Women’s Safety – The Daily Struggles

caution

I have spent almost half of my life living on my own, away from home. During college years, in a hostel and during work life in 4 different countries. Safety was always an important concern all along. As a woman, I did face my share of troubles and problems. I dealt with them either by learning to live with them or addressing them head on. In hindsight, I wish I had been more bold and dealt with more problems head on. Here is one unique challenge I am facing at the moment and want to know how you would deal with it.

The back door of our house faces a public road. We leave it open sometimes for cross ventilation. There is a compound wall 4 feet high between the road and our house. From the outside, anyone on the road can see our kitchen. About hundred people pass by everyday but nobody bothers looking.

One evening, I had tea with my mother and realized that someone was peeping into our kitchen. Initially, I ignored but after a while I realized that this person was still there looking inside for about five minutes. This person is a man who walks his dog and passes by our house multiple times a day. This peeping activity continued for a few days and began irritating me.

One morning, I was furious when I saw this person loitering around home and peeping inside. I began recording his activity on phone.

He looked at me and commented, “Kitna Gussa”

So I spoke directly to him and asked, “What are you seeing inside our house?”

“No, no madam. I am not that kind of a person. Everyone knows me here”, he said and continued with “I live very close by. I am just walking my dog.”

I said, “I know, I have seen you walk your dog for the past two years now. But I saw you standing in front of our door and peeping into our house”

“No madam, I am not that type. I help out in the neighborhood. I have been living here since many years”

I simply said “Okay” and didn’t extend our conversation. For the next few days, this person stopped loitering around home.

But a few more days later, everything was back to square one. It was obvious that this person on the pretext of walking his dog, spent time peeping inside other’s homes.

Mom and I do feel bothered, but she chooses to ignore such things. Her philosophy is that there are many dogs barking on the street, don’t we ignore them. So I did learn to ignore too for a few months. But when one walks the dog five times a day and loudly screams “chee-chee” on purpose, it becomes a little difficult to ignore.

Today evening, I heard him and saw him again peeping inside our house for a few minutes. I lost my temper. I went to collect the dried clothes from outside and spoke out loud enough for him to hear, “How indecent can a person be. In the pretext of walking ones dog, one just wants to trouble others”

My mother asked me not to waste my energy on such people. “Don’t argue with such uncivilized people. You are just wasting your energy. Such uneducated people think they are perfect and will never understand what you are saying. Don’t give them any importance. He will say that it is a public road and he is not doing anything wrong”

I realize where my mother is coming from and transforming some stranger is not my intention. But when someone keeps peeping into our house everyday, it feels annoying and unsafe. I have often wondered how he would feel if I passed by his house 5 times a day and kept peeping inside his house.

How would you have dealt with such daily annoyance? Let me know.