Gender bender

Gender bender

Something happens. That something I know occurs all the time, in many ways, then it happens to you and it is only then, after which, that you understand the profundity of it all. I was turning into the gate of my house; I noticed that an autorickshaw was moving in high speed in the direction of my car. The driver was on the cell phone; the conversation appears animated by the way he was nodding vigorously.

I honk to get his attention, to make sure he does not crash into me. He halts inches before my car, horrified that I should blare the car horn like that at him. That act of mine probably saved his life and loads of problems that may have followed the collision for the both of us. But he was furious, because obviously he was having a bad day in general, evident by the harrowed look on the face of the person who was riding with him. He did not have it in him to be grateful.

Expletives flowed profluently washing over, stunning the hell out of me. I, for one moment wondered what was so wrong to blare the car horn and save a situation. People honk all the time in India, the land of mendicants, meditation and yoga.

“Chooth!” he abuses me. “I get down from my car, walk around to him and ask him, “Why are you abusing me?” “Who the hell are you to ask me questions?” he counters. “I am asking you questions because you abused me. Is this anyway you talk to a woman!” I am baffled. “What sort of a woman are you, driving!” he gesticulates his hand on a pretend steering wheel.

I look at him, I think, yes just because he perceives that I am more educated and capable than he, it riles. Women like me, who can stand up for their rights are a threat to him. At the least I was not the kind upon whose life he has presided. Also those who he has probably subjugated if not beaten, abused and forced himself upon.

He cannot understand how, when he has successfully suppressed and oppressed the many women around him, one comes out of the blue and dared to blare him out of his telephonic stupor and saved his life. I proved to be the better human; it was too much for his ego.

His one so unnecessary abusive word spoke volumes for the man. It spoke for our country and about it.

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