That there's been something sick - brought on, no doubt, by the repressive attitude "conservative" Gujarati society has towards sex and sexuality - rearing its ugly head in the male gaze that looks, judges and thinks it can possess any female form it finds not corresponding to the 'norm' (their definition/imposition, not mine) has been obvious for some time. I've been followed/chased/harassed variously when out with friends on two-wheelers and in my car. I've been groped (when I was 15, in broad daylight, in the middle of this motherfucking city), pinched and otherwise abused in most ways you can think of, but there's a difference between those days and these, and that difference is in the outrageous blatancy with which the Ahmedabadi/Gujarati male (lowest of the low, fucking cretinous vermin) now feels he can think/look/touch/do what he will with a sense that nears entitlement! He's always been a pervert, this bastard, but at least he looked suitably embarrassed if you caught him out while he was staring at your breasts - not so anymore.
The latest in a long, long line of incidents (which, as you might have guessed) has brought on this post is this: I am a musician. Our band gigs regularly at a lovely place in Gandhinagar - we've been playing there for 11 years - and it's surrounded by a bunch of schools (NID, NIFT, DA-IICT), which means we've always had a lovely audience. Now, a woman musician in this 'ere city is a rarity, so I'm used to having a lot of cameras shoved in my face, week after week, month after month, year after year, even when the other guys are soloing. Most times, I just gesture to the wielder to get the cam out of my face. Which he (90% of the time it's a 'he') grudgingly, but mostly, does. The other night however, I had a drunk motherfucker come and try sticking a camera up my dress! I was sitting on stage, playing, when I noticed this son of a bitch bend real low and try to shoot up my legs. Charming, nein? I swore at him on the mic, and Antoine came and pushed him out of the way, after which the guys in my band swooped in and pushed him clear out of the area, but the nerve of this man amazes me - *this* is that sense of entitlement I'm talking about.
This would have been unthinkable here a few years ago; in a public place, on stage, and I'm *still* not safe? The audience tried to kick the shit out of him, but my band-mates managed to push him out, hand him to security and save his ass from being whooped by all present. I heard someone even grabbed his phone and smashed it to pieces. I'd have loved to've punched his fucking lights out.
Whence this brazenness? Where are these slime-balls coming from and who in God's name gave them to believe they could get away with being such dipshits?
En bref, listen to me when I say that Ahmedabad is getting to be (and has been, for most of my life anyway) a nightmare for women.
This time, it really gives me no pleasure whatsoever to say 'I told you so'.