For those who do not know what voyeurism is, let me elaborate on it for you. By definition, it is “enjoyment from seeing the pain or distress of others”. Yes, I have dealt with horrifying voyeurism myself, and the experience just boiled my blood.
When I watched ”Rare Window” for the first time, I felt fascinated. I did not realize it until it was the pandemic. I was a great researcher and stalker. What fascinated me most was how people say something and do something else in reality. Sometimes, I even adopted their good habits and tried to overcome their bad habits by imitating them. And when I realized someone was stalking me, I loved showing off how perfect my life was. This is another reason why I loved having guests at home.
Stalking in Real Life
It was always ‘my house, my rules,’ yet they all ( my closest pals and even the unwanted guests) loved my way of living and didn’t feel like leaving my home because I’ve created a comfortable space. I know how to create comfort zones. This is because I wasn’t creepy or a pervert.
If someone was exhibiting their body or sexual activities, I was least interested in watching that because I already had the Fifty Shades of Grey series or similar content. I liked character research and how people lived and decorated their homes, probably for storytelling or living in my stories.
I cannot explain why and how I picked up the habit, but I loved it without making anyone feel uncomfortable. Perhaps the sense of stalking itself was uncomfortable. But I was smart enough to conceal my presence and continued the activities anyway. Sometimes I even stalked people on social media from others’ profiles without leaving the option of the benefit of the doubt.
When I Was Stalked
It was only after I was stalked and harassed did I realize how problematic it gets for a person who is stalked. I was poorly stalked in my Mumbai apartment by a powerful guy with political connections. I was an ant, and he was the all-powerful being. Everybody else in my society feared him and tried to earn his goodwill or testimonials.
I was, as usual, against the tide, for I was a rebel as always. Hence I earned the bad blood and turned into an object of harassment by the powerful man who threatened our (mine and my journalist friends) existence.
He would send us agents to fix our pipes, ceilings, or broken window glasses on lonely afternoons. If we rejected him or said we were busy, we were always marked as those women whose attitude and rudeness threatened the women he had an affair with.
One afternoon, as I was minding my business, a woman next to my apartment came out and said I had to clean the corridor. FYI, I was wearing shorts and a tee and working from home on a project, ‘Women of India!’. I was shocked and taken aback at the attack as my phone was still connected to the CEO of the company I worked for. The lady who shared a bed on afternoons with the guy thought she could silence my voice, saying I was smoking, which negatively impacted her kids.
How dumb was that, as my dustbins may have some cigarette butts, but no one ever saw me smoking? I just minded my business-working my ass off. But they even had issues with me romancing my husband, who was just a boyfriend back then. Was it a crime to fall in love? I thought.
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Did I Get Justice?
Despite my repeated attempts to file an FIR, my family took me for granted. They thought it was unsafe for me to go to the police. ‘Why would you waste your energy like this? Is this why you came all the way?’ said my dad and I shifted to another locality to avoid the shocking stalking and harassment.
This time it was the 20th floor and heaven. Sure I was safe now. But what if I had remained in that locality? What if I had filed an FIR against the abuser?
I do not have the answer to these questions anymore. Because I do not even understand if this end was justice or not. Sadly, many women have been a victim of voyeurism. Uncountable cases go unreported or taken lightly.
What do you all think? Have you ever encountered voyeurism? How did you deal with it? Do you think you got justice?