Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents


Illustration By: Laila Borrie
You see, a competitor - a man in his fifties with two daughters of his own, so he told me - had been hassling me for months to sell my business to him. First he tried to woo me. Then, when I did not take kindly to his advances, he became more and more aggressive and then brutish. And I am a fool because I didn't go to the police? But why should I when I went to them before about Kunal and they practically said it was only to be expected that I would have a male employee trouble me when I fired him? I was a successful female boss, what did I expect? It's like that deodorant commercial points out -

A woman isn't a boss, she's bossy; she's not persuasive, she's pushy.

It would blow over they said. And it did. They called him, scared him and that was that. But I didn't think this new harasser, this older, sleazy businessman, would be so easily put off by a call from the police, so I didn't bother.

Why are so many people surprised? My hairdresser runs her salon on her own. That NRI lady who makes the fancy "sorbets and soups" runs it on her own. And there's that lady who runs her own law firm, set it up without any man pulling the strings or supplying the money or muscle. What's the big deal? Its like India is evolving so fast, some people can't keep up. And I didn't want to worry my parents. Or give my brother any excuse for muscling in on my company. And I didn't want those people who thought a woman shouldn't be running a company on her own - meeting businessmen, handing out business cards, dealing with cash on her own - I didn't want them to think they were right. So I kept my mouth shut and hoped it too would blow over.

But then yesterday my security guard called in sick with a very iffy, weak excuse even he didn't sound like he believed. Same space of ten minutes my competitor phones me and asks to see me - he has an offer he knows I won't be able to refuse. I hang up on him. Because it was Friday, I didn't want the machines full of money over the weekend, so I called my mate Vikram and he came with me for most of the runs, but then he had to go pick his aunt up from the airport and I abandoned the last two pick-ups. Instead I worked on my laptop from a busy Cafe Coffee Day until 8pm and then I headed home. And it was there, trying to find a taxi along a well-lit road off busy Connaught Place they grabbed me. First there was a tamasha as one pretended to be my husband and the other my brother, yelling at me that our "baby son" was sick and I should have been at home nursing him and not out meeting other men. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I knew they were trouble, and so I quickly walked away from them. But it was a trap. I went directly in the direction of a waiting car, which they shoved me into.

No one batted an eye. Naturally, who was going to disagree with such sentiments and stop a wayward wife and mother from being pushed in to her "husband's" car?



Some of India's less progressive minds tackle
the problem of rape

"It is sometimes right and sometimes wrong." -
Babulal Gaur, Home Minister Madhya Pradesh
"Boys will be boys, they make mistakes... Will you hang them for rape?" -
Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief
"Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark." -
Botsa Satyanarayan, INC legislature from state assembly of Andhra Pradesh
"Rapes take place also because of a woman's clothes, her behavior and her presence at inappropriate places." -
Asha Mirje, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and a member of the Maharashtra Women's Commission
"I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady." -
Manohar Lal Sharma, defense lawyer in Delhi Dec 16, 2012 gang rape case

For more read:

Short skirts, bad stars and chow mein: why India's women get raped - Reuters

Political potshots: Why me, asks modern woman - Times of India

Shut up, please! -

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