No matter how much people try, the first time you see an Indian male, you think that he is checking you out, although, the case might be the opposite. Have you ever thought about the fact that there are those who are even scared to look at a girl in her eyes, lest she thinks that he is staring at her?
Here we are going to share a letter with you which belongs to one our readers. He had encountered this problem when he was on his way to the office.
After a relaxing weekend, it was Monday again. Unlike most of the people, I look forward to the Monday because for me it is like starting a whole new week and I believe that one should always start on a positive note. I usually go on my bike to the office, but since it was raining that day, I decided to take an auto-rickshaw. The rain was a welcome change from the otherwise hot and humid weather of Delhi.
I managed to get an auto-rickshaw near my home and as usual the auto-driver asked for more money than what it actually is (It was double the fare) and as usual he refused to go by the meter. As I was getting late for my office, I did not argue with much (Also I did not want to get caught in the traffic during the rains).
As soon as I reached Nehru Place, there was a girl standing and she waved at the auto, this despite the fact that she had seen me sitting inside the auto-rickshaw. She wanted to go to Jangpura, which comes right after my office. The auto driver gestured towards me asking if it was ok to accommodate her inside the auto. I nodded my head and agreed with him since I also thought that she might also be getting late for her work and it might be difficult or her to find an auto-rickshaw in the rain. Since my office was nearby, she could obviously use the same auto to go to her destination too. I asked her to sit on the right side of the auto, since I was the one who was getting down first and also the fact that the auto was covered from the right side with a sheet to keep out the rain. I thought that she might refuse, but she was okay with it and went and quietly sat on the right side of the auto. Once the auto started, that is when my brain started to play with me. I started to think that she might have taken it as an offence because I had asked her to sit inside the auto. I was so conscious of her presence that I did not even look at her, I kept looking at my feet and outside, I did not even utter a single word to her, lest she might think that I am trying to act funny with her. These days the internet is full of articles and ‘Open Letters’, where women complain that the stare they receive from men makes them uncomfortable. Even I started to feel awkward as I felt that if I look at her she might think that I am looking with the lusty eyes or in an inappropriate manner, even though I wasn’t.
As it was raining heavily, I asked the auto-diver to drop me right my office, whose entrance is in a back lane. Again I started to feel as if that she might think that something is off-hand or where the hell am I taking the auto. Giving directions in the narrow roads made me more uncomfortable and awkward. To my relief, we finally reached my destination. I gave the auto driver the money and went inside. I did not even looked back to see the girl. This incident made me wonder that are these regular reports of women feeling uncomfortable because men stare at them have affected me so much, that I have stopped looking at girls, because I am afraid that they might think I am looking at them lustfully even though I am not. For me, the case is not only confined to strangers, but it also happens at office and in the neighbourhood. I can’t see them eye-to-eye because I fear that they may think I am looking at them inappropriately. I might be exaggerating and it might be a silly thing, but with this continuous feeding of such incidents and ‘open letters’ on internet, I feel that these reports and articles have made me conscious whenever I look at a girl.
Yes, we are men and scared to look at you!
The person who has written this letter is clearly paranoid about the fact that if he looks at girls, they might think that he is looking at them with lusty eyes. In the future, this might lead into the breakdown of the society, where a healthy interaction between the two genders will be difficult.
We leave the question open to the readers; is the internet increasing the gender gap in India, as far as healthy social interaction is concerned?