Hanuman Temple, Kathua, Jammu
In January 2008 I had the opprotunity of working for a certain project in Jammu. a colleague and I were training a bunch of college students on research and testing methodology. It was one of those group of young boys that on the first day did not bother to learn or pay attention to anything. But over the next three days, things changed and we were a great team. The real challenge started when we were to train student in Kathua. Kathua is about two and half hours from Jammu. While we had the comforts of a car, we learnt that the girls used to travel almost 2 hours everyday in bus to reach college. To add to this situation if they missed the 4pm bus then they would have to hitch hike on bikes, cars or take the rather unreliable and unsafe modes of transport or sometimes walk back home. The two weeks that I spent here, taught me that there is something called ‘fear’. Coming from Gujarat and being used to driving or even walking on a road late at nights, I had become a bit of an specimen for the first two days to the men in the lane where we were put up. I slowly realised that I was sort of crossing my limits a little bit too much. Another thing that really astonished me was the fact that there were shops that sold arms. With an interesting insight of learning to be safe, shy and quiet, I returned back to Ahmedabad as a slightly more responsible young woman I must say.