Be Careful

UntitledBy Bodhisatwa Dasgupta

Dear sons of the world, soon to be men. 

Be careful. Be careful when you fall in love, because the world is changing. Tread carefully, think twice before you kiss. And five times before you make passionate love to her. Dear sons of the world, be wary of women. Be wary of a certain kind of woman, the sneaking, the shrewd, the conniving kind. The kind that loves you, moves into your house, goes to bed with you, and then slaps an FIR on you saying you raped her.

Be cautious sons, because the law is on their side. And even though the sex was consensual, and even though there was no talk of marriage, and even though no roles in Bollywood movies were promised, in the eyes of the law, you are to blame.

“He led me on.

He promised to marry me.

He said he’d give me a break.

He dragged me into the lift.

He forcibly kissed me.

He raped me for 5 years.”

Dear sons, stay guarded. Even in love, stay guarded. Stay watchful. We’re living in strange times now, with cases of molestation and rape are being slapped on to one and all. And by the time you grow up, it’ll be worse still.

Be careful because once you’re trapped, there’s no getting out. Nobody cares if you’re telling the truth, truth isn’t juicy. Nobody cares if she agreed to it or not. Of course she didn’t – she’s a woman! Nobody cares what your friends, parents and relatives have to say about you. If the woman says you violated her, you did. And that’s that.

They’ll pounce on you, son, like an army of vultures. They’ll chew you and peck at your remains. And once they’re done, they’ll toss you aside, and you’ll be a discarded and forgotten story.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. Laws were not passed so women could take advantage of them. They were passed to safeguard women from the evil that lurks in our society of men. They were passed so it becomes easier to convict those at actual fault.

There were not passed to aid women using them as blackmail ammunition.

Dear sons of the world, soon to be men. Watch your step, careful where you go. Careful who you choose to hold hands with, careful who you choose to make a house with. Careful before you say those three magical words.

Because while I hope and pray that you meet the right woman, and the two of you two live a long and beautiful life together, I also know there’s another kind of woman hiding in the shadows, waiting to pounce on your innocence.

Dear sons of the world, soon to be men. I hope you never meet her.

And if by some ill fate you do, I hope you’re careful.

PS: Be Careful: It is always the same: “I have loads of responsibilities. My father has clotting in his brain. My brother is insane. My husband just ditched me, and I am a lifelong patient.” I just detached from a wonderful woman who was telling others that I was pursuing her. I think I should have just published the emails and conversations in which she was leading me on. Hmmm.

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