Some people often remind me I don't know what India is like. I don't know how unsafe it can be for a girl. Let's forget the fact that I'm twenty-five years old and live in the capital of India, New Delhi.
Sure, let's go with it. Let's say I don't know much. I am probably more ignorant than my oversized ego can afford. Even if that's the case, I'm not stupid.
Here's the real problem - I'm female.
Those that often claim that India is changing, that boys and girls are the same now...You know you've met them. They don't actually believe it. How can they? There's a reason that I read about at least one rape in the paper every morning. Delhi is not a safe place for females. And yet women find a way to be independent and lead fearless lives. It is possible. The key is to not compromise your safety.
The other day, Papa dropped me to the Metro station. But he didn't stop there. He proceeded to take the Metro, with me, until the stop where I had to get off. It was 6 pm. I felt not that I was living in a democracy but a dictatorship. It was humiliating.
What am I trying to say? It is possible to live in Delhi without a chaperone as soon as the sun sets. The very public Metro is not a dark, isolated ally.
The other day I was at INA Market when three guys were staring at me as if I was an object. It is far from flattering. I tactfully moved and looked at some other items in a shop, and they proceeded to reposition themselves in front of me so they could get a better view. That was it. I went up to them and firmly let them know how ridiculously idiotic they were behaving. It didn't involve curse words or slappage (both of which were very tempting at the time), but I was loud enough that they felt ashamed of their ogling. A few minutes later I looked at them and their eyes were checking out the corner of the floor. The lesson is not that I should jeopardize myself at every opportunity. Rather, it is that I do not need nor do I want to be sheltered by guardians. If I am always with a male then I will not learn how to take care of myself in such situations. I will end up depending on him to save me every time. And that's not the person I want to be.