- Posted August 22, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Speaking up about sexual violence
The Other side of "Sexual harassment in India: 'The story you never wanted to hear'"
But I am not writing this to complain about day to day cheap behavior by men. Indian society is much bigger and beyond the realm of some chepu men. It has millions of men who care, respect, and help their female friend at any hour of time. During last 10 years of my life, I spent more time with my friends than with family and most of them were men. Some of the best and happiest memories of my life revolve around time I spent with my male friends. Even in many critical situations I was helped by unknown men whom I never knew in my life. I have so many good experiences that even if I want to hate Indian men I cannot do that as they have helped and taken care for me like a family.
I am afraid to travel alone in night in India but I never accepted that thing in front of my friends. Two years back I remember I was reaching Bangalore airport around mid-night. I was supposed to stay at my friend’s place overnight. He offered to receive me from airport but I felt bad to call him so far on week day after office hours. I pretended that I am comfortable to take bus from airport till his house and he can come to receive me from bus stop. But he felt I am really pretending to be brave to travel alone in midnight so without informing me he decided to come to airport. As I was not aware he is coming to airport, so wanted to catch bus as soon as possible for his house. After reaching airport without calling him I took the first approaching bus for his house and left. I called him after 15 mins that I was on my way, he said he just reached airport. I felt bad but I also panicked; now he won’t be able to receive me at the bus stop, what I will do alone at 1am on a bus stop. Before even I could tell him my thoughts he said don’t worry, my father will come to receive you at bus stop, go with him I will directly join you at home. Yes, that’s the Indian man whom you do not need to even tell your worries. He thinks about his female friend like a family.
As I reached near his house I asked driver to stop on a particular bus stop. Once we reached there, driver asked me how you are going to your house from here. I said my uncle will come to pick me up. He said, “I cannot see anyone here”. I said “I will wait for him on bus stop”, the next thing what they said astonished me. They said they cannot leave a woman alone in midnight on Indian roads, so they are going to wait for me on the bus stop until someone comes to pick up me. And yes, they stopped their bus with around 10 passengers and waited for 10 mins along with me till my friend’s father arrived. That’s the Indian men, who belongs to a part of society and a profession which got all the worlds’ bad name after Damini incident, made sure that I reach home safely. I cannot expect any driver in NYC or Madrid or Singapore to stop bus for me just to make sure that I reach home safely.
When I was left alone with around 60 kg of luggage in middle of somewhere in New Jersy around 9 pm with no confirm place for overnight stay, I was helped by one of my college friend with whom I barely talked during whole engineering. He was just an acquaintance from my college. In fact we had hardly talked during engineering. After whole 9 years of under grad, we met once in NYC during my summer internship period. I was almost at the verge of tear when I called him. I was panicked with the thought of daily shootout reports in New York. I don’t want to be killed somewhere in US and my family does not even know what happens to me. During that time he did not own a car so it was difficult for him also to come and pick me. He enquired about the place of my whereabouts and just said “don’t worry, wait for me, and you don’t need to search for cab, I am coming with my friends to receive you”. Within 45 mins, he was there to pick me up and for the next two days he made sure that I felt at home with his family. Yes that’s the Indian man who helps his female friend whom he hardly knows when he does not even have his own resources.
I spent most of my time in Madrid either at school or at Calle De Ortega Y Gasset. Yes that’s the address where my friends lived and not mine. I never walked alone from their house to mine at any time after 10pm. whatever maybe the temperature or how busy they may be with assignment; two of them will always come to drop me at home. The funniest incident happened during one of the section party somewhere in Sol. Around 12.30am I told my friend that I am leaving. He was totally drunk, not even able to properly walk. He said wait I will come to drop you. After seeing his condition I said “yeah once you drop me home, than I need to come back to drop you here again”. At that time we were laughing on this conversation, but that’s the real Indian man who remembers his responsibility for his female friend when he is not even in his senses. I know he is going to kill me after reading it publicly but I shared this story just to highlight that people who blame alcohol for every bad behavior, should know that real Indian man know their responsibilities when not even in their senses.
When I shifted from Hyderabad to Pune, I was all alone. At that time, I had only two friends in Pune city. And both of them had their family and friends in Pune. So they have their personal engagement on weekends. I was feeling like to run back to Hyderabad. Within a week, I told Rahul I don’t know whatever your family or friends feel but you have to take me along where ever you go on weekend. And for next 6 months on each weekend, whenever he was invited for lunch or dinner by his old friends and relatives, he always said “can I bring my friend with me, I cannot leave her alone on weekend”. He had to face all the gossips and comments because of me but he never left me alone. Yes, that’s the Indian man who can go to any length to help his female friend.
I have so many good memories that I can write a whole book about Indian Men. I know current situation in India is nowhere near to what I mentioned above. Every society has good and bad people. With such a huge population of India, the proportionate number of such cheap people is quite high as compared to other country. Indian society is changing very fast. Access to information, wealth and entertainment is changing the way society accepts new norms. I hope Indian society will move out of this phase soon and will create an equal and safe environment for both men and women.