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  • Writer's picturePooja Jain

The Eve of Teasing

Today, I was the last one to leave. My day had not been very pleasing. I know, it is psychological to expect increments for working overtime, but all a woman can think of is equal pay. Do I not even deserve to earn as much as my male counterparts?

But...that's how society works.

I packed my bag and smiled softly at the watchman with an expression suggesting that I was leaving. He wasn't looking at me, though. Instead, I saw him gazing lustily at my top —which rested on my shoulders by a strap— as if trying to peep through them. I tried to pity myself, but it is not very abnormal for a woman to expect this. I left, quickening my pace.

I couldn't bring my car today: it was at a service center. Now, that I look back, this was probably not a good day to decide to work overtime. I walked swiftly down the streets to grab an Uber from the main street. Suddenly, I felt something unusual. Was I being followed? Oh, no! I was probably just being extra cautious. "Ayye, chikni! (Hey hottie!)" A cat-call rattled me. My heart started thumping, with a rush of adrenaline, but I felt weak and helpless. "Yaar iska sharir toh dekh! Ah! Chikne haath, gore gaal, bhai yeh ladki haath lag jaaye bas phir toh aisa maza lunga, na!" (Look at her goddamn skin, those glowing hands and her fair skin. I swear to god, just let me get her!)

I knew I couldn't stop. There was no way I could pause, even for a moment.

And this thought was more than enough for me to not wear my favorite pastel-shaded sleeveless top anymore.

"Some other day..." I told myself, and I took out another full sleeve shirt to show absolutely no skin. Because, if something happens to me, it is my fault, isn't it?

This haunts me, you, and every other girl before we take out that one 'strappy' top that we love to wear.

Is embracing our own skin an invite? Will society support us if something happens while we wear it?


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