While reading the above I was reminded of an incident back in 1985 or 1986. There was a great revolution in TV. I of course was never much of a TV watcher after declaring war on TV after watching it for 3 weeks when we bought TV back in 1970s. My average watching time per month of TV is about one hour now...
I was sceptical but Parvin was enthusiastic about it. She had taken it as her task to "groom" me. Looking back, I can see several older women who had taken me under their wing and made me less lonely in a masculine world. Back then I needed it!
So I watched with Parvin one episode of Terah Panne in the common room. May be there were better programs, but this one was on Padmini. Parvin must have wished that she had chosen some better program for me to watch. Now later in canteen, I heard some people praise this program and I was offended. I asked what was brave of someone committing suicide. It was horrible, but what was brave about it? The men were surprised to hear me say that I would prefer life and only a fear of torture would make me choose death. All sympathetic men, but this thought had never entered into their head. They agreed with me of course.
There is a great sexual asymmetry in places as these. I get to meet lots of persons of opposite gender who are my "equals". For guys, such encounters with a person of opposite gender is not a day to day affair.
Last year I had a talk with my mother about the harassments I faced in Delhi and the fights I got into with guys. I was surprised to hear from her that she knew and apparently the whole locality knew about it. That was one of the reasons why I was pointed out as a role model to their children by my neighbours.( I was vain enough to think it was because of my brains). And I was scared of telling my parents about it fearing restrictions on my movements.