neha Prakash, Manisha Lal, Smita Pendharkar, Sandeep Kodali, Febna Rahim,Aditi Dixit, Tarak Majumdar, Karma, Lily, Kim, Sanjay Baitha, Dheeraj, Chandni Khundeja, Mannat Chandel, Natalie Bui, Yashodra Pradhan, Kadambini D, Nicole Fambo, Gargi Sen, Manisha Lath, Neha Dhingra, Natasha Koshy, Anuja Kastia, Sashwati Mishra, Rozana Majumdar, Varun Ramachandruni, Sraddha Chikerur, Andrea Lee Wright,Neha Kagal


Kolkata: The group meets at 4. 30 pm. New Market./ NEW EMPIRE SIDE.
Dana Roy, Purba Sarkar, Saptarshi Chakrabarty, Poorna Banerjee, Sunayana Roy, Vicky, Bhablet, Anuj Dasguptra, Bimbabati, Dia Ghosh, Dibyajyoti, Madura, Shuktara Lal, Abir Das
, Andy Lahiri, Shreya Mukherjee, Aratrika, Chandrima, Dhruva Chakrabarty, Himadri, Poushali , Trina, Suchismita Dasgupta , Soumyadeep Mazumdar, Shonai Dasgupta, Romila Saha, Arpan Chakrabarty, Rohini Chaki, Poushali Chatterjee, Orko Chakrabarty, Koushiki , Insiya Poonawala+
confirm on facebook:

Patna: Outside Maurya Lok. 4 30 pm
Kiran K +

Grishma Rao

Delhi: Sarojini Nagar Market 4 30 pm- we are meeting by the sabzi mandi/ vegetable vendors- where ceramic mugs are sold.
Annie Zaidi, Abhishek Baxi, Pooja Saxena, Ambika, Saeda, Sidharth Wadhwa, Jenelle Eli, Ankit, Namit Sarin, Sharad Kapoor, Harneet Bhatia, Ritambhara Mehta, Chandrashekhar Bhattacharya, Megha Mahindru, Jasmeen Patheja, Indulekha Aravind, Laurette Syiem, Ritika Chopra, Aienla, Ankit, Siddarth Wadhwa, Pranoy, Reva, +
confirm on facebook:

Bangalore: Group meets at 4 45 at Java City, Church street.
Hemangini Gupta, Weiting Xu, Payal Dhar, Swatilekha Mohanty, Payal Kamat, Suman S, Nazia Masood, Ratna Apnender, Saloni, Alka, Soumya C +
confirm on facebook:



Here are some arresting buttons for your blogs, coded by Abhishek Baxi, so please feel free to pick a size and zap it in to your template! And spread the word - Blank Noise intervention 'I did not ask for it' across cities on March 8 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Please come wearing something that you wore when you were harassed and ask friends to donate clothes that they were wearing when harassed too -- because we are building a huge clothes installation!!

Here are the blog button details:
Code for each size… choose and use!

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