Behind the veil

I saw this funny sight yesterday. I was at the traffic light near Dr. Ambedkar's statue. Riding pillion on this snazzy bike was this woman in a burqa, only the slits making her eyes visible. This is not a regular sight in Mumbai. She was holding on tightly to the guy riding the bike.

It was obvious he was her husband. They were a young couple. What surprised me was this guy. He was wearing tight crotch-flaunting jeans; he had a diamond ear stud, his hair had blonde streaks and was gelled back and he wore trendy shades. Everything about his demeanour was shouting for attention. I wanted to roll down the glass and shake him up, give him a piece of my mind.

How could he so callously want his partner to be all wrapped up and project himself so? Did he not imagine that she might like to have some freedom of movement? It has become so convenient these days in resurgent and born-againism to say that women are 'finding' themselves in such clothes. This may be true in some cases, but often it suits the men perfectly.

This time, the traffic and ennui prevented me from 'interfering'. On an earlier occasion, I had. At the time I also had a proper reason -- he was ogling at the group of us. So, I asked him why he had put his own woman behind the veil. He had the audacity to say it was for safety reasons. I told him, "Instead get all the men like you to cover their eyes. The moment you have some shame, then all women will be safe."

Some men are such cowards. They fear their own kind...