“Dear Zaira,” An Open Letter To Zaira Wasim

Dear Zaira

Zaira, my heart goes out to you. Reasons, many. If I could, I would wrap my arms around you and hold you close to my bosom because a warm hug is all a child of your age needs at times like these. I, like many other women, who must have watched the video, can relate to the atrocity you went through. Yes, we all have been through it and maybe, many of us, if in the situation, would have dragged the man from one end of the aisle of that Vistara aircraft to another and beaten all the manhood out of him but, that is the courage that comes with age. A child of tender 17 years cannot figure out how to react and tears rolling down your cheeks speak of the hurt you must have felt. Hurt, no one should pass off as weakness. As much as I am aware of the emotional mayhem you must be going through, I am glad you brought the incident to everyone’s notice. I hope the concerned authorities find the details of that monster, which isn’t difficult to do, and take action against him.

Zaira Wasim
Screenshot of Zaira’s live video.
Source: instagram @zairawasim_

However, once the storm inside you settles, I want you to think, understand and remember that in spite of all the empathy we are pouring on you today, you stand alone. Sorry, Darling, that’s the only truth that is. In all the pictures I have seen of you, one cannot close the eyes to the indeterminate weight on your face your own people have put on you so please don’t get carried away by all the love. We will continue to be unfair to a girl of 17 who is only trying to live the way she’s destined to. When I say we, I mean just everyone.

This morning, I woke up to really disturbing comments on the posts speaking about the molestation. Unsettling remarks but reflective of the decayed civilization we all are a part of. Though not much surprised I wish, we were a better lot. Most of the intellectuals have already assumed that this video of yours is just a publicity stunt. Molestation is not only a bad touch; some speak nonsense and also get away with it! Others, like your own people, give off a clear air of duplicity while they pretend to stand by your side. Let’s be sincere and plain; this molestation has us wearing all the warmth on our cold sleeves because it has taken place in India. Am sure you haven’t forgotten all the love you received for meeting the Chief Minister and you bear in mind the perpetual abuse that comes from having chosen a ‘wrong’ path. In response to all the love from your homeland, the mentions from India made me cringe in my bed. Perils of being caught in the conflict to which there seems no end! Politics aside, how can one even think that molestation by some imaginary ‘200 terrorists’ would be just ok? You have to be outright sick to make such a remark. Unfortunately, sick is what we all are.

Zaira, once you get back to your normal self, these reminders, these declarations and these assertions must not weaken you. Yes, the power lies in accepting the truth and consequent to that you must come out stronger. It is a lonely walk no doubt but you have already picked the pace. You are a very brave girl and know that there are people who wish you well. Be aware of the difficulties you face, but, keep walking as the Broadway is all yours. You radiate refinement from the inside out, keep shining.


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