01 January, 2013


In August, I had driven to Agra and written about it here.
What I had not written was the following story.
I started from Delhi early in the morning and estimated that it would be a day trip on new Expressway.
I reached Agra in 2 hours. It took me another one hour to drive through the city and reach Taj Mahal. After seeing Taj Mahal, I was out in an hour. By that time it had started pouring. I could barely make it to my car. I was soaked and wet. So I thought of driving to Amarvillas for a nice lunch and getting dry. The rain had not stopped. But I had a nice, leisurely lunch. I was still on schedule and estimated that once on expressway, I would still be able to make it to Delhi in two hours. So I started driving back. Now, there are two parallel roads that take you from Agra to expressway. I started on one. The traffic moved at snail's pace. The road seemed to be clogged with water. It took me about an hour on that road and yet, I was not on expressway. Cars ahead of me had started turning back. Everyone advised that I should take the other road, since this one was clogged and cars could not move ahead. So again I started moving inch by inch, in heavy rain. Then came the other road and the scenario was the same. Bad traffic jam, heavy rain and cars getting stuck because of the water clogging. By now I was loosing patience. I had been on this road for about 3 hours or more, reached nowhere and wanted to get back home. Now I bravely (and over confidently) decided that I had this wonderful car, which I have manoeuvred through in worst traffics and water clogged roads. So I decided not to turn back but rather try crossing the water clogged road. Once I had crossed that and was on an expressway, it would be a smooth drive back home. I just had to cross one stretch of road. So I raced my car in that water. And boom boom boom!! my car got stuck in the middle of the water. The water had come till my window. The car was about to float. And now, it got stuck. The water had probably gone in the engine. I tried to start the car again. But the key had got locked inside. The windows and doors got locked and jammed. I was stuck and helpless. Slowly, crowd of lecherous men started gathering around my car. And they were in big numbers. Scary, dirty, drenched in rain, with lust in their eyes. They kept peeping inside the car. I am not exaggerating but there were 50-100 men all around my car which was stuck. They put their faces against my car window, their noses pressing against the glass, and they making lewd remarks. I was sitting inside, trying to look confident. I called up my mechanic in Delhi and explained him the situation. He told me that since these are electronic cars and once water goes inside the electronic parts, the car engine is finished. He told me that it would not start again. I was scared. What if, one of the men outside broke the glass of my window. I could not have handled that big mob.
At that moment, I did not know of anything else. But to connect with GURUJI. I just closed my eyes and prayed and connected. I wanted HIM to take over. And I felt HIS presence and reassurance then. I felt a ray of light. Calmly, I opened my eyes and tried one more time to start the engine. I pressed the key and the car started. Slowly, slowly, boom boom boom...jerk jerk jerk....and it made out even through the water. As the car moved, the crowd dispersed. I quickly left them behind. I could not handle the stress anymore. I decided, I would not take any more chances of taking it out from water but rather turn back and be safe in the hotel and start only when the rain had stopped completely and the roads were dry. The car brought me back to the hotel and later even moved perfectly on the expressway to Delhi.
Well! that was a true incident about my connection with Guruji and how He helps His devotees. I was lucky that by sheer miracle or more so because of divine grace, my car moved. Even the Audi engineers were later surprised to see how it was perfectly moving. It had water all inside. What if, my car did not move and I was amidst a mob of those men with lusty eyes? Just because I was lucky (or blessed) does not mean that it could not have happened to me. What happened to the Delhi girl, on the bus, could have happened to anyone- you or me. Just because I have a car and do not have to move in Delhi bus, so I feel safe. Am I actually safe?

I think about the time when, I was a young teenager and when I was on vacation with my family in Brindavan garden, Mysore. Me and my little sister were left behind and separated from mom and dad. We kept waiting for mom and dad at the same spot where they left us. It started getting dark and the garden started getting desolated. Then I saw lewd group of men lurking towards us. We were scared. Luckily, right then, dad came and took us back. He, then scolded me for wearing what I was wearing (a skirt). Was it really my fault? Why do Indian parents ask their girls to cover up, dress modestly, find fault in them, if such lusty men make a pass at girls?

What is it about groups of men that makes them feel powerful, that they think they can have their way with women and see her helpless? Why and how can they collectively assault a woman?

As the New Year approaches and I think about these rowdy men. I think about women who also want to venture into these night clubs, on their own or with their partners and enjoy life, instead of just being homemakers with a sole duty to produce sons. Are they inviting rape? Are they wrong if they also want to head to a bar and have drink or two with their male/female friends? Are they vulnerable?
Authorities impose curfew to prevent rapes because rape is one way of expressing anger, frustration and humiliating a woman.

Do parents talked to their boys about the difference between wooing a girl and inflicting violence upon her? I doubt it. It’s not part of our culture, is it?
I think of the woman raped in a moving train, several men looking on from the next compartment -- too shocked or too polite to interrupt an ongoing rape.

Rape happens because schools and colleges and even parents ask girls to cover up. Because teachers are too embarrassed to talk about sexual justice. And because when your sons rape, you look for ways to lessen guilt by blaming their victims or as a compensation, the victim is offered to be married to the rapist.
Because you tell your daughters to “be careful” instead of your sons, and because you wouldn’t fix your son up to marry a raped woman, and because you expect daughters and sisters to stay in marriage even if rape is part of the deal.
Rape happens because soldiers raped and the kings who led them in battle were silent. Because mobs rape and politicians are silent. Because cops rape and their seniors are silent. And because when men from your caste rape, you don’t testify against them in court.
Rape happens because we believe that some women have it coming, like sex workers or militants. It happens because we believe that women asked for it, "dressed too provocatively', because they are sex toys, because women ventured out alone at night, or she got drunk, because if a woman does not surrender then it becomes a man's duty to show her her place. Rape is all around because if we let it happen to one person, we cannot prevent it from happening to all.