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Nats and the great Indian woman

Updated on: 08 January,2023 07:32 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rahul da Cunha |

Shake rattled: body movements in moments of extreme wrath.

Nats and the great Indian woman

Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul Da CunhaGlossary of terms


Volcorneas: lava like formations within the eye; symptom of seething anger.


Shake rattled: body movements in moments of extreme wrath.


It had been a relatively peaceful and quiet new year’s, Nats my sometimes beatific, mostly ballistic Gen Z neighbour had been AWOL for awhile—I was quite grateful for the calm; but little did I know in the fraction of a second, my tranquillity was to turn into tsunami-hood.  There was a banging on my door—Natasha stood at my doorstep, a rucksack on her back, before I could ask, where she was headed, I noticed her eyes were “volcorneas”.

“Dude… explain to me how this drunken MOFO walks over to this 70-year-old woman in a business class Air India flight, and pees on her, just calmly urinates on her and no one responds. Forget her ordeal, the airline ignores her, the guy’s father denying stuff, looking to blame the woman. How does it go down in 2023 India, bruh? Tell me!” 

Nats’ body shake rattled for a bit.

“And the airline bans this man for just 30 days. Are you kidding me? Not only should every carrier just ban him, he should be in jail for indecent exposure, and the key thrown away. This is Monty Python-like madness with no satire! Only public outrage seems to bring anything to the forefront, especially concerning us!”

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“So what are you really pissed off about, Natasha?” I asked.

“Dude, do I have to cross the ‘t’s’ and dot the ‘i’s’ with you?”

“Forgive me. I’m unclear what your larger point is. Your ire occasionally gets the better of your intellect.”

Nats looked at me daggers drawn.

“I’m pissed, dude pissed, at a nation that preaches ‘Nari Shakti’ but actually believes  ‘Shut down the nari’! A young woman goes out for a joy ride, on her new scooter, a car slams into her, she gets her clothes caught in the axle. She’s dragged for 12 km, this was meant to be a patrolled area, safe for women. Bruh… my issue isn’t only about the goriness of incident. It’s the callous aftermath—the misogynist, chauvinistic, patriarchal attitude, that forms the epilogue… the inevitable questions that arise ‘was she drunk?’, ‘why was she out late?’ The desperate desire to seize on any lacunae on the part of the woman, any loophole that suggests she was inebriated, looking  to suggest she was indulging in ‘unladylike’ behaviour that led to her being injured or dead… ‘what did she expect?’, ‘she brought it on herself’. The uncouth uncle brigade quick to deflect, defend, deride.”

“Volcorneas” once again formed in Nats’ eyes.

“Even ten years after Nirbhaya the ‘why was she out at night in that part of Delhi?’, ‘why did she get into that bus’, is asked… as if she was tempting her own fate.

The ecosystem rushes to shut the box on us…it is terrified that we’ll break the shackles of subservience, dare we show insubordination, dare we try and have fun. I reject you, you throw acid on my face, brutality, bestiality lies at your very core Rahul bruh…”

The rant had no hope of abating.

“Dude my heart bleeds for Shraddha Walkar. God rest her soul, but to keep returning to that Dexter-like monster, repeatedly, then to move in with him, as a flat mate, are you kidding me? What is it with us? This young actress, hangs herself in  the film set toilet, that these two women met their end at the hands of a vicious unrelenting system that finds no fault with its men!”

Nats paused.

“I’m going to see you in a bit, I’m going on a long Bharat Jodo of my own, to try and speak to as many women of India as I can… Bruh, I’m done being an arm chair critic, I want to understand, if this is indeed  a ‘No country for women’.”   

“We’re not bra burning, feminists… we’re Indian women desperate to be heard in a wave of deaf manhood.

Man, the subtext is lie prostrate, the subterranean command is be servile, the subconscious diktat is do as you’re told and never stray!”

“Demean demean demean the damsel in distress, Rahul bruh! Attack, deny any wrong doing…blame us, berate us, badger us. Just never ever  f&@#ing apologise. Never, I’ve had it!”

And with that, Nats was gone.

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahul.dacunha@mid-day.com

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