My daughter lives alone in Bangalore.
And she survives one day at a time.
And I die every day!
Come to think of it, even if she were to stay with us, we would still die every day!
How much can she be on guard? Thanks to the enviable connect that we have established she is quite blunt in narrating her daily routine.
Of the virtual disrobing!
Of the blatant stares, filled with lust, often bordering on the ridicule but equally scary at times.
The thrust of the change into her palm by the bus conductor.
The usual, how obscene it sounds to even qualify this as “usual”, rubbing, groping and all other activities through which a male tries to get his body in contact with her for a few minutes!
Horror! Horror! A case of an erection rubbed against her in a crowded bus!
As she recounts all such travails, she ends up travelling back in time, revisits those unpleasant memories. Her whole body goes into a spasm, her fists clench, lips tremble and all of a sudden she stops. It is easy to understand why.
What is not easy to understand is why this happens?
· We are a sex starved society!
· We do not discuss sex
· We are a hypocrite society.
· We are still a patriarchal society
More an excuse than a theory.
I am not here to recommend cures because I do not have a single damn clue. Also I am likely to be biased being father of a daughter.
My colleague, himself a father to two daughters, went livid when the minor of the heartrending Delhi case was tried in a juvenile court and was let off with a three year sentence. His reaction, I quote,
“I shall wait outside the prison and shoot that son of a bitch when he walks out”
This coming from a docile man who rarely, if ever, raises his voice!
I have a son too!
How do I prepare him to become a person with a character?
I do all the usual things that I know best.
I show him films that I hope helps a man to value character.
To Sir with Love.
Scent of a woman.
Judgment at Nuremberg.
Dead Poets Society
The lingering fear is he may end up watching Irreversible on the sly!
I try to revisit my childhood and strain to recollect what my father did!
Still I turned out OK. As a matter of fact I do not recall having a conversation with him that lasted more than 80 seconds.
As I said earlier, I am clueless.
And I am worried.
Midst all this mental soliloquy, another day comes to an end.
My daughter comes on Skype to say good night.
She survived yet another day.
Not without scars, certainly. She stopped sharing all her tribulations.
My son is trying to figure out if Benzene molecule should be a hexagonal structure or a circle!
Wife dearest is juggling adroitly her endless commitments with an ease that continues to amaze me.
And I go to bed.
And stay awake the whole night.