The Indian girls dressed in sari. Look at them. They look so beautiful. And their whole body is covered which is why we do not get any bad thoughts when we see them.
And what happens when you see a girl in shorts?
Her whole skin is visible. Her legs. Then I am forced to look at her and all sorts of thoughts cross my mind. Bad thoughts.
This is how a conversation proceeded between me and a localite on my recent visit in Hampi, Karnataka.
We stood on the side of the road freshly sprinkled with water. Boys and girls of various physique passed by, local and foreign.
The person I spoke to was the owner or a manager of one of the many hippie restaurants lined at the side of the road like pearl shells beneath an unsuspecting sea.
But don’t you think that we men should also hold control of ourselves slightly more?
We cannot do it, he said. We get bad thoughts immediately. Why would we push bad thoughts aside? Thoughts also come from God. Why do they exist otherwise?
We have lost hold of our ancestors and their beautiful ways. Today our girls only care about tempting and showing their skin. How can we not read about sex crimes in newspapers every single day?
I am not sure what did he mean by bad thoughts – The thoughts of being attracted to a girl with bare skin or the thoughts of potentially forcing himself on her.
Running further conversation with this guy won’t make much chance, I thought. Surprisingly he looked incredibly calm while talking on all this.
He wasn’t emotional. His demeanor did not betray and hidden angst, no emotion of any sort.
In such moments I tend to look at person’s hand in search of personality cues. I teach myself palmistry nowadays, in case you wondered.
His thumb was thin at the base and expanding consistently till the top. The Killer’s Thumb.
People who has such shape of their thumb are known to be very patient by nature over a long period of time until one day a random event a seemingly unrelated occurrence cracks them apart and sets them lose.
I don’ want to be around when this guy cracks and I hope no girl with bare legs will be around as well.
The scenario reminds me of something I read recently:
In this context, a significant percentage of heterosexual men, still clinging to patriarchal notions of gendered and sexual roles, are the wallflowers at the Big Indian Sex Party—anxious and paralysed, misogynist and toxic, self-hating or self-doubting. In different ways, they are struggling to cope with these changes and remain an unaddressed population who need to redefine a more joyful, perhaps more fluid, masculinity for these times.
If someone is able to attribute his bad thoughts and inclination to a higher force, to some sort of god with such ease and rationalize his opinion so fast, we have all the reasons to be concerned.
This is not the normal potential rapist’s reasoning. This could be something else. Something much worse. And he is definitely not alone.
May the spirit of the rice fields that surrounded this little heaven protect us all.