1.the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.“the crude satire seems to be directed at the fashionable protest singers of the time”synonyms : mockery, ridicule, derision, scorn, caricature
I moved to Bangalore from a small North Indian almost-town about 6 years ago and having travelled in all the public means of transport in Bangalore since then, for everyday chores as well as for work, I feel it is now important to point out to fellow north Indian women the huge problems they will encounter on moving to the great, tech city of our country for working/ studying.
First off, ladies get ready to be ignored. It is indeed a terrible feeling. You dress up, looking pretty, step out of your home and are greeted by a deafening silence. Where are the catcalls and shrill whistles to elevate your pulse-rate and heighten the color of your cheeks owing to the wild beating of your heart when you step out in your finery in a crowded market? Here, 95% of the time men will politely sidestep, to make way for you. Groups of boys will walk past without even a first look, forget second glances, engrossed in talking about some new gadget or movie. It’s an entirely new feeling and it takes some time to get used to it. So forget about packing all your trendy clothes and just go with a pair of comfortable shorts, some flip-flops and maybe dad’s old comfortable tee-shirts. Oh alright, you can pack all your funky clothes too, just for your own pleasure and feel like a model in your mind. Although what’s the point of torturing yourself with excruciating high heels and other such instruments of torture when nobody will ever appreciate them?
Second, the sense of adventure that a north – Indian woman feels when she steps out of the safety of her home and locality is completely missing in Bangalore. Most north Indian girls are undercover ninja warriors by the time they are 18 years old. Their training starts early, at about 13, when they start travelling in public transport for the first time, usually going to school or out with friends for a movie and so on. These women are the ones, who have such well-honed skills of blending in, evasion tactics,and diversionary tricks that at times you won’t even know they are right standing next to you. They know never to let their guard down, since even though days may go by without anything worth-mentioning happening, just when you become complacent, the enemy scoops in with a well-placed tap to your bottom. In order to dodge out of the way of the opportunistic butt slaps and the sly pinches coming one’s way in the crowded local public transport, these girls and women develop almost magical powers of squeezing through the tiniest spaces in order to escape these sticky fingers. A woman walking down a street is always aware and alert of the potential hot spots around her; the guy leaning against a wall, the two men walking towards her, the adolescent schoolboys on their way home and so on and so forth. Its a wonderful life and a wonder that the Secret Service haven’t tapped into this pool of undiscovered raw talent. One never knows what the new day will fling in one’s face; its like living in one’s very own ‘Lara-Croft’ movie every single day. In Bangalore, you must immediately burn your hooded cape/ black ninja pajamas, since adventure is as far from anyone’s day, as can be. You will just have to go out on a boring and safe journey to work/ college/ school day after day without much hope of any thing to distract you from the tedium of the daily grind.
The only ray of light are the dear auto-wallahs and bus conductors who uphold the national code of being rude and being as unhelpful as possible, especially to single women; though even here, a surprising number seem to be of the calm and honest type who charge you only your actual fare, thus robbing you of the opportunity to sharpen the strongest weapon in the woman’s arsenal – your tongue. Plus, there are women bus-conductors in Bangalore, which in itself is enough to boggle your mind by what it suggests about a woman’s place in this society.
So ladies, before you move to to Bangalore to work, study or play, remember to leave behind all the small, everyday street adventures that you take for granted up north. Get ready to walk out of your home without being hassled or heckled and get ready to be able to shop alone till eight o’clock at night without any need of safety-in-numbers.
If after reading this, you still choose a life of tedium, then I have nothing more to say to you, young ladies!
Disclaimer : This post in no way makes light of or condones the terrible crimes against women occurring anywhere in the country; nor does it mean every north-Indian man is out to ‘get you’ ; it is an observation on the culture where teasing a girl is a show of macho-ism, sometimes harmless and sometimes extremely terrorizing; it is also a compliment on the everyday life in Bangalore for women who come to this city from a relatively different work culture, for the purpose of working or studying or simply living a life.