There’s a big difference between looking out of your window and peeping out, and generally the difference lies in the attitude of the person at the window: Does he or she want to be seen? If she doesn’t want to be seen she peeps, if she or he couldn’t be bothered, they stand at the window and look out.
While traveling abroad, I hardly saw people peeping. If at all they were at the window, they looked out and looked me in the eye. It was a look that said, hi, you seem to be a stranger here, but this is my territory and I’m not afraid of you.
And when someone isn’t afraid of you, they either smile with confidence or they just stare through you, out of you, and away from you, all in a glance.
But most in our country peep out!
The newspapers carry pictures of our women peeping out of their cement or iron grill windows, looking down at some horrible scene, fear writ on their faces.
Most times it’s fear.
Or we have people furtively peeping out because men in uniform are outside and if they see a face daring to stare at them, they either call out to that person, which means trouble or they shoot at the face which means even bigger trouble.
So it’s better to peep, which generally means no trouble.
I wait for the day when we will become a nation of confident lookers than a country of peepers, especially our women folk.
I long for the day, a man will stand at his balcony and look down at a group of policemen and know that they can do nothing to him, because not only is he innocent of any crime, but because the law protects him from any bullying or harassment.
Once while walking down a street in Barcelona, in Spain, I looked up a window and saw a Spanish woman who met my eye and waved at me, and I waved at her, and then she went back inside. Not for a moment did she think that her action would cause problems.
Here, the judge and jury would have had a rape case in hand, and the public would have blamed her for being as immodest as looking out of a window.
I know it’s going to take some time, till the peeping Toms and peeping Janes become confident enough to stand and stare out of the window.
But that will be the day, a country can call itself, safe..!
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