When I was in class 12th, I was staying in a place which even though existed in a presumably open-minded society but followed a school of thought of a remote village in India. Girls were treated very differently than the boys. The state was so bad that when I would walk on a dimly lit street at around 9 pm at night, I could feel my body being scanned and sometimes, I would hear unpleasant things being said about my body. 

A girl wearing shorts or anything remotely revealing was a big deal then. I still remember this one day when I had just left my house, walking towards the stadium, when one of the guys from a big group, screamed ‘chaddi pehenkar aa gayi fir se’. Laughter followed. I heard them, felt really ashamed, but I kept walking ahead, trying to forget what had just happened. 7 years later, I still remember everything vividly.

Unfortunately, what happened with me years ago, happens with me even today, regularly. And what is even more unfortunate is that it rings true for a lot of us women. We grow up questioning our very bodies, our choices in life. We wonder what is that we have done that we should be ashamed of? 

What is shame? And why does our shame usually lie in a woman’s vagina and body? Today, we decided to decode this Indian concept of sharam.

“Kaise article padhti ho… sharam nahi aati?”

Design Credits: Aroop Mishra