The darkened stage gives way to light up a woman’s body, which is covered in nothing except her lingerie. She has an unapologetic smile on her face. Like the one you have when you know you are doing everything right. But this was different – she stood before a stunned, silent audience, and as the stage lights up, it reveals piles of clothes surrounding her. She picks up the stoles first, and ties several of them on her torso, as she begins her monologue describing how the society thinks that it is important for a girl to dress ‘properly’ in order to save herself from sexual harassment. She tells the audience, ‘Aaj mere office mein party hai… aapko toh dikh hi raha hai ki mujhe kapdon ka kitna shaukh hai… par taiyyar hone ka matlab yeh toh nahi ki aap kuch bhi bedhanga pehenke nikal jaoge? Ladkiyon ko dhyan dena chahiye ki woh kya pehen rahi hain.” The sarcasm rings out clear in her tone. She keeps piling layers of clothes on her – shorts and T-shirts over stoles, salwar over leggings, then a dress, and finally a helmet, and asks, ‘Main kaisi lag rahi hoon?”
Lady Shri Ram College for Women presented the scintillating play by Mallika Taneja, titled “Thoda Dhyan”. It was a paradox on the society, its traditions and its culture.
It was a thought provoking play which essentially made us realise and question, “Kab tak”? With witty dialogues and intelligent screenplay, the play was a perfect satire.
Wear proper clothes. Don’t wear revealing clothes. That will help you not get raped. OH REALLY NOW? My clothes don’t give you permission to rape me. My behaviour and liberal ideologies don’t give you the right to touch me. In plays like these, do we understand how hilarious this situation is. It tells us how patriarchal this society is. Getting raped is a taboo. BUT ITS NOT. Now if a dog bites you on the road, do you lose your respect? No, you don’t. Because a man worth of less than a dime rapes. A man with courage respects. Feminism isn’t about women or men. It’s about respect and equality. The society needs to accept such norms and upbringing changes. Change is constant. And we need to adapt to it.