My friend C is now the proud owner of a blog called Kolkata Kollage (yes, the K in the Kollage is not a typo). She is one of those people who is shy, introverted, and she does not really mix with people. However, one day, she came across a fabulous Facebook Page called Humans of New York and she started thinking – how can I make this in my city?

She started off by writing incidents, talking to people, and taking their interviews. She started observing interactions around her, and watched how people reacted to certain things.

I love my city. But there are things I would like to change about it. I will share three parts of an impromptu social experiment through which I would like to point out the man/woman equation of the city. Part One is an experience which involves Yours Truly, Part Two is an experience involving C, and in Part Three, both C and K are present.

As far as my stand goes, I am pretty much for this. In fact, when she begun talking to strangers, I encouraged it wholeheartedly. People should meet new people everyday. And if you notice, C has no such issues about the social status of the people she meets.

About Part One, it was actually not planned at all. I was at Spanish Cafe with both C and B, and we decided to walk to Park Street to see the Christmas Carnival. The day was probably a Saturday. I grew up feeling very self-conscious of my body, as I was a late bloomer, and then the curves had been at all the wrong places. It was only later when I realized that people, especially men, stared. In fact, I am absolutely sure, that every woman who is reading this post has been acutely aware of the “Gaze”, both male and female. After a while, I ignored them. I walk straight, my head tall, and my posture strong, and that day, while my friends were right behind me, I had put on my Mp3 player, and was listening to the music. When I reached Park Street, they told me that they have been counting the men who were staring at my breasts, and had recorded the varying reactions they had.

I have absolutely no clue what their reaction was. Call me clueless, but I am genuinely not very aware of people around me unless I want to, and in this case, I had blanked them out. The street was my personal prowling zone, and everyone else did not matter.

For the three parts of the experience, follow the links –

1.  Social Experiment Part One
2, Social Experiment Part Two
3. Social Experiment Part Three

And I will leave you with a picture of my face on that day at Park Street after the walk.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

Leave a Comment