I remember the days before 29th December, 2012, the days before Damini passed away, the days before the media sobriquetted her as “braveheart”, “Nation’s daughter”, and then forgot all about her in a hurry.
Those were simple days. Those were the days when my biggest blogging concern was about writing a post each day for the month of December.
Now, all of that has changed. The days following her death were hysterical. Shocking details of the incident surfaced and provoked unprecedented anger, fear, worry, sorrow and a plethora of other emotions.
I was livid. I wanted to be there. I wanted to do something. If not anything, I wished to beat those guys up.
I had so much anger that I needed a medium to vent to.
The blog was always there, but I didn’t want to write a few angry posts and then forget about it.
I figured that a lot of people were as angry I was. So, I thought about creating a common platform.
Creating a platform was the important step, even if it was just a category called “Voices for Damini” on a relatively obscure blog such as mine.
A platform ensures that the fire keeps burning, even after the initial emotion has fizzled out.
“VOICES FOR DAMINI” has done precisely that. The fire burns on, even today.
I wrote in the introductory post that I want your RAW UN-EDITED VOICE OF ANGST.
But, the contributors have given much more than that. This has been such a huge learning curve for me.
Reading the first hand accounts of sexual violence brought tears to my eyes.
Reading accounts of incest made me feel so sick from deep within.
Reading accounts of how women cope with sexual violence opened my eyes to a whole new feeling.
For the first time, I understood how it feels to be WOMAN, how it feels to be violated, how deep a crater it leaves in one’s soul.
This has transformed me. I have become more sensitive towards women.
I keep introspecting to remove any sexist belief, thought that I might be holding in my head.
I keep refining my thoughts constantly.
While on public transport, I try not to be a hindrance to women around me. I try my best to not come across as being disrespectful, or lewd.
The other day, on a public transport, this elderly, balding man was staring at a lady for quite sometime.
And his stare made me feel uncomfortable. I still don’t know why.
I wondered if he was like ‘those’ ugly men deep inside. I tried to fathom what thoughts were flowing through his mind, as his eyes stared.
Were they dirty thoughts? Was he a closeted molester?
I know it sounds ridiculous and too judgemental. But, in the end, I ended up positioning myself in a way, that I blocked that man’s stare.
I stood right in between the lady and the elderly man.
Now, I find it a little funny.
But this is what this Initiative has done to me.
It has made me much more sensitive, and I can only thank all contributors for that. Thank you.