Guilty.

Entangled between what’s good and bad
what’s cool and sad
what’s grey and white
Entangled between grey and black
I feel I have lost it all.
My courage, my morality, my truth.
I feel disgusted of what I have become.

Sometime in 11th in a session, I questioned why boys make disrespectful and disgusting comments on girls at their back; everyone laughed at me, all — boys & girls. They laughed at me for making an issue out of jokes. The next two days of the camp were uncomfortable as I was the most uncool guy there.

That kid in me, died and got buried somewhere in the years that followed. But the ghost haunts me. I became a part of what I used to hate so much. It happened gradually. Initially black became grey, and grey engulfed white. Now, all there is layers & layers of grey. So just everything is alright.

I don’t know whom to question. The education. The culture of ‘coolness’. Or my urge to get accepted. When I was in first year, when for the first time I got acquainted to a reality that it was ‘cool’ to make lure jokes in the presence of girls too, it came like a belief getting shattered, a little shock. But, I felt relieved also. The explanation framed in my mind that if they aren’t feeling any bad in all this, maybe it is not wrong after all. Perhaps I am just too orthodox.

Now, at 24, when I get to know narrations of anti-human behaviour of boys & men, stories of a little girl or young women who felt blank when something like this hit them, I feel infuriated at their numbness. But then that ghost comes to me and ask was it so comfort-giving to let me die?

Respect doesn’t start at civilised behaviour. It starts long back in that kid. And that respect doesn’t die with some unlawful act. It dies with that kid.

Mostly from experience - of tribal Jhabua, and the struggle of learning 'selfless passionate dedication for people'.