Tag Archives: how to handle fear

I hit the Publish Button!

After almost a year and a half, the long journey of my second book comes to a culmination. Few minutes back, I hit the publish button on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform! W00-hoo! I realize that the date of publishing is supposed to be well advertised before, but for no apparent reason, I wanted this to be low-key. I will of course be promoting the book in the coming days. But right now, I am waiting for the ‘In review’ button in Amazon to turn ‘Live’. They said it might take up to 72 hours for the book to be actually live on the site, so I will do one more post when it is actually live.

For those of you who are not aware about my second book, it is named How I tamed the dragon named fear. It is a non-fiction self-help book with an autobiographical element. The theme is fear and how we can handle it. As a person, I have been living a life marred by fears for a long, long time until the conception of this book when I decided to do something about the fears that plagued me. This book is a personal journey and is really a part of myself.

When I first talked about the idea of the book on this blog, it was well received and appreciated. I hope that you will be as supportive now that the book is almost published.

I request you all to spread the word about the book on your blog/social media platform. I will also be happy to do guest posts/interviews on your blogs as part of the book promotion. Help me spread awareness about something that can help our lives a little better.

How I tamed the dragon named fear will be available on Amazon for $2.99. I will update you all once the book is live. See you on the other side!


Life is Bigger (A guest post)

Today is the final post of the series of guest posts on fear. Today’s blogger is Belinda, someone I have known through the blogoworld for sometime now. I really enjoy her wonderful posts and her insights into life and I am happy to provide a peek into her thoughts through this post. Thank you Belinda for bringing out the silver lining around fear via this post.

||Guest Post||

Contributor: Belinda O.

october-2016I encourage my cats’ fear of strangers, at least, I don’t discourage it. If a stranger comes to the door, particularly someone carrying tools and wires or other unknown entities, the cats hightail it down the stairs and under the bed. There they’ll stay until they’re certain it’s safe, and if they fall asleep (which they often do), even longer than that.

Fear helps keep my cats safe. If I’m not home, I want them hiding if a stranger enters. In the same way, I follow my fears to a metaphorical space-under-the-bed at times as well. Call me overly-cautious, but I believe in better safe than sorry.

That’s fine when the fears involve dark alleys, like the one that leads to the dumpster behind my work place. I’m supposed to take the garbage out every night before I leave, but I don’t do it after dark. It’s deserted and a set-up for danger. If my boss forced the issue and told me to “take the damn garbage out anyway,” I’d quit. Fortunately, she has a healthy respect of – fear of – dark alleys herself.

As a child I had unnamed fears as a result of abuse in a time before my memory really began. I say unnamed, I refer to it as a time without memory, but the fears actually were very specific, I just didn’t know how to verbalize it. As time went on the memory became duller and the fears broader.

I held myself back from so much that could cause ridicule or shame, and in doing so, I also held myself back from doing things that could have enhanced my life and increased my self-esteem. I didn’t see it that way, however, preferring to stay safe.

As an adult, I fully faced the pain, but lifetime habits are hard to break. The fear remained.

It took an incident that was surreal on the one hand and starkly real on the other to break down some of what continued to hold me back, fears that were so intrinsically a part of me I didn’t recognize them. I still am challenged with some of it. I don’t know if it will ever end, and I pray I never face what I faced before to stop it completely.

That fear is bigger now than the one I faced since I was learning to walk. Still, I refuse to be felled by either.

Life is bigger than our fears, it is bigger than our failures. It is made up of so much more than what we believe in when we’re younger, and there is always more to discover.

Life is bigger than our fears.

About Belinda:

Belinda works with social media & public relations for small businesses and non-profit organizations, with a growing focus on diversity and minority perspective.  Prior to this she worked with individuals with developmental disabilities.

Belinda believes in the power of words, written, spoken and unspoken. She believes what we write and what we create unleashes who we are, even to our own surprise.

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Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in the guest post are solely the guest’s. The owner of this blog makes no representation as to the originality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this post.


Street Harassment: Fear of the Road (A Guest Post)

Today is the first post of a series of guest posts on Fear that will be published on this blog through this month. Today’s contributor is Pradita, who I have come to know through the world of blogging. Pradita is a wonderful woman. The best thing about her is that she is very clear in her opinion. Once again, thank you Pradita for writing this piece – I understand how much courage it takes to be able to share something like this in a public forum. Especially, in the light of the recent events in Bangalore, I think this conversation could not be better timed. More power to you!

||Guest Post||

Contributor: Pradita Kapahi

Street Harassment: Fear of the Road


Pradita Kapahi

There are millions of women out there, who’ll agree that its not easy being a woman in this country. We’ve idolized women in religion, we call them Devis, the Holy Mother and what not; we’ve given them the right to vote, the right to earn a living, the right to voice their opinions; the right to lead a dignified life…  But does it actually amount to anything in the face of the constant criticism and the comparisons we face in daily life?

How many of you women have been subjected to sexual harassment like child-abuse, rape, marital rape, molestation… or even something as seemingly harmless as eve-teasing or catcalling? I’m sure a lot of you will say you’ve had at least one of those happen to you. And if you haven’t, as a woman, had the misfortune of having experienced any of these, I’d say you are very lucky, and you should cherish yourself for being one of the unscarred women out there who are vastly, a minority. I’m glad you didn’t encounter these experiences. Not all experiences need to be ‘experienced‘ in life.

But today I don’t want to draw your attention to sexual harassment of the more severe kind. I’m here to talk about the grey area of eve-teasing, catcalling or street harassment and the fear it induces in women.

Catcalling? Street Harassment? Eve -teasing What’s that?

It’s when you get wolf-whistles or leery stares, gestures, or comments of a sexual or otherwise derogatory nature from random strangers on the road.

Whistling at someone is harassment?

Yes, it could be, if your intentions were wrong and if the woman in question was offended by it. And I’ll tell you my story and then you can decide why it is a form of sexual harassment.

I used to take a bus to work initially, before the Metro in my city started on that route, and city buses have always been crowded, stuffy and slow at rush hours. You could either avoid taking them and take the more expensive cabs and even more unsafe rickshaws, or just shut-up and hop onto one and suffer the two hour long ride…. and everything that came with it.

On one such occasion, I was sitting on an aisle seat and the bus was stuffed with commuters. So much so that one couldn’t even lift their hand without rubbing into another. Suddenly, I felt a hand brush along my thigh. I ignored it, thinking it must be an accident. Even if it was intentional, these things happened a LOT on buses, Metros and even on crowded roads to complain about. A girl learns to ignore them.

But the brushing happened several times, at various other places on my body. And each time my suspicion grew stronger, till the sixth-seventh time, when the ‘brushing’ reached my chest, I looked up angrily and spotted a leery looking man, who couldn’t have been older than me (I was 23 back then), staring down at me and obviously enjoying himself at my expense. I shouted at him, people around him looked angrily, but no one said a word to him….

10 minutes later he was at it again. Rubbing against my arm, my chest, my back (I’m being modest here) and there were several times when I told him off, but neither did he stop, nor did anyone else force him to. Like I said before, the bus was stuffed, so there was no way people around me could have missed just how many times I had angrily told this guy off. 

Around an hour later he got off at a stop mercifully and had the audacity of blowing me a kiss, which everyone around me saw but ignored. It wasn’t just unbelievable, it was downright disgusting the way he took pride in what he did. And the most incredible thing is, he was back on that same bus next day to repeat his misdemeanor, at which point I asked the bus driver to stop so I could get off. 

Back home I told my parents about what had happened. They were understandably enraged and aghast and told me to stop taking that route or stop taking that bus altogether, which is what I did. But the point is – “I” had to adjust my route and my way of living for that miscreant, when it should have been the other way around.

This is a prime example of a lewd gesture that is not exactly molestation but is not harmless like lewd looks or whistling. This is what you can label as street harassment.

And this is not the only time something like this happened to me. There were many other times. Like the one time when a middle aged man waved his ‘junk’ at me and my two girl-friends and followed us like that for a couple of blocks on his bike. Or the time when a middle aged man made catcalls and other sexually degrading gestures at me, yet again on a bus. Or that time when a guy grabbed my backside and then ran away when me and my sister chased him down. There are many more of such incidents, including some graver offences that I don’t wish to bring forth here. All of them happened in broad daylight. Because I was taught to never step out late into the night unescorted. Why? Because roads are no place for unescorted women.

But that one incident in the bus stayed with me for weeks on end because the guy was back to repeat it. That had never happened before to me, that someone could be back to just harass the same person again. For the first time in my life I was afraid of going to work, I was afraid of travelling even in crowded places, I was afraid of being a woman. I was afraid of the road…

What angered me most was not just that he did it and took pride in it, but also how helpless I felt about it. If I could only raise an alarm, get him thrown off the bus or report him to the police, this would have stopped. But do you know why women who are in my situation never report such incidents, or for that matter, never even go beyond warning such men –


 Of being rebuked…

Of being called a liar…

Of being followed by that man again only to extract much worse revenge…

Of being a child or a woman who needs to keep a dignified face in society…

Of encountering an unresponsive enforcement agency…

These are the reasons why many women across the world don’t report street-harassment. Eve-teasing, catcalling or street harassment is the often ignored part of sexual harassment. That’s because it is not as enraging and not as intrusive as the other forms of sexual abuse. It manifests more in the abstract rather than physical form, and its effect on the victim is also more in the form of mental trauma, but its effects can be very scarring for the victim. The fact is, it is a form of sexual harassment and it should be stopped.

Those incidents that your read about regarding acid attacks on women by road side romeos begin with street-harassment. Recently, a woman in Pune was stalked on the streets for weeks by an irate romeo who later murdered her. The story of her end began on the road. Many instances of sexual abuse begin from street harassment. It becomes even more relevant thus, to put a stop to it, because it could be a precursor for a much worse crime.

Right now, the law in India does not provide much by way of safety from street harassment. Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code gives very basic redressal in the form of imprisonment or fines for eve-teasing. Section 304 provides for assault against women. Frequent acid attacks led to the inclusion of Sections 326 A and 326 B into the Indian Penal Code which make the act of acid throwing or any attempt to do so a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for several years. But the truth is such matters often go unreported because the law is rendered lame by an ineffective and unresponsive Enforcement Agency and Legal system.

Again I’ll take my own example. Did I go and report that guy or any of those things that happened to me? I didn’t. Why?  Because I knew reporting and taking legal action would be a long-drawn affair, which could further instigate the perpetrator to do something worse to me. And I’m a lawyer! If I have no faith in the law, I can’t imagine what a semi-literate woman who faces harassment on the streets would suffer in the face of unresponsive government agencies and an irate roadside-romeo.

The problem does not however lie in only the law or the enforcement agencies. Like I pointed out above, the law is there. What’s missing is the will to enforce it. And the will is missing because to a large extent we let it happen and suffer with it. Women are taught to ignore it. A woman will change her route to school/college/work but will not report it unless things got very serious. Men are taught to ignore it too, like the ones who were there the day I was on that bus. And let me be very honest, I haven’t seen women doing street harassment. I’m sorry if I’m ruffling some feathers here but that’s the truth from my POV.

Women, we have to teach ourselves to let this fear subside and take cudgels against this seemingly harmless crime. If a woman is afraid to take the road because of stalkers or lewd comments then that is a grave problem and a stigma on our society. We have to teach ourselves that it’s not okay to let it go. We must also help those who need our help to bring this change in the society – victims, the enforcement agencies, the media or the legislature. If you see someone being harassed, confront the perpetrator. Approach whoever you can and pester them to do something about it.

Be the change!

No one else will change for you!

Men, and if you are a woman who has done it, stop doing it or letting it happen before your eyes, and start respecting the privacy and lives of others! Your seemingly innocent diversion of singing ‘dhak, dhak karne laga‘ or ‘choli ke peeche kya hai‘ will not earn you brownie points with anyone. 9 out of 10 women will tell you that if a guy approaches them and gives them an honest compliment in a non-lewd manner, they like it. But waving your junk at us, or making sexual comments, gestures or sounds, is not the way to earn someone’s heart.

Your harmless ‘fun‘ could spell ‘fear’ for someone else…

About Pradita

Pradita Kapahi is a former lawyer and now freelancer based in Pune, India. She has a Bachelors and Masters, both in Law, from India, and had formerly worked in a Corporate Law Firm based in New Delhi. She took up blogging to hone her skills in creative writing and art. She loves reading, writing and storytelling, and her blog reflects just that. She hopes to write stories to enthrall and engage people, and yes, to make the world a better read place.

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in the guest post are solely the guest’s. The owner of this blog makes no representation as to the originality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this post.


Inviting Guest Posts on Fear

As I mentioned in the last couple of posts, I am looking towards February release of my second book, How I Tamed the Dragon Named Fear. To set the tone for the release, I am planning to host four guest posts in January (one on each Saturday) on this blog.

In the book, I have talked in detail about the fears that I had as a child and as a grown up. I am curious to find out how you see fear – I want to know about the things that you are afraid of, how you react when you are afraid and how you handle it.

It is not often that we come out of our comfort zones and discuss uncomfortable emotions. I want the first month of 2017 to drive some interesting conversations on this blog – where we actually discuss the not-so-nice emotions that affect us.

If the idea interests you, please feel free to drop me a note through the contact form below. Note that the post does not necessarily have to be a true account of your fears, though an honest confession is more than welcome! It can also be a fictional story (a ghost story if I may say so). I am okay hosting something really, really spooky as well! If you’re the brave-heart, I am curious to hear how you sat through that horror thriller alone in the movie hall!

Please reach out to me with brief details of what you want to write about and a preferred publish date (your have choice between Jan 7, 14, 21, 28 – take your pick!). Look forward to hearing from you all!