Et Tu Kanta Bai!

Kanta Bai (name changed) is my maid. She saw me looking angrily at the TV screen at an ugly, lecherous looking man.

IHM: Do you know who he is?

Kanta Bai: He he heh we only get DD we don’t have cable …

IHM:This man says it is okay to beat girls and touch them and pull at their clothes and molest them if girls are caught drinking or talking to boys.

Kanta Bai: This happens everyday in our slum. Even if the girl says she is innocent they beat her. Women also. Whenever Sita Bai’s husband gets drunk he starts saying she is having an affair and starts beating her …

IHM: Well now he says he will beat any girl who wears clothes that show shoulders or arms ...

Kanta Bai: How can he beat them? (Genuinely puzzled) Aise to kisi ko, koi bhi marega? (This way anybody can beat anybody!)

IHM: He says girls are becoming bad, last year some eleven unmarried girls got pregnant …

Kanta Bai: (Really angry now.) To kyaa uska naam le rahi thi?
(So what’s his problem? Did they take his name?)

Lol lol Et Tu Kanta Bai 🙂

[Awww Kanta Bai I am so proud of you!]


54 thoughts on “Et Tu Kanta Bai!

  1. I guess it is more prevalent among poor families. It is probably so common in villages and slums that media doesn’t even want to cover it, and tonnes and tonnes of such cases probably go unnoticed.

    Such men who beat their wifes are cowards.I mean, if you have so much guts, then why don’t you take panga with someone of your size, wy don’t you go join police/army.

    ILLITERACY leads to POVERTY, which in turn leads to IGNORANCE, and that is why i guess these women don’t even know that they deserve to be equally treated. They probably consider this as their fate and ignore it.

    I am proud of your Kanta bai too.:-).


  2. @Chikki Yes they do, and it’s a way of life for them, but they also know that is not right that they ae treated like this.
    When I showed them the Bell Bajao campaigns video, they were so emotional at the thought that somebody actually acknowledges that this is wrong.

    Why don’t our politicians pick such cases? This will also get them votes … guess it’s easier to molest some girl s 😦


  3. Cheers for Kantabai!!!

    But I think politicians don’t interfere because they don’t really care and if some do, they are afraid of losing votes…


  4. @Bones They have a ready vote bank if they truly help rehabilitate their alcoholic husbands and sons, and even a small number of women.
    I know if a woman knows the local language (Marathi here) and speaks to them against domestic violence, and for equal pay for equal work, and automatic proportionate right to their family property – they will all vote for her (or him).
    But then who will these perverted gangsters molest?


  5. Hi IHM. You write so well !

    I feel so sad that till now I was one of those indians who have been singing ‘mera Bharat mahan’ at every opportunity they got and really believed in it ! After this incident, I feel sick that this is happening in a place where nari is supposed to be worshiped as a Goddess.
    I am just glad that I am living in a country where we have freedom to dress in several layers if WE want to, wear a scarf if WE want to, wear shorts and singlets if WE want to. Nobody beats you if you are wearing a burqa/salwar kameez/sari bcos its not their culture, no body beats you if you are holding or not holding your partner’s hands( husband/wife/boyfriend/ girlfriend) in public. If a girl is raped, they don’t say that well you brought that on yourself because you were wearing skimpy clothes.

    I loved Kanta Bai’s last line.


  6. @Homecooked yes and doesn’t it show, they are not ignorant, they are just helpless.

    @Alankrita Not at all, I wish some selfish, vote motivated politicians will look at their problems, and empower them for votes 🙂

    @Anrosh You are thinking of Kanta Bai from that movie, of Shah Rukh Khan ? I just used a common name frequently used when referring to Dometic Helpers. It’s used affectionately, like when describing how they love watching TV.

    @Priyanka Oh yes!!She has two daughters and when I asked about domestic violence she showed the same straight talk. I am very fond of her 🙂


  7. Take a bow Kanta Bai!

    You know, we should unleash the Belan Brigade on these Ram Sena types. We can throw these traditional symbols of ‘good-bharatiya-naari’ at them while taking a swig from a bottle of beer!


  8. ha ha! that was really funny! 🙂
    On the other hand, ironic, how people we label as illiterate, manage to give us small pearls of wisdom now and then.


  9. The words of your not so educated maid carries so much wisdom….if only these so called moral police buggers try to think deeper before doing such things. In fact I am very sure that half these so called sena people might be living off on the earnings of their wifes. They are all bloody hypocrites..


  10. Good one…
    Reminds me of my own MaryAunty who refused to let her daughter go back to the drunkard and abusive husband….Some courage these women have.. Just that in most of the cases, the courage is bound by the helplessness of their own circumstances.


  11. I have a better idea for this frustrated lot of Vaanar Sena. They can go to the slums where people[read girls/women] barely find enough clothes to cover their bodies. They can go there and beat these ladies up and down.
    This way two purposes will be solved;
    1. The Indian Culture will improve.
    2. They will be able to prove that its not only pub culture alone but any kind of nudity they oppose.


  12. cheers to kanta bai.Drunking and beating is
    common more among the illiterate.I used to have a maid who used to reciprocate her husband beatings.


  13. I am running short of time. I read only the post, liked it, and read Chikki’s comments and your reply to it.

    I agree with Chikki’s observations more or
    less and think along the same lines.

    I like the expressions modelled after ‘Et tu Brute’! I would have exclaimed absolutely similarly! I have unsuccessfully aspired for the Civil Services Examination (India) and planned an eye-opener (book) on this goddamn exam. The tentative title is ‘Et tu UPSC’!

    I’ll surface with the next release here! Adios!

    P.S: I am new to the fraternity! I ran into this acronym IHM so often and have been wondering who the person is! This is despite the fact that I recently started following your blog (blogger profile) though I have not read more than three posts to date. Today Poonam’s replies to all comments on her most recent post had the same acronym and then I followed the comments to discover you! I want to be a domestic husband and home maker; easier said than done! So kinda identify with you!


  14. @Usha Pisharody Yes three cheers for the ‘real’ Bhartiya Naaree 🙂

    @Pink Dogwood 🙂

    @2B’s Mommy But we can change this with the way we bring up our children, I strongly believe in ‘the Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’. We can make sure the little citizens and future voters in our care grow up to be strong individuals.


  15. Kanta Bai Ki Jai, ho 🙂

    This is not only prevalent in poor families. They just openly talk about it.

    Why does a Man assumes physical superiority over Women, is something which really worries me.

    You know IHM, on a bit tangential note we should have a Org which is dedicated to Educate Women. Because educated women will be able to shape up their kids life better and will know the options.BTW, when i say educated, I don’t mean just able to write name and signature. I mean basics at least till 9th.


  16. awesome conversation, IHM.

    just goes to show how mature our kanta bai variety are… probably one day we’ll have these highly insecure men molesting women who are more level headed and mature than them!!!

    you must tell kanta bai how much we all appreciate her for the way she thinks!


  17. @Mamma mia! Me a mamma I read about Renuka Chowdhury’s PUB BHARO ANDOLAN … what say? We generally go to our fav club but this time we have decided to wear noodle straps and go to a Pub, in a largish group.

    @Piper Ironic, even funny … but also a moment that gives you hope 🙂

    @Smita Knowing how they live, hat’s off to the fact that they can still think!

    @Shilpa True, but she is more educated than the standard five drop out who is looking for excuses to molest … she was in class eight when her parents decided ‘enough was enough’ and did her ‘kanyadaan’.


  18. The apparent apathy in her response leaves me sad.. she was okay with violence if it came from her family.. was only confused that why anyone else wud do anything..


  19. Let’s hear it for Kantabai!:)
    I loved this post..:)
    We need more like her….
    loved the way you wrote the post..I could just about see Kanta Bai getting all angry …:)


  20. @Roop 🙂 She’s awesome, if only she had some more say in her own life … 😦

    @Pink Orchid 🙂

    @Pujathakur I agree Puja.the courage is bound by the helplessness of their own circumstances sounds so scary …

    @Reema Panchvi class drop out doesn’t understand all this ‘logic’ and high IQ talk, he understands joota-sandal talk better.

    @Tarun Goel Heard of Pub Bharo Andolan? What do you think of it???

    @Varunavi Not only beating each other, I have fired maids when they came drunk for work despite warnings. Sounds unbelievable? But it’s absolutely true. It isn’t common, but there are enough female alcoholic amongst our poor in Andhra and Maharashtra, and also Tamil Nadu. (Personally, I know of these places only)… maybe elsewhere also.

    @Winnie the pooh She wasn’t okay with any kind of violence … she is so helpless. The last line will show you her true attitude, give her a chance and she will show the true colours of an Adarsh Bhartiya Naree 🙂


  21. 🙂

    It is really sad that women like her have no chioce but to get beaten..They can never get out of it…I a, glad that your lessons will impart her some mental strength to deal with it..Bravo IHM,i am proud to be your friend..


  22. this one is superb… wish the muthalik cud hear kantabai !!

    this man and his thinking is beyond my imagination… I just read on Usha’s blog on 14th Feb they are going to marry off people who are found cosying or cuddling !!!!!


  23. i love Kanta Bai….absolutely the question I would ask that man….on second thoughts perhaps the fact that he cant get a girl to sleep with is what makes him so frustrated.


  24. lol!!! i am proud of her to… this is how we need to respond to these b$%^#&

    we need more women thinking this way tell her i i admire her 🙂

    and for valentines i have grand plans this year.. just to shut the f&** b&^^^s

    PS: sorry IHM i no u say no abusive language but u know nothing else comes out of me when i think of these guys


  25. Bravo! Looks like Kanta’s learnt something from her employer – to be frank and unafraid to say what’s on her mind. We need women to teach the moron a lesson he’ll never forget! May your tribe increase, IHM, and Kanta’s too! Errr… that was figurative.
    BTW, how’s the wedding shopping coming on?


  26. LOved the post!

    My maid shows a lot of spunk too and stands up quite effectively against her husband… so much so that he has put an effort to stop loitering around and actually work!


  27. Hey! I heard these jokers are saying that they will get every unmarried couple married, that they find holding hands on the streets, parks etc. on Valentine's Day???

    Is this true???

    If it is, then it's a WONDERFUL opportunity for all those mixed-religion couples who're in love & facing problems with their families on account of the "different religion" issue.
    They should all crowd the streets on Valentine's!

    Sab ka kaam bann jayega!

    That’ll be a win-win stuation!

    Until of course the sene finds out that it’s been duped!!!

    What say??? 😀


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