Growing up as a girl in Pakistan has never been easy, and that coupled with the ability to drive somehow makes you an even bigger target of those unwarranted snickers and male attention. What happened to me over the weekend has left me with little faith in our male counterparts. Now I won’t go as far as saying that ALL men do this, they don’t. But considering this has happened to me more than once, is proof that we are NOT raising our sons right.
So, I was driving to Al Fatah, to fetch a bunch of groceries that my mother had asked me to get. And mind you, I had NO makeup on and I was wearing a dupatta that covered me completely. So, what happened next can in no way be blamed on my choice of clothing (how sad that we live in a world where I first have to explain what my choice of clothing was before telling people that I got harassed – how sad that the two even have a connection!).
Anyway, so on the road, this white Land Cruiser, comes to a stop. And I wait 10/15 seconds before I honk at them to get them moving (after all, the entire world does not have time to waste while they cruise in the Cruiser of their daddy’s money *hint: ALL LAHORI BOYS*. And right after I honked, the moved the car to the left, giving me ample space on the right to move ahead. And so I did. I went ahead and parked my car, only to find out that the *launday* in the Cruiser weren’t pleased that a girl honked at them. So what if they decided to stop their car in the middle of the road. So what if the cars behind them had places to be. So what!
And then while I got off to go to get my groceries, they crawled to a stop and parked their car behind mine. Freaked out, with my legs trembling, I ran inside Al Fatah and did the needful. Only when I came back, I saw them waiting outside my car. I decided to stay indoors. “They can’t do anything to me with this many people around me” I thought to myself. So I decided to shop around for another 30 mins. Once I came outside, I discovered that the boys had left. Relieved, I made my way to my car. Only to realise that they were waiting for me around the corner of the road. Oblivious to my surroundings, I started driving to my house. Only when I looked back in the rear view mirror, I saw that the same white Land Cruiser was following me. I turn left, they turn left. I speed up my car, they follow suit. I crawl to a stop, they do the same.
I decided to call the help at my house in advance so that he would keep the guard ready and the gate of the house open so that I could directly park inside. And that’s what I did. I drove home and without stopping, directly took my car inside and the guard immediately shut the door. The boys in the Cruiser stood outside and took pictures of the house. WHY? Because I had made the mistake of honking at the Royals!
Do I feel safe leaving the house now? NO. Do I feel like their reaction was justified? NO. Do I think that this happens to a lot of women? YES. Do I think this is a common problem that women have to endure? YES! Who is to blame – Me, What I was wearing, or simply the upbringing of these boys? You be the judge!