I’m hopping out of the car and rushing across the street to the ATM. A motorbike whooshes too close and I jump back, only to realise it was deliberate. He’s singing a love song and leering, turning back and singing to me. Me. Does he know I have two little children sitting in the car behind me, one waiting to have his injured head tended to? Does he realise I have a full day and a full life that he is thrusting himself into, uninvited, and upsetting?

I can’t chase him with my bad knee so I smile and beckon to him with one finger, seductively. He’s shocked. It’s broad daylight and this woman is responding to him in a busy, conservative area of town. He slows down and slowly turns the bike around, unable to believe his luck. I’m waiting for him to get closer – I can’t believe my luck either.

And then, because I’ve never done this before, the mask slips and he sees the rage in my eyes. The bike sways as he frantically jams brakes, turns around and drives away. I drop all pretence and yell – Come back. Come closer and sing to me if you have the guts, you asshole. All I have to fight with is a wallet in my hand and a heart burning with rage. Such impotence is frustrating. He only sang a song and leered, but I’m tired of this crap.

To him, and maybe to others, it was just a man singing at me. But I am 35, I have two kids, I thought I was way past the stage where I would have ruffians on the road serenading me. At another time I might have been less outraged but I had a terrified child in the car, my heart was in my mouth as we headed to have his stitches removed (ah, yes, the Brat hurt his head on a train journey –  stitches were taken out today). My mind was with him. I didn’t have the mindspace to deal with this intrusion. I had a right to only focus on my terrified son at that moment. I’m tired of this being considered ‘merely’ eve teasing because it ruins the entire day for me.

Hopefully he’ll think twice before he sings to some unsuspecting old woman next time. And hopefully the next time I’ll get close enough to grab him by the collar, punch him in the face – and if I find the rage and the strength, kill the bastard.

They’re talking of the growing rage among men, more violent assaults, more violent rapes. Well, there’s a growing rage among women too and I for one, am so ready to unleash it. God help the next man that messes with me.

23 thoughts on “Rage.

  1. hey MM
    I feel your rage too. And understand that you were a personal incident here, but this sh*t been done to any woman and ANY age, is absolutely unacceptable, with or without children, single or married. Its just the way I read it, it seems to me that you are saying because you are 35 and with two kids, this should not be happening to you. Having read your blog for a while, I know you can’t possibly be saying such a thing….

    In solidarity and enraged.

    • You know, it is unacceptable at any age, any size, shape or colour. But the truth is, I *am* a 35 year old mother and I bear the sign and the weight of every single one of my years and my children on me. I am not saying it ‘shouldn’t’ happen to me because of these reasons, I am saying I thought it ‘wouldn’t’ happen.
      At 16 I foolishly thought it would be done by the time I was 35, that there was an expiry date on sexual harassment. I’d be safe. I’d be too old to arouse any interest. I’d finally get to walk free. But apparently it’s not to be. Clear proof that it doesn’t matter how old you are, how you dress, where you walk. If you’re female, you’re prey.

  2. next time some one does something like this please on my behalf kick his balls. i am so totally with you on this. more often we are not able to chase these guys its so damn frustrating. u wanna yell in the middle of the road and make him feel like an insect for his deeds. i think atleast if we start yelling a crowd will gather and take it from there on!!!!!

    • Why the fear? These ruffians thrive on exactly this. Fear. Even if you’re scared, just pretend to be angry and brave. No one will be able to tell that you’re pretending. Try it.

  3. Taekwondo. Good for the knees, and for kneeing (morons).

    Tell you what – you get trainining, then we set you up as bait and film with hidden camera as you powerkick such idiots back to the medieval ages. Youtube series banaate hain – Dus Laat, Mad Momma ke Saath. Superhit in the making!

  4. Bravo ! You know, I think it is the Maternal Tigress in you that violently fueled your rage. It is quite a powerful catalyst.

      • Of course mommy cannot be harassed ! As Calvin says, doesn’t she wear her Superwoman cape and fight crime while they are at school? 😀

  5. Did you manage to get his license plate? I’m not sure you were in the frame of mind to do so, but I’m so hoping you did. A knock on his door with the cops waiting to haul him to the local jail would be so satisfying. *Hugs*. Hope the Brat is feeling better.

  6. I carry safety pins when traveling in India or did when I lived there and boy the number of men who got “pricked” (is there a horrible pun here!!!??) by me cannot even remember now. While giving gaalis I’d learnt way too late in college I would start hurting them. Real bad. And yet today years and years after leaving India and settling down in a place where I haven’t yet had an “incident”(not that they don’t happen here Just not in broad daylight I think) reading your post I felt an infernal rage seeping through me for what you had to go thru.

    Yeah, me thinks a few Taekwondo kicks will come in handy where you live. If you cannot enroll then at some point enroll the Bean. I have no hopes even for her generation, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with the way we by and large raise men in India.( I can only speak for the country I grew up in)

  7. Ha, ha! I had a similar experience once (upon a time) in my (fat) forties 🙂 Was waiting in the car to pick up my son from swimming after a morning walk in a nearby park. I had sort of noticed this guy following me on my way back but hadn’t been too worried feeling immune because of my age . I lifted my head and saw him in the rear view mirror standing behind the car. Before I knew, I had jumped out of the car and was screaming at him and chasing him as he ran down the road. I still laugh when I think about this guy sprinting down the road and me toddling after him screaming 🙂 Also remember taking a whack with my bag at a motor cyclist who came at me. Both responses unpremeditated!

  8. First off, I am sorry your baby had to go through that… must have been scary and I do hope by this time he is ok. I feel your rage too… I so feel it. It is unacceptable.. this been done to ANYONE at all. And we keep thinking that it couldn’t or would’t be done at all. *sick*

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