An Open Letter to Mr. Akshay Kumar from my friend Sweety Potti

Dear Akshay Kumar Sir,

I saw your video Sir in which you were saying women should learn self-defense. Yes Sir! I agree with you cent percent! Totally in agreement with you Sir!

We keep our house doors locked, put our money in the bank and jewellery in the locker to safeguard it from thieves, in the same fashion I need to protect my own body and myself from rapists and molesters.

Because I am not public property!

You are right, learning martial arts just like you will make me capable of fighting off these goons. They’re everywhere Sir, I tell you!

When I was a little girl Sir, we used to say “beat bad boys”. And we beat them up so easily when they misbehaved with us, me and my friends together. It was a lot of fun Sir! Now I should also practice punching, kicking, do sit-ups, push-ups, build strong bones and muscles. So what if I am a grown woman of 40 with health issues. If you’re saying then I can be strong.

Also, in my school we had Judo and Taekwondo classes.

I did Taekwondo Sir for six years. You know why Sir? Because I was your fan! I did Taekwondo in school not to beat up anyone (that also happened) but because I wanted to be strong, and a good fighter like you Akshay Sir.

I say you, because in the 90s there were no female fighters or wrestlers like we have now. There are women like Sakshi Malik, Seema Punya & the Phogat sisters (made famous by your colleague Aamir Khan) who are professional athletes and wrestlers. If they can do it, then why can’t we common women?

Anyone can be President of America you know (this has been proven). In the same fashion any woman in India can be a fighter and fight with hundred men also (there must have been at least that many men during the #massmolestation on New Year’s Eve in my city Bengaluru. After this, I heard that #notallmen was trending on Twitter. But who is saying all men?!).

So I want to ask you Sir, do you give self-defence classes?

If you don’t then I will find someone else to train me, but the only problem is that he won’t be as handsome as you Akshay Sir.

Do they also have a crèche attached with self-defense classes? Because where will I leave my two little children?

Sir one more thing please, since you’re an expert, please tell me how much weights do I need to lift in the gym everyday to become strong?

How many push-ups and sit-ups do I need to do every day to be able to beat up at least two men at the same time, because in my city of Bengaluru two men stopped one woman late in the night. So I should be prepared to fight two men at least. No?

And they say that eating eggs and drinking milk is very necessary to become strong. But Sir small problem – I recently turned vegan. So what diet I need to take?

If you don’t know Sir then I’ll find some dietician or nutritionist but I’m sure he won’t be as handsome as you Akshay Sir.

But Sir is it possible to fight in a saree? Can my best friend Rukma kick when she’s wearing a burqa? Why am I asking you sir, I’ll ask her only.

The only problem is this Sir – I wake up at five o’clock. Make breakfast for my children. Send them to school. Then make lunch for my husband and send him off to office. Then I have to get ready and reach office by 9:30 am or else my boss shouts at me. The public transport is so crowded. The men keep touching, groping and rubbing themselves on all women. My boss doesn’t care what troubles I go through to reach the office. Five o’clock I leave from office. I stop to buy vegetables on my way back, because it’s a long walk of more than one kilometer. The bus line is very long and I can’t afford to take a Taxi. I am saving money for my mother’s treatment. Both her knees are to be replaced Sir.

But my mother-in-law is healthy.

I can take her with me for the self-defence classes. Can a 80 years old woman fight Sir? Because senior citizens are also molested and raped Sir, so they should also learn to fight, no? What about my 11 years old daughter? She is anemic and very weak. Again I will have to ask the nutritionist what food to give her so she can punch even a 40 year old big and strong man if he tries to act fresh with her. So what if she’s only a child, she also needs to learn to protect herself.

From the way things are going, very soon in this country women are going to be out of the school and work force and only doing judo karate all the time.

Men will only be in schools and in offices. Once again we will go back to the 1950s & 60s.

Anyway, when I reach home at 6 o’clock I have to do my children’s homework with them. Then make dinner. My husband comes home at 9 pm. He does overtime for extra money we need. He is of no use when it comes to protecting me so I’ll only have to do it myself.

So you see Sir my day is packed. But I must take out time to go to the self-defense class, because the men of my family, the police and the government have all failed to protect me Sir.

And, of course, my safety is my responsibility Sir.

Your women are lucky to have you. You can give them security in the form of cars and bodyguards.

I’m sure that your women will never need to take self-defense classes. Who will take panga from Khiladi, International Khiladi and Khiladiyon ka Khiladi himself!

You see I watched all your movies Sir when I was a little girl. You are like Superman.

But I am no Superwoman Sir.

It is the statue that has eight hands. I have just two. These two hands carry books, grocery bags, office files, laptop, babies; they drive, they create art, they cook, they care for the sick. Don’t you think that there’s already a lot these hands are doing? I will need to grow extra pair of hands that can punch too.

Don’t get me wrong I can learn to punch with two hands also. But then if I get injured then my children won’t be able to give their exams.

Yours truly,

Mrs. Sweety Potti

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