“How can you travel so late, all alone? Are you not afraid?”

A friend called and started scolding. She had seen the photo I posted on Instagram yesterday.

I smiled and said it was not too late, just 9.30pm which is like late evening in Mumbai, and there is nothing to worry. Usually, I am alert in such places and I always carry a small knife with me. In past 12 years, there had been some serious incidences- but nothing that I could not handle. She was not convinced, but after a few more attempts gave in and hung up.

It’s not the first time somebody asked me such questions. In fact, I’m at that stage of life when most of the people in my close circle worry over the fact that I’m alone and have no man in my life.

“You travel whenever you want but make sure you have a male colleague with you.”

“Travel in gent’s compartment. If something happens, they would help you.”

“You girls are staying alone. There is no man to protect you.”

“It’s not easy for a woman to live on her own. You will have to give up on this lifestyle some day.”

And the MOST common one:

“You should get married. It will give you stability and security.”

I want to answer these once and for all. So, here it goes:

I know it’s a bit risky, but I also know how to tackle such situations. You can not live with fear all the time and wait for somebody else to accompany you. Not in this field at least. So you have to take necessary precautions, and should develop the ability to fight back.

Staying with a man is not a guarantee of safety. Otherwise all married women would have no complaints.

Living on your own is difficult not just for women, but for men as well. And everyone has to alter the lifestyle when time, place and priorities change. So don’t expect such things from women only.

Marriage is a matter of personal choice. But a woman should not marry just to feel safe and secured. She should be encouraged to secure her own life and should be made strong enough to take care of her safety.

Women think they are weak and that’s why they seek strong men in their life and that’s what makes them even weaker.

And Ladies, Don’t forget, men are a comfort and not the basic necessity. You don’t need men to lead you through life. You would like them to accompany you on the journey. Love them, but don’t depend on them completely.

I am Woman