As I near the end of my PhD and have started looking for a job (a difficult task in this economy), almost everyone has one question: Did you consider going back to India? And hence, I have been considering it a lot these days. So I have a lot of pros and cons for both staying abroad and going back. But I am not writing this post to enumerate them.
I am terrified to go back to India. And it’s not about politics, bad governance, corruption or any other number of problems we have. I am terrified of going back to India as I don’t think I can take those street Romeos and their wandering eyes and hands any more. I distinctly remember all those times when I was harassed on road by strangers. All the times when I was reduced to tears and thought that this is the punishment for the crime of being a woman. I cursed them: “May they be born as woman in India in their next life.” That was the worst curse I could think of! I would wear the baggiest cloths and try to look my worst possible so that I wouldn’t draw attention to myself.
In past five years in US, I have become comfortable being a woman. I am not sure I can go back to being penalized for being a victim again. I don’t think I can go back to India and curse my own existence every day again. For once, I don’t need to apologize for being a woman and I love it. Call me a spoilt NRI or a traitor or whatever you want, but I am not going back. I simply can’t.