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Monday, July 23, 2012

Stand Tall


Have you ever thought what a woman is capable of? Or if you are a woman, what you are capable of? I’m sure, you would have. Life gives us many such moments when we think beyond our daily existence. We shed all inhibitions and step forward to discover our new self. And most of the times, the journey we embark upon is forced by circumstances.

Many vouch that the time has changed, society has evolved and men have become more acceptable. I agreed to it; till I started commuting in public transport. Need not say, public transport in our country is overcrowded with commuters and crowded with men who won’t miss a chance to take advantage of a female. In five years of commute, I followed certain rules - where to sit, when and from where to board the bus and not mingle with any passenger. Thankfully, I had no bad experience while commuting, except for one. And my only regret is that I could have acted earlier.

There were many College girls like me who went to Chandigarh from Ambala and many boarded the bus from my stop. I distinctly remember a girl who boarded the bus with a boy and I always sighed for lack of company during my commute. But what I observed a few weeks later was exactly different from what I had comprehended earlier. This boy was troubling the girl, passing cheap comments and touching her whenever he got an opportunity. I felt bad but chose to ignore it, ‘What if he comes after me?’ I thought.

For many weeks, I saw this girl standing with her head down and trying to board the bus when there was no crowd. And on some days, I remember, she didn’t take the bus and waited for the next one; but this boy would wait with her. Sometimes, I wonder how this girl would have prepared herself to go to College every day; she would have prayed that either he didn’t come or she could manage to have a safe distance.

One Friday when I boarded the bus, I sat on the aisle seat of a three seating capacity row. Then, this girl came and sat in the middle with me. Now the boy who used to trouble her came, asked me to let him in as the window seat was empty but I didn’t move. I spoke nothing at all and didn’t move an inch. He started speaking loudly, saying the bus was not my property but NO, I didn’t budge. Finally, he started abusing me. The gentleman sitting in the back seat asked me to move as there was no vacant seat in the bus. I looked back and told him, ‘Sorry Sir, I won’t. He teases all the girls and passes dirty comments.’ I spoke loudly so that many people could hear me and remember his face.

After that, I heard some whispers and a middle aged lady scolding the guy. He went at the back of the bus and stood there for the rest of the journey. I opened my Economics book and smiled at myself. I was proud of what I did and a little sorry as I could have done something earlier. The girl sitting next to me said ‘Thank you’ with a smile. Next week when I saw her at the bus stop, she was not tensed and she definitely looked better.


There comes a time when you can’t afford to be a mere spectator. The woman in you can’t accept what is happening. You want to break the shell around you and emerge. A woman can do anything; God has bestowed her with all the powers – The Power to Create, Nurture, and Transform. She is capable of facing all the problems and emerging victorious on every occasion. At times she needs some reassurance and support. So, I appeal to all the ladies out there; Stand tall for yourself and for others. You are the Powerhouse of the World!


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78 comments:

  1. That was a very courageous thing you did, Saru. I salute you. Yes, women are the stronger sex, I am not just saying that but I truly believe they are. They can achieve anything in this world if they want to and your experience was a great example of that. This post will surely inspire many women to stand up to what is right, instead of avoiding or waiting for the problem to go away. Inspirational. :)

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  2. Mam, Hats off to you for the courageous step....

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  3. Good job Saru. Yes, we have to stand up for us. No one is going to come and do anything.

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  4. This post made me really happy. I feel privileged to read this small excerpt from the book of your life and I am so proud of what you are and what you did. It takes courage and more than that lot of heart to stand up against someone and that too for someone else. Shows the beauty of your heart and the nobility of your thought! I echo your sentiment that woman is bestowed with inner power and is capable of doing everything. She is, in my opinion, much more stronger than a man. Your post would be an inspiration to all women but I wish men could read this and understand and respect a woman better.

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  5. Good one Saru and yes, there is no shortage of louts on Indian buses. On a lighter note, your post reminded me of the first time I came to Mumbai over 30 years ago. In a crowded bus I gave my seat to a lady not much older than me. As she alighted 5/6 stops later, she said loudly enough for half the bus to hear: if you keep giving your seats to others, you will not make much progress in life (!).

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  6. The strength of a woman speaks in the power of your words ...!!Well conveyed and nicely written ...!!

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  7. Hats off to you Saru for being so brave and courageous ! We need more strong women like you in this world:)

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  8. Saru, wish more girls did that more often and not to be treated as an object of desire! Happy to know that a brave girl lives in NJ!

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  9. Wah wah saruji..Lajawab !!!

    ;)

    Vandematarm!

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  10. It takes courage to stand tall and you exactly did that Saru. Proud moment.
    I wish and hope every woman should have this courage and grit to stand tall at times.

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  11. Excellent Saru! hats off to you. What courage you have shown. Most of the times such men are cowards. It just takes a little bit of courage to show them thier place, and you did that so effectively. Kudos!

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  12. pranam....salam....hats off :),
    dats wat I wanted to point out 2 my blogger folks when dey were portraying the woes of that guwahati girl..
    girls shud never be portrayed as victims instead they must be glorified , talked abt women of courage(like this one, i mean u :D),
    women u r infinite u r divine....
    bcoz of u the whole of humanity shine....:)
    hats off Saru :)

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  13. Amen to this! Well done. I loved this motivating post!

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  14. I wish everyone had your guts. Being in Delhi, I've been in that situation many a times, whether a victim or a spectator. But it's just scary to interfere, for I've also been at the receiving end of the backlash.

    Loved the post! Hope it inspires most of us to stop being scared and act!

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  15. Hats off to you dear!.....commendable!......& yes!we women may stand up for our rights & should stand up for the other woman too as you did. Until we won't defy these idiots they would keep taking advantage of our innocence.
    Sometimes, these animals need a whip to tell them that we are there to turn their tail right ;)
    All the best :)

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  16. Wonderful! Can imagine what that dumbo's face would have looked like after you stood up for the girl. We see so many such cheapskates every day. Well said, Saru, it is time we stood up for ourselves...

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  17. Saru mam, actually there is never a incdent where we CANT afford to speak out, but we choose not to do so .. and all this choosing has brought us to where we are with context to our great nation.

    What you did was admirable and VERY Good of you... You are a better person than me for sure mam..


    I wont say Women shud stand up because I dont beleive in that theory.. I beleive that WE all should stand up, each one us, not just when somthing haapens to us but even when we see happening to others.. and not just woman but every one .. male - female is a secondary issue.. WE all should speak out ..

    Till we all get together things wont change, ALL woman can get togather and try to change OR all MEN can get together and try to change ..

    it wont happen ALL OF US - EACH ONE OF US.. Irrespective of caste creed religion color and GENDER

    Bikram's

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  18. Wow Just Wonderful.. Travelling in public transport is really a tough task. I am sure every female travelling in public transport in India have come across such kinda cheap behavior by Men. But its all in our hands how to handle such situations:)I had Goose bumps reading this post of yours.. Truly commendable :)

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  19. Wow, very very well done.... this is just what we all need to do, to stand up for ourselves and for other women in trouble. Kudos, Saru... really happy to read this post!

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  20. this a very nice and inspiring post.. i used to do this often when in bangalore.. some people neva miss a chance to tease, even if its without touching and verbal it kinda bothers you., and so i always yelled..
    but i was also too scared, cause everyone alway said try not to be oversmart and invite trouble.. this is the state of the girls and women..
    but yaa, it also does feel nice after you have yelled at such cheapoos.. :D
    your post is very inspiring, hope every girl and woman though scared can stand tall..

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  21. Nice one Saru. So true that sometimes we are only spectators towards such acts. Proud of you that you went ahead to help that girl. Not many girls are lucky as her to have people to help like you.

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  22. Public transport is pathetic for girls. Don't know how many more like this one suffer. What you did is certainly commendable! Applause!

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  23. excellent....hats off to u saru jee.....
    may god bless u.

    anu

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  24. Wonderful Saru..now a days we prefer to stay and act safe by not indulging in unnecessary trouble..but what u did is wonderful and inspiring too..keep up the good work..

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  25. This was brilliant! Kudos to you, people like you are an inspiration to stand up and speak for your own self! Well Done, Saru! Great to start my blogging reads with this motivational post... Hats off to you :)

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  26. Good for you, Saru! And I hope that other girl learnt to speak up for herself at least instead of suffering in silence. There are more than enough louts in the world and not enough good Samaritans like you, so she cannot depend upon being saved the next time it happens.

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  27. Hats off to you Saru! Brilliant..wonderful..excellent!!

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  28. Excellent...you displayed stupendous power ! Kudos to woman power...!!The future belongs to those who believe in strength...!! This was immensely motivating, Saru!:)

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  29. Wow Saru, I am proud of you for fighting back. The very reason that these elements gather courage is because we tend to keep silent and do not stand upto them. :)

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  30. Well done, Saru.

    'अभयं' / fearlessness is one of
    the divine wealth as per chapter 16
    of Shrimadbhagwad Geeta.

    You have displayed it very well.

    I hope now you would surely like
    to go through the text of Shrimadbhagwad
    Geeta.

    My best wishes to you.

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  31. Dear Saru,


    You are my kinda girl..!

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  32. wow! awesome..that's was such a brave and wonderful thing to do! am sure you'd be proud of yourself :-)

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  33. Well Said Saru....A woman is powerful , she just needs to realize that :)

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  34. beautifully written. Every word is poignant with meaning....

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  35. Great work Saru and a courageous one, Hats off. Now that is what I was talking about girls being or getting united in my blog, "Why Molestation is a Bigger Problem Than Terrorism". Just imagine if only all of them just do this, we could solve half of the problem if not fully. I feel most men, if not all approach girls/women just because they don't talk back or do anything to stop them. As you have mentioned, the girl felt good and the guy, I suppose stopped teasing her again may be because of the embarrassment. Thanks for sharing it..:)

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  36. Applause and honor to you for what you did Saru! Great!
    I agree, Women are powerful but sometimes they needs a bit of awakening. All we need is to be strong from inner-self to fight for the rights and against the wrongs.

    Loved your post! Awakening indeed!
    Best wishes to you buddy! :D

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  37. well done Saru .... Women are strong ...very strong ...we just need to realize that !

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  38. Good Job Saru !! You are right - We have to be the change. Hope this inspires many more to be brave like you.

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  39. Proud of you Saru! Every girl should stand up for herself or fend for another woman like you did. Silence by the victim and the bystanders makes the perpetrator bold and do what they want.

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  40. Does it work everywhere in all circumstances?A brave walk of yours!

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  41. You did the right thing. Hope your story inspires girls / women dealing with the same situation.

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  42. There are many women who continue to tolerate abuse because due to lack of assertiveness. I am happy to hear your account. May others learn from this incident and become more assertive.

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  43. well done...i remember an incident from my college days when the college girls stood against the college administration to allow them to wear jeans in their college dress for attending classes.Since their was no such dress code except for the first year students.They went for marches and hartal like scenario existed for a couple of days .
    at last the VC came for reconciliation and the matter was settled by allowing them the freedom to wear the attire of their desire .believe it ,this change came after a long 47 years of college history.

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  44. Hats Off to your approach !

    Loved it.... and all the best for the competition :)

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  45. Bravo!! Good on you! Way to go!!

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  46. GREAT WORK .. I have also written some thing like this.. But what i have written is totally a different aspect. come and have a look.. if can relate to it or not.. :)

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  47. That was so good ! We all women do need to stand together

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  48. You surely changed her life forever with the courage you showed. She probably learnt that day that she had nothing to hide by dealing with the guy directly & I am sure she would stand up in the future.

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  49. Nicely done! Way to give it to them!

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  50. One of those days that stay with you for a long long time...huh! How many times do we get to pat ourselves with pride!

    Cool thing you did there. Do watch out for yourself too.

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  51. As much I feel proud of your stand..i also worry where our society is heading towards ? In the first place, the indecent behaviour of an individual shocks me. With a bold step against a maniac like that would either force him to think of bigger steps or try hands on others . Rather such maniac should be reminded that he has got of Mom at his place (may be a sister as well). Would he be happily taking the crap if someone behaves equally indecent with his mother or sister ? Moreover respecting women , society ,elderly and all in all life ..comes from the right upbringing and most of these senseless people lack the basic morale preaching a parent needs to impart !

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  52. you go gal; well penned and glad you stood up for our ilk !

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  53. Ohhh man! Now that was something. You've done the right thing Saru. Words when spoken with increased tone in front of a group of unrelated people makes a lot of difference. I used to say the same thing to my sister too. Use your voice, it matters a lot :)

    Great job Saru :)

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  54. I've seen you speak and seen your pictures. You seem docile, by appearance. But if you did something that you wrote above - then respect and salute. Most of the girls do not take a step fearing the repercussions. And the strength is not in the appearance - but like you said, it's the inner strength.. and you proved it.. you are grace and strength personified :)

    Awesome write up.. :)

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  55. kudos to you lady :)Respect!
    we become so shackled by fears that we don't realize that often times it is a brave step from our side that it takes to cow the bully and make him realize that not everybody is as fearful as he had accounted.

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  56. Well done Saru, and congrats on winning the prize too!

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  57. Atta girl! What a write up..!!
    Congrats...:))

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  58. way to go Saru .. hats off to you for the bravery you showed in helping that girl ..

    hey btw, chandigarh .. the word made me nostalgic as it's my hometown ..

    congratulations for the win !

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  59. Wow...what u did was the right thing to do. :)

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  60. No wonder you won a prize for this! Very well written! Congrats :)

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  61. Hats off to you Saru. Bravo for a very brave and heroic act!

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  62. It's gestures like these which would tell others that we are not to be taken for granted. I truly appreciate your actions Saru. You put another girl out of her misery!

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  63. thats true..actually sometimes we feel that we have to climb amountain to fight or stand...but it actually takes a little courage and will power.......

    good narration

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  64. It gets easier the second time around. And well done, Saru, for speaking up. Wish this boy's parents would've taught him how to talk to women, what is offensive, off putting and off limits.

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  65. Good for you. Most of them are cowards. Courage to them is like pesticide to a cockroach.

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  66. courageous and congratulations on winning :)

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  67. i always feel we can stand up against things that bother us, whatever it maybe with a little courage, which we usually ignore. I loved the fact that you stood your ground, and taught that loser a lesson, am sure you must have inspired that girl to take a stand for herself, ad next time she does that, am sure you'd be the first person on her mind. :)

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  68. Kudos Saru!

    You did the right thing! Well-penned! And congrats for winning!

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  69. Hi Saru,

    I'm proud of you for having the courage to speak up to the boy. Your action has brought a big change in the girl's daily life. I hope the boy has learned his lesson.

    Congratulations for winning.

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  70. @Everyone - Thanks for reading and sharing your views.

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  71. What you said is true "There comes a time when you can’t afford to be a mere spectator "

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  72. LOVED it, Saru! I'm proud of you for taking that decision, for raising your voice and standing tall. Congrats on winning! A very well- deserved win, it is! :)

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  73. Hats off to you Saru :) You have done a great thing. Yes I do agree with you, we need to come out of our shell in order to overcome these kind of issues. Well written.

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  74. :) Love your articles!
    True...gals need to raise thr voice...the other gender is quiet darpok when theyy knw they r wrong..but they need to knw that we also have a voice!

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