It’s a good day to remember that good always triumphs over evil in restoring balance. The #metoo uproar in India has had startling effects, and what a rollercoaster ride this past two weeks have been. I’ve watched from the sidelines, agog, as stories poured out ranging from excruciating to downright vile and sordid, while predators retaliated with blame and further harassment, while the powers that be stayed complicit in their silence, as heads rolled and so many men in the public eye that I looked up to have been outed like vermin, and as none of that made a blemish on the uprising of women’s voices that seem to be unending, coming continuously, from some deep, primal place that feels like it isn’t from the hear and now. These is the rage of generations of silence and we’ve only just scratched the surface. Eventually, heads have rolled. And it’s no coincidence that today a day about the divine feminine finding her footing in her angry, loud, blood hot avatar, digging deep within for the courage to face up to evil — evil that is sometimes louder, bigger and more powerful — and triumph.
The streets of Bangalore are more or less empty today as most people have either stepped out for the long weekend, or are staying in to celebrate in quietude. It’s no good to have a picture of a larger than life dude, the very epitome of Indian archetype of masculinity, the protective man, on a day like today. But the temples have been bustling and driving out today I watched a lot of the festivities and try as I did to catch a picture of Devi herself, this is what stood out for me.
Maybe this moment in time will set off a change, bring out a softening in this stereotype. Smoothen the edges of toxic masculinity that we have believed to be the predominant cultural trend thus far. May there be gentler men, kinder, sensitive, humane men. May there be safer workspaces that uplift women, give us an equal voice and hold men up to higher standards of behaviour and accountability. And every time that there is a transgression, may there be justice.
May women be able to enjoy a world where all this and more is real and possible. So we need just enough protection, and not a touch more, minus the paranoia of jeopardising our careers, futures and lives itself.
I dream of an India where this is possible. And after years of feeling hopeless, this week even through the waves of relived trauma, I felt a glimmer of hope again. I know I say this for thousands of women out there putting so much on the line to seek justice not just for themselves but for countless other women, within me I feel like a time has come. This moment, this movement, will make a mark in history and be an inflection point in the way the narrative unfolds from here on.
Like I said before, what a time to be alive.