A Girl in the Man’s World

A girl in the man’s’ world is lost. No!! ‘Am not a sexist but a feminist indeed and this story is about me – A Girl who has to survive this male chauvinistic society.

I am Noel, fighting for my rights, craving to carve a niche for myself in a place where I am threatened by my own people. May it be physical abuse or just abiding by the rules they make. I am just a prisoner – one to whom fundamental privileges are not extended nor is expected to argue her way through or express her opinion or disagreement. I am not entitled to an altercation, the will of the opposite gender triumphs. I feel like an inconspicuous insignificant entity with my own people stomping around like a colossus hovering over my head. This egotistic man suffocates my breathing.

Notwithstanding her insecurities, she fights; she pledges to make space for herself. She hides her fears and rekindles her strength and spirit to face this world; which in today’s’ world, to people may seem obstinacy. She has to fight not only the world but also her own inner self, which makes her weak. She needs protection thus she hides her feeble sentiments and pretends to be stoic.

It would have been understandable if I said I am not from a very well off family and thus was being teased and humiliated; for the obvious reason that I would not have the security of power or the asset of being associated with the powerful. But I am a part of a very well known and truly respected family. I may not call myself beautiful but my friends say that I am singularly gifted to recognise the beauty in others which perhaps they may themselves not be aware of.

I am well versed and morale. I am aware of girls being subjected to humiliation and physical abuse. Many instances have shocked me when I hear that the one under suspicion is a close relative. I had always felt blessed to be born in a secure family.

I had not known my impending horror.

I had come over to my native place for my vacations. Living with my cousins exhilarated me. I felt jealous to see their bonding and how much they enjoyed living all together. It was so different from my lifestyle with no siblings.

One day my Uncle had to go out for an important shipment over to the dockyard. Only I was available so he asked me to supervise the office work in his absence. I readily agreed. I was getting ready for the office when my oldest cousin came in to wish good luck. He moved closer to me. It was eerie. I could feel it. I tried moving away. But I was standing between the bed and the cupboard and space was scarce. I had not known his intentions and neither did I want to offend him. Perhaps he might say “What the hell are you thinking”…

I knew he was a mature guy and definitely knew his limits. He wouldn’t harm me. But he came closer still and this closeness gave me goose bumps, which was definitely not like the first love cool type stuff. It was the frightening type.

I was now standing against the wall. This time when he stepped closer I jumped over the bed and made through the door not caring least about whom I was going to offend. Cause it had hit me to the gut that what I was feeling was not wrong. My throbbing heart was the proof.

I was in the office dealing with the customers. I had gone to the green room.

I was washing my face and in this short span the same cousin had slithered into the undersized room. This time there was no predator – prey anxiety. As I removed the drops of water that hindered my vision and which had let down my immunity for a second I saw my horror becoming tangible. He was standing so close that I could feel his breathe. I tried moving away. But like pins piercing my entire body a snake slithered and entwined my wrists. His other hand played with my curls hanging across my temple. How I loathed each second. I tried wriggling out but his grip was adamant. He brought his face so close to mine that I felt I missed a pulse. I noticed a flash of wickedness in his evil eyes.

How I was shaking. What I was feeling I cannot voice in words but all I can say is that it was a nightmare which still haunts me and from that day onwards has made me afraid of darkness.

Cherry Agarwal