I thought I should follow-up on Tadashi’s blog, On Leaving Rajasthan. Tadashi and I both wanted to share why we left Rajasthan, but we were not sure how much of the story to tell. While we had heard reports of “some women” in Rajasthan being given a hard time, neither of us were prepared for the gravity of the problem. We decided it was important to share just how bad the situation is there for women.
While Tadashi’s blog may be difficult to read, it was also difficult to write. In a large way, his blog was therapeutic for us both, as it helped us to reflect on and process what happened. Although I am lucky that I was not physically molested (unlike some people I have met), I still feel violated by the men in India – especially from the bus ride. This trip has certainly changed my view of India, and Indian men. Tadashi says that the experience was eye opening and changed him as well.
Our original plan involved going to Ladakh in the beginning of May, but at this point I am loathe to return to India. I doubt I will ever return to Rajasthan, although I may be return to other areas sometime in the future. Only time will tell.
UPDATE NOTE TO PEOPLE TRAVELING IN INDIA: I have since learned that when a woman is being harassed by an Indian man, the proper response is to repeatedly hit the man on the head with her shoe. The shoe, as most of us now know, is the most disrespectful thing you wear. So, hitting a man in the head quickly gets the attention of those around you, and often, they will come to your defense. Another reason to wear sandals!