Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lowered Inhibitions

This week has been another week of pujas. One of the days was Diwali, the Festival of Lights. This means lots and lots of fireworks all over the city for hours and hours on end. It also means lots of drums, music, and chocolate bombs (VERY loud bangs). It means parties, lowered inhibitions, and literally watching man after man not being able to walk a straight line down the road.

The other night I went to our bazaar for a few things after dark. I normally feel perfectly safe doing this. People in the area know me and there are lots of others out in the lanes--safety in numbers. I was walking home and turned into the walkway through our building and realized that someone was following me. I assumed it was someone going to visit our neighbors and paused at the bottom of our stairs to let the man pass. He came and stood right up against me and stared instead.

I yelled and shoved him away and ran upstairs locking the gate to our lower level as I passed. I went upstairs inside our house and told Steve, who was working on his computer in our bedroom about my unusual experience. As I came back out of our room the man was standing just inside our open doorway in the kitchen. This is 3 flights up a narrow spiral staircase that most people here never want to climb.

I yelled at him to get lost in his language and Steve came running. He 'escorted' him all the way to the outside lane with the man's arm twisted up behind his back. When they got there one of our male local co-workers was coming inside and lit into the man verbally when he heard what had happened. An old widow that we know was there and contributed to the tongue lashing as well.

I was a bit startled and disgusted, but knew that the man was so stoned/drunk/something that I was definitely stronger and more coordinated than he was at that point. Adam had been sitting in the living room, however, and was fairly traumatized for a while. I think more at his parents' sudden reaction and not knowing what was going on than at the man himself.

I didn't enjoy the experience but knew that I was never in any real danger with Steve so close by. It's amazing how small things can stand out after, though. The creepy way his eyes were bugging with whatever substance he had taken, the way he smelled, etc.

I was safe, but on that very same night thousands of girls up the road weren't. They had no one to defend them. They had to submit to men just like the one that came after me so they could eat that day. Or to further line the pockets of those who 'own' them.


P.S. A favorite verse that applies here, "I know that the L-rd is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." -Ps. 16:8

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