It is unfair to expect that everyone in the world behaves the same way. It is also unfair to expect human beings not to make mistakes. But there is nothing that can actually beat the hypocrisy and the lack of basic common sense that millions of people seem to be afflicted with. While you calmly sit back and look at it from the outside, it is when these qualities touch you that you wonder: Why is the world filled with such arrogant rudeness?
This isn’t a random question that popped up out of nowhere one day. The question has been simmering at the back of my mind for a long time now, accentuated with incidents that somehow strengthen the feeling with which I ask such questions. There was one incident not too long ago that sort of angered me. But first, it shocked me and numbed me. I wondered why people are so arrogant as to feel the need to go to any such lengths to put an unsuspecting innocent bystander down.
The incident happened over 3 years ago, when I was sitting in office and talking to colleagues. I looked at the screen and on seeing that it was an unknown number, answered the call, because who knew if it was from some delivery guy asking for the address? So I answer the call and this woman starts talking without preamble.
“Ma’am, my name is Sunita and I am calling from the blood donation camp…”
That does not sound right. How did the blood donation folks get my number? Because I would never in my life donate blood. And that is not because I don’t want to.
I ask her the same. “How did you get my number?”
She gets all offended for some reason, as if I was the one calling her and irritating her. “Madam, aapka number hamare records mein hai, toh call kiya.” (Madam, your number is there in our records, so we called you.)
I interject, because there’s no way my number could get into their records. “Wahi toh pooch rahi hoon ki mera number aapke records mein kyu aaya? Maine toh nahi diya kabhi bhi!” (That’s what I am asking: how did my number get in your records. I have never given my number to you.)
She is coming up with all sorts of idiotic explanations by now. “Aapke koi friend ne diya hoga jab wo blood donate karne aaye the.” (One of your friends might have given your number when they donated blood.)
“Mere friends mujhse pooche bina number kyu denge?” I ask, exasperated. (Why will my friends give my number without asking me?)
At this point she literally verbally explodes. “Hamein kya pata! Ab aapko call kar diya toh kya paap kar diya kya? Abhi agar kisi ladke ka call aa jaye toh chatak kar ke phone uthake baat karengi. Aap jaisi ladkiyan toh hoti hi aisi ho. Kuch toh sharam karo!” (How would we know? Did we commit a sin by calling you? Now if a guy would call you, you would answer the phone in a jiffy and talk to them. Girls like you are always like this. Have some shame!”)
I was so incensed by this time that I told her that she was the one without any shame and cut the call while she was talking. I was fuming for days afterwards. I noted her number down and tried to file a complaint against her on TRAI’s website but it almost always redirects one to the Do Not Disturb page. But when I tried looking for her number on Truecaller, it showed that 162 people have marked it as spam. As I checked again, more people have got on the bandwagon. 237 people as of 6 PM on March 13, 2017.
And now, 3 years later, the information isn’t available anymore. It has been “moderated”.
Women like these are the reason why women who want to progress are pulled back. A result of patriarchal conditioning, they wreak havoc on what could be a progressive world. I just hope that she learns that demeaning other women does not make her a goddess. In fact, it makes her one of those people who bring society down and make it stay at the bottom of the ocean. Like a negatively wired anchor.
This needs to be curbed, but then, how do we sift it from our society? How do we banish people with thoughts like these to the extremities of the world so that they don’t dump filth on whatever progression we are making? It’s a crossroad that we are confronted with, but like in reality, we need to choose a path so that we move forward and progress!