My neighbour who has a habit of poking his nose in my business, stood outside my house, as I dismantled the grill, unscrewed the heavy steel door, and opened the thick wooden shades, “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Freeing the women in my house!” I explained patiently.
“You mean you are letting them go free?” he asked.
“You can too!” I explained as I opened the newspaper and showed him the news.
“They are going to pass a law against love-jihad!” he shouted excitedly, “My women can be freed also!”
“Yes!” I said, as the heavy iron grill, which barricaded my front door, was slowly and carefully pulled off its nearly rusty hinges, “My daughters haven’t seen daylight for the last ten years!”
“Mine too!” said my neighbour, “And to be extra cautious I locked my wife also. Never know how they operate, and I don’t want to be left with no cook and household help, if one of the enemy ran away with her! I even stopped TV programs!”
“I cut out the internet!” I said proudly, “In fact the Jio man is coming to connect my home again!”
“Tell him to come over!” said my neighbour, “I would like to get mine going again too.”
I pulled the iron grill out, and my neighbour helped me carry it to the back. “Life is going to be different, without living in fear all the time!” I whispered, as my neighbour nodded happily. “In fact, we can start going back to work?”
“Yes,” agreed my neighbour, “Sitting outside my home with a stick, ready to stop our women being abducted has sure depleted my finances!”
There was squealing and laughter as women ran out of our homes and many houses down the road. They soon regrouped like an army and came marching to us, “Get in!” shouted my wife, daughters and all the women in town, including my neighbour’s, “Get into the house!”
“Hey you can’t speak to me like that!” I protested, “I protected you all these years!”
“And now!” said my two daughters, “We will protect us from you! Get in!”
I watched as men throughout the town were forced to march into their homes, and through my window saw heavy padlocks put in place.
“Why?” I shouted.
“We fought and got equal education!” shouted the women in one voice, “We have the right to vote. We fought for job opportunities! We’ve had to fight every inch for equality! And now, do we have to fight again to prove our hearts can take care of themselves? We’ve locked you in dear sirs, to free ourselves from your medieval, insecure mindsets, which are also the cause of most of the rapes and sexual assaults around here!”
I stared bleakly at a blank TV screen and laptop, with no internet connectivity..!