My son says I am over 45, fat, and married. Hence….
But after not heeding to alarming media threats of India being a “Rape country”, and romping off to the beautiful state of Rajasthan “alone”, with my 18-year-old son, a muscular man revelling in his newly-acquired adulthood, tucked along; of course him having no inkling of the tricky ways in which business operates in India, I have come to the conclusion that women are anything but safe in this country.
Thank you, India. Thank you beautiful and handsome men all along my journey, along the entire breadth of the country, from West Bengal in the East to Rajasthan in the West, who took care of me and my son, calling me “Madam”, “Madamji”, calling my son, “Sir”, “Sirji”; often wrongly placing the food bill in front of him, wondering who was paying for whom… who was in charge.
Right after my take-off in the Rajdhani Express train, there were invisible saints along the way. The moment they realized I was a lone woman traveling with my son, instead of taking advantage of the situation, they took extra care. The hotel boy knocked our door and asked us to specially attend the complimentary breakfast. The camel man took extra care of me asking me to sit in front, as that was a better seat. The men in the train were holding doors when I went out of the compartment for the washroom and bringing down things I couldn’t reach without me even asking for help. (I remember in Canada, once, my bag of vegetables rolled off and were strewn all over the bus floor, when the vehicle took a speedy turn. Not ONE passenger got up from their seat to help me pick up the vegetables…. Just saying. )
Just for information, my clothing weren’t tent-like. I was in an experimenting mode, and wore whatever I got my hands on… or whatever my meaty body could wriggle into. But I never got one disapproving look from any man. No, not one I can remember. They were just too respectful, too protective, going into a flurry whenever I said I wanted to stop for a washroom.
My son says I am overage, overweight and over the hills and that’s why men were not interested. Maybe. But even then I want to assure you all over the world, that men in this country don’t deserve to be generalized. Please do not brand beautiful India with that ugly name. It’s an angelic country with delightfully helpful people (Read: MEN). I am proud to hail it as my motherland.
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