by Baldeep Grewal
Call this a rant if you will or the fruitless ponderings of a young, naïve mind that doesn’t know any better! I see this as a confession. A confession of how much the silence of my own country suffocates me. A confession made because my own silence was killing me. When people ask me what I want to do after graduating my immediate response is ‘get out of this country’. I love Delhi! I really do but sometimes I get so sick of this city, its people, this whole country. I hate the silence of those who need to speak up and I detest the babble of those who need to shut up. It’s so suffocating that I can hardly breathe.
I want to know what it feels like to wear shorts and not feel perverts stare at you. I want to know what it’s like to walk down a clean street. I want to know how it feels to walk out feeling good about yourself with the wind in your hair and not be crushed by cheap comments whispered in your ears by strangers. There is so much that is so wrong – the patriarchy, the system, the silence, the roaring violence, the society. That girl, who was gang raped and murdered back in December was no different than me. She was a fan of Enrique Iglesias. She had dreams. For once she stood up for her honour and look where that got her. None of the women and men, who endure actions that betray humanity deserve this, none of them deserve to be forgotten. Just because I’m silent doesn’t mean I’ve nothing to say. I’m silent because in this city of anonymity speaking up gets you killed. I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to die for a lost cause. My death would change nothing. Worst part is I don’t know what to do about any of this.
I’m not suggesting that America or Canada are utopias. All I know is this country, this geographical space is too sad for me to bear. I’ve failed to harden myself against this daily butchering of humanity, where I can’t offer a piece of chocolate to someone because they are of a ‘lower’ caste and might misunderstand my friendliness as pity. This country of Gods is burdened with too many demons. Every year Republic Day or Independence Day rolls around and they ask me to ‘love my India’. How can I love a nation that is so faithful to its idolatry gods but is unfaithful to Humanity?