The Whiplash

Rina Tamaki Cospre
Rina Tamaki Cospre (Photo credit: toel-uru)


As Rina adjusted her satchel and climbed into the bus she whistled in her mind a tune she always loved…from one of the old classic movies…She settled in the seat of the bus heading for Trivandrum. Rina all of 18 yrs of bundled energy was travelling with her mother and paternal uncle to Kanyakumari….


She got her window seat which she was fond of and Rina looked out into the beautiful greenery that Kerala had to offer to the voyeur’s eyes…It was a feast for the eyes no doubt…The whiff of fresh air, the fragrant smell of sandalwood paste so uniquely a part of every Keralite and the very familiar occassional smell of banana chips being fried all added to Rina’s album of memories….


Engulfed thus in a wave of TLC from Mother Nature Rina drifted off to sleep….and dreamt that she was amongst the dolphins in the ocean jumping with them, she was flying with the eagles in the air, and she was perched on the treetops with the local birds….and that a bird was pawing her elbow…It slowly edged towards her arm and then Rina suddenly felt the bird reaching her bosom…”ouch” Rina felt in her dreams…and tried to shake the bird’s paw away…The bird stubbornly continued doing what it had set to do…and Rina in utter irritation almost chopped the birds’ paw off and in utter frustration held the paw and did not release it….The paw, the bird, the ire….suddenly Rina was brought back from her sleep and whoa….what did she find…she was holding on to someone’s hand…Rina suddenly realised it was no birds’ paw pawing her…It was a guy from the seat behind trying to play smart….


Rina recoiled from the initial shock and then realised that all the while this fellow behind had been trying to be a little extra smart and had tried to needle her. …She got up and ” WHACK….!” One smarting slap swished across the man’s face ….and Rina expressed her ire in full public and asked him to behave himself….The man eventually got down from the bus…

Such was Rina’s ire towards female harassment….That was 25 years back…MUch later, Rina got married and settled down to an Indian domestic life….After a lot of mental, emotional,physical and psychological upheavals….Rina came through after 20 years of marriage as a successful Indian mother of a teenaged daughter and son,a dedicated Indian daughter in law, a committed wife and a reliable friend….apart from being a good sister, daughter etc…At  this stage of life she had the capacity to manage home and the outside world. So Rina started taking up small time assignments and work to keep herself busy.

AT one such work place where Rina was required to administer regular schedule in a group of apartments,as usual, Rina settled to work with her boss one evening. Rina and her boss had a love hate relation. They loved to fight and hated to agree….!IN the midst of one such argument that evening, Rina suddenly noticed that one of the residents from one of the apartments was taking a photograph of her in the work place. Rina quietly mentioned this to her boss and after work hours met this person who took the photograph.


To give a brief overview this person X was in constant ego squabbles with Rina’s boss. So to make matters more complicated the photograph was another appendix to his list of “Why not’s”….When rina went and confronted X and asked the reason why her photograph was taken without her permission the man said he had no intention of doing anything with it but any kind of explanation could be settled at court…


Rina at 18 ..she is on her one to report one to cling to……stinging slap to a guy who harassed her …Rina at 30…she is a mother of two…is responsible for her kids,..mulling over to take a call on her marriage …… be or not to be…Rina at 40 plus…..resigned to accepting things meekly……as the kids have now grown into confident individuals….and she feels their future is more important than her working on a personal squib and wasting time and energy on it.


Rina requested her boss to take a soft call on this and retracted from the scene…Her mind longed to give X a piece of her mind, her psyche did not accept her timidness, her personality worked against her. Yet Rina retracted and tried to camouflage the entire incident as a laissez-faire…


Tired but raring, exhausted but wanting a change, responsible but insecure…..Rina continued her life…missing working with her boss, and proceeded towards the door….Yes she believed that when one door closes another opens…..




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