These memories include ( apologies, Mother Dear, you may not know about some of these.I didn't know how to tell you.)
* Standing at the British Council Library, browsing blissfully through some books, only to have a middle-aged man repeatedly brush up against me from behind. He followed me and did it twice before I managed to lose him. Went and quietly rejoined my mother, who was browsing elsewhere, unaware of anything wrong. My cheeks were burning.
* Walking home from the bus-stop, lost in thought as usual - only to notice that a large man was following me. I walked ahead, he continued to follow me. I stopped for a bit. He stopped too. I realized there was an alley coming up which had hardly anyone else around on most days. As I reached the entrance of the alley, I turned and ran the long way around. Reached home safe. Scared stiff.
* Carrying my Solar Cooker home from the bus stop one day. A nice Solar Cooker, thermocol, covered with black and silver foil. It was a project - I was in Class 10th at the time. My hands were occupied with the Solar Cooker; a man came up and groped me from behind. I dropped the Solar Cooker and yelled at him, incoherent angry words that I don't recall, but I think included 'Bastard.' He just leered at me and walked ahead. That's all I remember being. Angry.
And so on and so forth. Big deal, right? Everyone's got the same story, and much worse, right? I'm not even going to talk about being in Delhi University - actually, I think those years were better for whatever reason for me.
So anyway, at age 20, I went to Bangalore and subsequently Bombay and frankly - didn't face such issues - also a function of being older, more protected, having less call to walk around alone in these cities - of course. Whatever it was, those years were largely trouble free, and I'm so thankful for them.
I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't actually like talking about these things. They're in the past. Sure, they're real - but who wants to think about the negative, right? That's why I usually stay silent on these things. They're not in line with my stated attempt of making this blog a 'serious attempt to take life less seriously.'
Well, sorry, but here it is today.
And here I am again. Living again in the same city that I grew up. With little kids of my own, including a heartbreakingly innocent daughter.
Questioning the decision - er...so, why am I here again?