I wonder if you,
Look over your shoulders now and then,
To confirm that you’re not being followed.
I wonder if you’ve ever had to consider what the best pepper spray in the market was.
I wonder if you’re aware at times,
Looking at objects and counting the ways they double up as weapons of self defense.
I wonder if you ever feel bothered by the fact that acid can be bought off the counter,
If you’ve ever shuddered at the idea that you’re not immune to the different kinds of violence women can be subjected to.
If you’ve preferred to wait in well lit areas on empty roads,
If you’ve maneuvered like a gymnast while walking down pavements,
Dodging elbows and shoulders alike.
If you’ve ever tried to judge by your cab driver’s display pic
If he could rape you.
If you’ve dressed conservatively to ensure it’s some other woman who is groped
If you’ve been wary of men buying you drinks,
And trying to assess the chances of you getting date raped.
If you don’t take the road less travelled,
If you are conscious of exactly how fast you should walk around that corner.
If you make yourself small in public transport,
Only because balls hurt, honey.
If you sometimes wish you could magically tug at the seams of your skirt and watch it grow,
And envelop you inside a panic room and no one can intrude into.
I know you wish someday a man acknowledges the wars youve been waging every single day.
And to that wishful thinking we hang our heads in disappointment and say,
‘Not today. ‘