An Education!

5 05 2010

My biggest fear in life is that of being raped. The idea terrifies me… Maybe because I was attacked twice with that intention… I can honestly tell you that it is something you can’t ever forget… Never ever… I was 18 and 19 at that time and I can still remember everything in vivid detail… The colour of their eyes… the smell… the madness on their faces… The bruises fade away but the idea that something like that could have happened to you… it’s just stays forever in the back of your mind!

This might be one of the reasons why I can’t stand being touched by strangers… I need my distance… I know I can’t always have it but I am always careful not to touch strangers… Unfortunately the shared auto rickshaw doesn’t give you that option… You can actually feel someone else’s sweat staining your clothes… or maybe it’s just may mad imagination! I honestly doubt it!

I decided to be brave today and go home alone… I was tired and couldn’t focus on what I had to do… Diana, my friend from Colombia, usually works late and I decided not to wait for her. I hate shared auto rickshaws in Gurgaon but as transportation, I don’t have other choices to get home. The taxi is completely out of my budget!

So I left work around 6:20 and I took a circle rickshaw till I got to the auto rickshaw station. From the moment I put my foot on the ground I should have known that it will be trouble… I have never seen so many men coming in one place so fast… I hate it. I hate the stares and the attention. The look on their faces… So I got in front of the auto rickshaw thinking that this way less people will be able to stare at me… Of course I didn’t take in consideration the fact that the driver might not care about driving and decide to try and put his hand all over my body… I was wearing long trousers and a shirt and a sweater so not exactly enticing I would say… But again, people have totally different perspectives on what it’s beautiful and what it’s not…

The horror ride!

When I first felt someone touching me I thought it might be my imagination… But I moved a little just to be sure… That didn’t help… the bastard put his hand on my upper leg… And than I got mad… I asked him if he wants to die today… because I would have happily helped! He actually said that he has no control!!! Quote: “No control maam, no control!” Can you imagine that? When he took his hand from the wheel moving towards me again I just hit him with my elbow… And he kept staring at me… Thank God we arrived immediately at my station… You cannot imagine the words that left my mouth in the minute it took to get there… I just left and never looked back… I needed a shower and chocolate and a hug from my mum… I got the first two and a phone conversation… In moments like this, when I feel lost and alone, it gives me strength just hearing her voice!

I am thinking all the time of the consequences of absent/poor education and how this world would look like if people would have access to it… I strongly believe that what happened today was due to lack of education… No educated man would provoke pain, shame and humiliation to another human being…

I consider myself a strong person. I have been through a lot and I have seen plenty. I am easy going and optimistic and I believe that all humans are good deep down inside… I also believe that sometimes society transforms us in monsters… And that all the bad in this world is product/consequence of the way people live their life… Being so poor that you cannot learn how to read… being so poor that you become desperate… ready to steal, hurt, kill just to be able to feed yourself or your family… No human being should go through a thing like this! I remember being in Ghana and witnessing police brutality and mob brutality towards thieves… With brutality you cannot stop brutality… With pain you cannot heal pain… With hate you cannot nurture love…

So my beautiful India was not so beautiful today… I had my shower… I scrubbed my skin… I changed my clothes… and I moved on! Lingering on it, as humiliating as it was… will not change what happened!

Tomorrow is a new day!

Me? Looking for a place to stay in Phase 2, where I can take a normal rickshaw and go to work! Hextax is beautiful but I have my issues from the past and I don’t believe in provoking fate… Next time I might not be as lucky!

PS: My blog is like a confessional, like my own personal priest that listens and absorbs the hate and the pain, the joy and the laughter, the hope and the dreaming… I apologize if I shocked you with this post… I just don’t believe in putting make-up on experiences… I believe in knowing the good and the bad… no matter how bad the bad is!

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29 responses

5 05 2010
sas

I came across your site accidentally…You are one brave woman..to go through such humiliation and still talk about it…Many indian women suffer in silent. But things are changing many women stand against all this rubbish. I am glad you still call India beautiful, it shows your magnanimity..Wishing you all the best wherever you are.. and praying for your safety wherever you go.

5 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Thank you! I really appreciate it 🙂

5 05 2010
Monique

Take care of you Alexandra. India may be “incredible” as the slogan says but also in a bad meaning too. Kisses from Bucharest, a place more safe than Gurgaon until now. Good luck with your work!

5 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

I promise 🙂 About India being incredible in a bad way… bad things can happen anywhere in this world… no matter the country or the continent… People stared in the same way in Turkey in 2007 like they do in India in 2010. Friends of mine have been robbed in Brazil, Spain and Germany so… I guess it’s all about how careful and how lucky you are 🙂 I still love India even after a bad day 🙂 It’s a beautiful country and I will never be sorry that I came here 🙂

6 05 2010
Aqua

hey Alex,
all these experience even bad ones are nice in some way, because we feel alive and we feel that we have feelings, some people would say you or me are crazy, we could live in our nice countries and not to risk, not to go to Ghana or India or else where, but you know, when I see so many different people around and even if sometimes I can understand their difference I feel happy

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

My dear Aqua 🙂 I miss you and I miss your strength 🙂 I would choose India and Ghana over any other European country 🙂 I believe people should go where they can make good things 🙂 I am happy you chose Ghana 🙂 I know you can make great things there and I wish you all the luck in the world 🙂 :*

6 05 2010
Maria

I never doubt that you are a great person, but now I know for sure. Take care of you, Alexandra.

You have a blog that offer me the chance to see that wold trough your eyes.

Thank you for this!

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Multumesc! Maria… mi-e dor de voi 🙂 Sper ca toate sunt bune si frumoase in Pitesti 🙂 De la departare asa pare 🙂 Ti pup tare tare tare 🙂

6 05 2010
rashmi

Hi Alexandra,

I am feeling bad about the incident, however i really really appreciate your positive approach .. May god bless you 🙂

Rashmi

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Thanks a lot Rashmi 🙂

6 05 2010
Irina

Hello!
Buna Alexandra! nu stiu daca iti mai amintesti de mine -ma numesc Irina si ne cunoastem din Aiesec Iasi unde eu am fost o perioada scurta inainte de a pleca intr-un internship in Budapesta.
Voiam doar sa te incurajez sa crezi in continuare in bunatatea oamenilor oricat de ascunsa ar fi ea. Si eu am trecut printr-o experienta asemanatoare dar acasa in Romania – oricum nu conteaza unde se intampla – ai dreptate nu poti uita niciodata sentimentul acela de neputinta si oroare a ceea ce s-ar putea intampla. Iti doresc sa ramai la fel de onesta si increzatoare in oameni si sa te bucuri de “aventura” ta din plin 🙂
Irina
P.S. : citesc fiecare post al tau pe nerasuflate, rad si plang la toate trairile tale, poate pentru ca le expui foarte bine si poate pentru ca te inteleg perfect.

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Buna Irina 🙂

Multumesc! Cred ca sunt un om norocos ca am prieteni si familie alaturi de mine, chiar daca virtual 🙂 E un mare compliment pentru mine faptul ca imi citesti blogul. Multumesc 🙂 Si bineinteles ca imi amintesc de tine 🙂 Nu cred ca am sa uit vreodata un singur membru pe care am avut norocul si bucuria sa il cunosc in AIESEC Iasi 🙂 Ti pup

6 05 2010
Romeo

Draga!!!!

Esti super tare!!!! L-ai injurat in romana?

Now this is what I call great post!!!! these are those “emotions at high level” that make you grow and learn from. I love this post and I’m happy you posted it. People should know how hard it is in India and especially for womens.
I talked with girls about it and I can understand .

te imbratisez si abia astept sa te vad.
romeo

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Hi Romeo :),

I spoke with him in English although I am not sure he understood everything 🙂 Te imbratisez si eu cu drag si abia astept sa ne vedem :*

7 05 2010
Florin

Try these ones:
http://www.tbotech.com/telescopicbaton.htm

or this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_spray

half mouth kidding only 🙂

just for sure try the OC spray, it’s worth having it with you all the time. take care over there!

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Thanks a lot for the advice Florin 🙂 Don’t forget you said you will visit me so I am waiting for you 🙂 Hugs :*

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

PS: I don’t want to break anyone’s bones 😛

7 05 2010
Lucian

Salutari Alexandra,

Even if repeating what others say I agree that you’re a very strong woman and I admire you, not only for this episode where I think you handled the situation outstandingly well, but also for your experiences in both India and Ghana.

I’m sorry to hear about this incident, I hope it won’t repeat. Congratulations for a wonderful post, reading it made me experience everything as if I was in your shoes 🙂

Pepper spray definitely a good idea to hold on you, but not use it on the driver when he’s driving…

Hang in there, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger 😉

Ai grija de tine, numai bine!

7 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Thanks a lot Lucian 🙂 I think buying a pepper spray is the next step 🙂

Although this happened my love for India stays the same 🙂 Bad things can happen anywhere… I just need to learn a little bit of Hindi to recognize danger easier and I am sure I will be fine 🙂 Thanks a lot again for the support. It means very much to me! Hugs :*

8 05 2010
Sam

Hey,

greets from Raigarh, far far away from delhi.

well, yes, india is no incredible at all!! 2 days back, i slipped and fell down at Kolkata air port, not a piece of ass took a second to help me up and there was not a slice of first aid around! imagine, this was right in front of check in counter of kingfisher, the best air line inland!

fortunately i did not have any major injury so i stood up myself and walked up to the security check.

take care, and hey, its a good idea to get a bike of ur own 🙂

9 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Hi Sam :),

I am happy you are ok 🙂 For me, India is incredible and it will always be 🙂 I am in love with this country 🙂 Bad things can happen anywhere so I stopped blaming the place I am long time ago. It’s not Ghana’s fault that I was robbed there, it’s not India’s fault for what happened last week 🙂 I believe it’s the fault of the society that doesn’t provide education and the fault of the people that don’t educate their children inside the family!

About the bike… hopefully I will manage to ride one but I am afraid I am a complete anti talent 😛 Hopefully practice will make it better 🙂

Take care 🙂

8 05 2010
Bogdan Badea

Take care there Alexandra! 🙂

I’m very impressed by your blog and your adventures.

9 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Thanks a lot Bogdan 🙂 I am doing my best to take care of myself, while living my adventure in India 🙂 Hugs

10 05 2010
Mon

Tine o tot asa fetita curajoasa !!!!!!!!!!
Un mare pup de la Mon 🙂

10 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Ti pup Mon :*

11 05 2010
Mon

Stii care Mon sunt??? Sau…m ai uitat??? 😛

12 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

:P… Tocmai mi-am dat seama ca nu iti cunosc numele de dupa casatorie 😦 Sa-mi fie rusine 🙂 Ti pup :* Poate vorbim pe YM dupa ce imi scot minunatul virus care ma impiedica sa ma loghez :[

11 05 2010
daniel

I’m glad that you are ok now and wish you all the best. I just have a thing to add over your nicely put sentence “No educated man would provoke pain, shame and humiliation to another human being…” : I think that most of the genocides and problems facing a group of people are brought on exactly by educated people. It is not a problem of education, but a problem of world view – the peace and love era has been abolished.

12 05 2010
alexandrabirladianu

Thank you 🙂

I see education from more than one perspective 🙂 For me education is not only what you learn in books/school, but also the values that you get from family and society 🙂 Our world is not perfect but I like to believe that there are still people out there that want to make the world a better place without involving war/genocide or different types of crime!

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