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As the #MeToo Movement takes the world by storm, I cannot help but pause and think to myself…

I have had the honour of meeting so many wonderful, gentle, incredible men. 

So many of them have parented me, befriended me, brothered me, mentored me.

With too much attention being given to that which is wrong, somewhere I feel we are creating a fear psychosis in so many women about men. I think so many women undergo a feeling of being vulnerable… and just because a few men have let their gender down (and as if there aren’t enough women who may have done the same) many of us are questioning men in general. We don’t know whom to trust, and whom to not trust any more. A feeling of insecurity has come. 

In this climate – I feel the need to express… a thank you to some of the men who have played a very crucial role in making me who I am and working on me to make me what I can be. 

I want to create a different #MeToo movement – one where we recognize of all the acts of kindness, tenderness and protective love that we have experienced from the men in our life so it gives a balanced picture of things and not a lopsided, biased one.

The first man I met in my life was my father. One of our favorite memories together is that of my birth. He tells me I was born with a thick mop of curls, searching eyes and thin lips. They wrapped me in a red cloth and as he watched me, he wept. Considering I have seen my father cry maybe three times in my entire life, it must have touched him very deeply to draw the tears forth. 

I was an eccentric baby and my mother used to have it with me by evening. As my father would return from work, she would place me in his arms and say – now you carry her. My father would happily and readily hold the little me, in his strong arms and just keep walking. He would hum songs into my ears. And till date, the sense of security I feel thinking of being carried in his arms, is beautiful and unparalleled.

Then there were drivers and cooks at home. I used to love to go and sit with them and eat food. From their plate, I would grab large morsels of rice and they would happily indulge. I would sit on the shoulder of one of dad’s helpers called Babu and go to school. There were drivers who would drive us to various places – day and night – and hold our hands and take us safely to our classes or relatives homes. Not one support staff in my home was anything less than an uncle to me while growing up. 

I was then introduced to many cousin brothers – as I grew up in a joint family. My brothers were pranksters, they were loud, sometimes cantankerous. But somehow I experienced a lot of love from them. They would tease me, bully me, and yet when the need for me to feel protected came, they were around. In fact, I remember hitting puberty at one of my cousin brother’s home. The maturity with which he spoke to me, took care of me and guided me was something I will never forget. He was like a mother to me, in those moments until he safely drove me to my home. 

In school and college I met several friends. Some were so shy that they wouldn’t even meet my eyes. Some were bold and we would have long conversations. I had a beautiful terrace that faced the sea and so many nights saw us – girls and boys, just sitting around, eating, discussing life, listening to music. It was a beautiful time of adolescence. I enjoyed it to the hilt and never did I feel insecure about any of my friends. They were well-bred, well-brought up boys belonging to great families.

The most intimate and beautiful relationship I have shared is with my best friend for life, my husband. We argue lots. We are very different as people. And yet, the gentle ways in which he handles me when I most need it – the protective love he bestows on me when we are crossing the road or exploring a new city is so wonderful. 

Of course I have had my share of meeting lecherous, vulgar men – and I have encountered my own share of small incidents of abuse which shouldn’t have happened. However, when I look at the beautiful men in my life – the ones who weren’t right is very small and insignificant. As women, we have been blessed with a very strong sixth sense. And we need to be aware of how we feel in a man’s touch and stay away the moment something in awry.

However, there are enough men out there who are so wonderful, character-driven and respectful towards women. Let’s not go so much into a shell that we forget about them. 

What we focus on, we attract. 

I choose to focus on all the wonderful men who have made my life so beautiful. 

#MeToo… Yes, I too have had the honour of meeting some of the most incredible men. And I feel so blessed about it!

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