Cracking the paanwallah code

I never learnt to whistle and it wasn’t my piece of cake to attempt eve-teasing but I always wished to understand the psychology. Paanwallahs, barbers and some frequent train travellers used to be one of inherent philosophers and observers. They observed life in raw form everyday, every minute.

Paanwallah has his small cubicle on one of the busy streets in Bangalore, next to a wine shop, probably an ideal ‘adda’ of hooliganism and raw manhood. He told me a woman would step down the pavement some 50 meters ahead of shop, staying at a fair distance from shop. I made a bet it wouldn’t be true for a ‘fearless (nirbhaya)’ woman in this cosmopolitan city. Some 43 (yes we counted!) females passed, with pretty good accuracy of 50 meter down-stepping.

What worst could happen at a Paan-shop on a busy street? May be some ‘whistles’, some ‘lewd remarks’, or just a ‘look’. Standing at the shop, I felt myself standing a ‘culprit’ or at least an ‘accused’ to these street ‘victims’. I never whistled in my life, because I could never learn it properly, but when an attractive girl passes by, my head does turn or at least sway a bit. But, the look doesn’t have that dangerous appeal probably. Remarks could have been lewd in closed hostel rooms, but never on a bustling street or in front of woman.

A good look or a bad look, a good touch or a bad touch, a woman could recognise much easily, which actually never existed in men’s dictionary. Where to step down, what to wear, where not to go in night, good corner, bad corner,…….. umpteen senses irrelevant to me.

Only way I see to eradicate this social stigma is to improve the interaction. A sexual autism prevails in India, where many of men talk or interact only with men, and believe women could be either mother, daughter, sister or wife. As if, rest of women are some creature to look, make remarks or whistle. More eyes would meet, and smiles shared, the world would look more uniform.

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Courtesy: Google images

A passage through cults

Faith and beliefs dupe the gullibles, and I had been one of them. Somewhere around my elementary schooling, ‘shakha’ of RSS appealed me. The sheer discipline and adrenergic patriotism was more than an appetite for an enthusiasist kid. I wasn’t allowed to participate, but I did some minion works like getting water, and helping swayamsevi’s most basic needs. Somehow, the tenor of conversations were too bold for this timid kid, and one day I just quit. One of my closest school buddies dragged me into Sathya Sai Baba, the magical godman with majestic Afro hair. My friend became a staunch devotee, later departing to Puttaparti, while I escaped again. Then, came ISKCON, a well organized religious group which appealed me the most among all. My best college buddy joined it, and today he is a spiritual guru associated with it.  Much before dawn, when you dance in temple, and listen to hypnotic bhagvadgita spells, it had addictive attraction. Coming out of it, had been most difficult for me. Another organization which influenced me time and again was Amway corp, a multinational. It made me believe I can excel because of my oratory and convincing capabilities. My dreams leaped and plateaued in short span of time, while my closest people continued. Last one was the political sensation- Aam Aadmi Party, which took me to streets and social media debates. With its debacle, I withdrew, and with its rise I rebound myself. Every day is a new dream. Move on!

Courtesy: Google images