Last night I achieved something impossible. I was working on my computer, editing an article while being on the Facebook page. My chat window popped open and I was invited for a chat by a woman of my country, India. Suddenly out of confusion as to what to do, whether I should continue with my editing of the article or should I participate in the chat, I pressed a wrong key that took my article out of sight and her page came up on my screen. I panicked, lest my labor for the last hour or so get wiped out as I had not saved them. So immediately I brought my page back and saw to my relief that my labors at editing have not been washed away. I admit I am almost a computer illiterate. Now I was sure, I knew what I should do first. As if this little drama was enacted for me to make my priorities clear for me. I minimized the popped open chat window to a corner of the screen and went on doing the job of editing my article. I thought If she stayed on the chat at the other end till I finished editing, then it would be fine to have a chat with her, but if she left while I was not through with the job, then, well, it would be fine for me too. After about twenty minutes I was finished and finding her still in wait I took up to chatting. To her “Hi” of twenty minutes ago I replied with a “Hi” of mine. I thought she might have forgotten me by then and she might not notice my reply. Any way I was prepared for anything. A few seconds later she replied, “ After so long ?” With a smiley sign at the end of the sentence, which I cannot reproduce here though at least four friends have instructed, at various times, how to create these various kinds of interesting signs for all occasions. I have already admitted that I am an incorrigible computer illiterate. Lol. Now it was my time to explain or beg excuses.
I replied,” I was held up in editing one of my articles. So I couldn’t immediately respond.So please forgive me.”
She wrote,” I know from the article you wrote yesterday that you don’t like chatting, so I am also having some uneasy feelings to make you do something you don’t like.”
I replied,”It is not that I don’t like to chat ever or I am against chatting. But you saw how I kept you waiting till my job was finished. I too was feeling guilty all the while as I was conscious that you were in wait. If I had left my job at hand and chatted with you, I would have lost the ideas that I wanted to write. So very few people would understand my dilemma…”
She replied,” I do.”
I wrote,”Thank you. That is nice.”
Then she came to the topic straightaway. She wrote,” Your article “Sex and The pity’’ was great. Every woman would internally agree with what you wrote there, would agree 100 per cent with the woman who dared to open her intimate experiences with you. I say that is the inmost feelings of everywoman though very few would come forward to speak it in public.”
I replied,” Why don’t you write as much as a comment under the article itself so that many others would see and be benefited by your insights? Seeing you come forward some more may get emboldened and follow you. ”
She wrote,” Because that would mean I am publicly declaring that that is what I believe in, I don’t have that much courage to own up such things in public.”
I replied,” When you feel it to be true inside you, then why fear to express it? Why be part of a hypocritical system, feeling deeply for something and expressing quite the opposite in public or just remaining silent. Why not be a voice of truth, instead, like the woman who dared to bare it all in my article?”
She wrote,” Because, as I said, I don’t have the courage. I have to live in a society which I agree hypocritical to the extreme. There will be much shame heaped on her who dares to speak the truth. I don’t have that much courage to endure criticisms.”
I wrote,”Maybe within the next twenty or thirty years at the most, both you and I would have turned into two small mounds of earth. When death is so certain and so near, what is the use of all this fear for criticism or condemnation?”
She wrote,”After death surely no harm can come in my way. But at the moment much can, when I am living. I want to leave in peace also”.
I replied,”O.k. As you wish”.
Suddenly she asked me a question out of nowhere, as it were,” What makes you happy?”
I replied,”Writing what deeply moves me as truth or what I deeply feel as truth inside.”
She then praised me for my courage to write what I deeply felt as truth, in some superlative terms which I would for the sake of modesty would not like to mention here. Then we ended the chat and said good night to each other.

But one thing I became certain of, due to this chat. That Indian women too, deep in themselves, do feel the urge to express their sexuality. There is a groundswell building imperceptibly which the hypocritical society at large one day will find hard to contain. The voices that now get suppressed or repressed for fearing reprisal and punishment would one day unite and cast off this final chain to their inviolable self to the Bay of Bengal and unite with their liberated and free sisters abroad in full expressions of their sexuality. The hypocritical attitude that talks of India as the land Of Vatsyayan’s Kamasutra and the graphic portrayal of copulating couples on the body of Khajuraho and Konark temples and parades them as its symbols of sensuality, liberality and tolerance while at the same time keeps the womens’ sexuality shackled and subjugated through draconian measures and practices will one day be forced to kiss the dust. Thereafter no Taslima Nasreen will be hounded from country to country for shelter and no fatwa for her head will be tolerated. No books will be burned or banned for expressing human sexuality. No lovers will be killed in the name of honor killings. Nor no man or woman will be allowed to be stoned to death or whipped in public places, as in some other neighboring countries, for loving each other, after giving them a bad name of committing adultery. Adultery, the name itself, will be considered as a relic of our barbarous past and hence will be thrown into oblivion like many such words have already been. No widow will be under tremendous social pressure to conform to the expectation that she should lead an asexual life.

My effort in that direction is just a beginning. Many abler writers and shapers of public opinions will surely be coming after. Some brave women too will emerge and lead their voiceless sisters like the one that talked to me. It will be a new dawn for a new era. Since when have we lived so far, without fear?

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