I made a little wish in a big park:

This was one of the 'whacky',creative things to do and I enjoyed every bit of it:)

Secondly, this felt like 'self-assertive' feminism, simply trying to claim one's space and one' spersonal freedom in public places. No man-hating or blaming others.
Third, this was quite action oreinted and 'being there' . Participating in person is a differently empowering experinece altogether as compared to discussing or talking
about things (those are important too however).

I was doing much more service to myself than a social service or changing atttitudes of others. I was breaking free of my own inhibitions and questining what is 'appropriate' in public-like dancing in public without music; or what is appropriate because I am a woman-like lying on a park bench without meaning to 'get laid'.
I was changing my own attitude. I gained a little more confidance and trust within myself.
There are some things I do anyways-like pouting etc. Now I would feel less guilty or responsible if some man stares at me for it. I just like to do it and I accept myself for it!

Apurva: It seems such a simple thing for me to go to the park and sit or read or sleep out there that I never even think about and take it for granted, . It seems to be a traumatic experience for you. I do not think I can ever understand or really connect to your experience in public places. Somehow, talking about it and seeing it happen before you are different things, I guess. I feel that we need to capture these situations in more than words...

I distinctly remember that about 2 years ago i traveled through Cubbon park to office and craved to spend a lazy morning and afternoon just lolling about in the grass. The practical answer i would give myself was that i had to go to work... but somewhere i also knew it was because i didn't want to "invite" creeps or any "incidents". Today when I sat in the park and did nothing but watch people go by, enjoyed the feel of the grass and even dozed off for a bit, I wondered... why did i have to wait for being a part of blank noise to do this? what has changed in me for having done it?

Shreyasi:When I told my friends that so I’m spending my Saturday afternoon at a park, just lying down staring at the sky, oblivious to the people around me and listening to music, they thought that I had lost it. The most common reaction being a very sarcastic “yeah right”. Then someone said “Dude, Cubbon park isn’t really the safest place you know… there are strange creepy men so will you take care please”.

I think that was the reason why I wanted to do this. It is my space too… so why should I have to think thrice (read a zillion times) before I go there and do something that is only very normal to do in a park. Moreover, I didn’t know for sure. It was only assumed that the park, like any other public space, was going to be filled with letchy men trying to make you regret having come there in the first place. I was happy that my assumptions were wrong. Maybe so because I had my own set of guardian angels in the park who I knew were looking out for me. Maybe because I wasn’t subjected to the usual doze of comments and stares. Maybe because I was so engrossed in doing what I was, that I was oblivious to them, if they were there. But the best part was that I was relaxed enough to let myself get that oblivious!

I wore a kurta with a deep back. I wore a mask. I sat on a park bench n read. And somehow doing something as small as that felt like being free. Then soon enough it was time to challenge that... push it a little bit. I laid down on the park bench and put on the music. I allowed myself to shut my eyes. I could not allow myself to fall asleep! I think it was just the fact that no matter how comfortable I got I still was in a public space and I have learned to not trust them.


maya said...

when is the next one in bangalore?
i will be there!!

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible to start something like this in other cities? (Hyderabad?)

J said...

thrilled to hear from someone in hyderabad. yes we would LOVE to do this in other cities also. can you write to us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com and lets work towards doing the same in hyd.
all we need to get anything going is your committment + enthusiasm towards the idea.

manjari said...

I am a quiet, private person, and i crave for personal space. I have, more than once, gone to parks and sat there alone for hours, taken naps on the benches, enjoying the unhurriedness around me, and the feeling of having 'no agenda' for the day. Apparently, its quite foolish to do this in a city like Delhi, though i have never really had any unpleasant encounter. However i have never really told my folks at home where I am. Exactly why, I dont know. Not because i'm doing anything wrong, but because i know that the straight answer will be no. I wish i could do it in future without lying to them.

mira said...

manjari. you are super cool!!!!! i wish i was like you!!!

manjari said...

i am only realising how big a deal it is NOW! :-)

Mumbai said...

Really great! I am also expecting this in Hyderabad apart from mumbai

Feminist Review said...

I love these pics. :)