The January Incident

Sometimes certain things, the simplest of things, that happen due to either complete coincidences, or due to some incomprehensible plot of the universe and all the timelines that intersect it (haven’t quite figured that one out yet), impact you with utter profoundness.

Maybe you left a place a few seconds later than you wanted to.

Maybe your friend asked you to wait with her while she waited for her friend to get over with classes.

And, you agreed to it, although you initially intended to leave a few minutes before.

And then you waited.

And waited.

And ultimately you left because you were getting too late and the prodigal friend still didn’t return.

And then, bam!

Something happens that wouldn’t have happened had you left according to your uninterrupted plan. And you sort of start believing that the universe wanted it to happen. Hence, the reason for its intervention.

Or maybe all of this is bullshit and what happens happens. (As I have stated numerous times before, I am but a bundle of contradictions.)

So, this is how the incident goes. It is nothing too memorable or out of the ordinary. It is nothing to be journaled. I probably won’t even remember it happened in a few weeks. But, it is the fact that the incident got me thinking in way too many ways and I landed up here, on my blog writing about it.

It was about 8pm on a January night. I left the gym and walked towards my car parked in the semi marooned lot. As I walked, or rather dragged my sore legs towards the car, too tired even to think sanely, I noticed two guys not too far away from my car standing in the lot. Drinking. Huge bottles of god knows what form of alcohol cradled in their arms. And a red-alert went on in my mind. And the first thing I said to the friend behind me, who had very graciously agreed to walk me to my car (Hi there, you. I know you’re reading this!) was that I was so thankful not to be alone. Which is quite a natural sentiment, I presume. But it was the second thought that crossed my mind as an inherent reaction that bothered me enough to write this.

I felt sort of guilty for being out alone at the late hour. (Yes, I know 8pm isn’t late. But be it 8pm or 2am, anytime after dark is late because it isn’t as safe as daylight. Although daylight isn’t that safe either, since Vampires aren’t my immediate concern here.) I felt like it was my fault that I felt not too comfortable being out alone at the said hour, when it is not my fault at all!

I think the beginning of this viable lesson that is fed to girls from the moment they are able to comprehend words must have been, after certain disturbing incidents must have occurred, a safety precaution of not venturing out looking for trouble. But in recent times, it has become an excuse for the delinquents to do whatever gives them a rush. It has become a justifiable reason for why bad things happen. It is the female’s fault. Bad things happening to her are directly linked to where she goes, what time she goes there, and most importantly, what she wears. Because it is also your own fault when you get robbed. Because you have things that could be robbed. Or if you get murdered. Because you did things that got you murdered. You said murderable things or wore murderable clothes. Or maybe just have the sort of face that caused you to get murdered. It’s your fault. Should have got a plastic surgery or something when you had the chance.

What I want to point out is the fact that the thought of being guilty for any bad thing might happen to me because (a) I was out alone after dark and (b) because I’m a girl , is something I do not want my daughter, or anyone else’s daughter to ever think! I want my son to feel responsible for standing in a public place drinking in the dark. I mean, you could sit in your car and do that. And then drive your car into a lake and leave the planet a better place, rather than stare at a girl who passes by you like she’s dinner. (Talk about Vampires not being an immediate concern.)

In all seriousness, being socially responsible for how you behave in a public place is something all human beings should care about. Drink. Have fun. As long as you do not infringe on anybody else’s life or make them feel unsafe and responsible for the bad things that happen due to no fault of theirs. Raise your sons right first. Then tell your daughters to avoid venturing out alone at night. Also teach your daughters how to be badass ninjas. Mostly, do that though (after raising your sons right).