Dianne Sharma Winter. Manali. India
This happened in Manali during Lhori day.
I am having hot flushaes and take a walk in the park to cool down......
Then I see him.
Lurking in the tress, pants down around his ankles.
The (Swearword deleted)
Looking around for a rock to smash him in the face with or a stick to run at him with (I mean the fool couldn't have run at all like that right? He would have tripped on his pants (his hands were fully occupied) and then when he tripped I could have kicked the living (swearword deleted) out of him and felt much, much better. HOT FLUSH DISAPPEARS AND I BECOME AS COLD AS MURDER. AND CALM.
But there is no murder weapon at hand, no rock and no stick. If I run at him unarmed he is just as likely to squirt all over my pretty going to visit suit and then I will have to kill him with my bare hands.
But I have just spent an hour or two on line and my hands are killing me. We don't want to beat someone up today they are telling me, remember the man in your bed in Rishikesh and how your hands hurt for days after that.
So what to do? I can continue down the path and still be some way away from him as you can see. I can put my sunglasses on and head down and totally NOT SEE him.
But as I close in on him, he starts calling to me using (ridiculously) the local form of respect. I could still ignore him; god knows I can sweep past the most pitiful beggars shivering in the gutters without a sideways glance. But using the formal term of respect to me while he is being such a )swearword deleted) annoys the hell out of me for some reason and my thoughts return to thinking about what weapon I have at hand.
This is the first year I have travelled alone without a weapon and it's only because I am in Himachal where the men are much better behaved and the grandmother goddess Hidemba rules.
Then I remember my sisters on the Blank Noise Campaign, an anti Eve Teasing feminist response to these fcking men and that their first campaign was taking photos of these bastards. So I whip my camera out, keep walking and act as if some dumb tourist gazing at the lofty deodar trees in wonder, then I turn around when I am at the angle you see and take the shot.
Take that you bastard!
But I think the flash just incited the flasher to flash even harder and faster!
Kya ka rega Baba? I stood there and swore at him in Hindi and said I was taking the photo to the police you bhainchord sala Then I realised that standing there abusing him was working for him better than it was working for me.
Then I had a sudden view of my day as seen by the God of Mischief who watches over me from high above the towering trees but kept walking until I got far enough away to sit down on a moss covered rock and laughed and laughed and laughed.