Come Home to The Patriarchy
Artichoke Heart

Hey Divya,

Thanks a lot for writing this. I guess someone had to finally come ahead to show to the world that this toxic behaviour is not normal. I have witnessed the sexual, emotional and psychological harassment for years at high spirits and have been a victim of it. Khodu has made sleazy comments about my looks and scanned my body with creepy looks which I was supposed to take as a compliment and laugh off. He has tried to put his hands inside my clothes, which just made me freeze in my spot, while he just said something, laughed and walked off. Its paralysing and humiliating. When I told my friends, they would just say oh khodu didn’t mean it, he is like that only, he has a beautiful family all this is just jokes yaa, he doesn’t mean ill, etc etc. But I don’t care about his intent. I was left feeling humiliated at multiple occasions. I have seen the groping, the ass slapping, the sleazy comments, the rude comments, the body shaming, all of it.

But one thing which stood out even more clearly to me was that he is a bully. I have seen my friends who have worked at high spirits end up in tears and just give up because of the way he treated them. He would constantly abuse them and yell at them. At multiple occasions, I have seen him yelling at his staff like a mad man in front of the crowd for the smallest of things. Maybe they even were wrong, but that is not how issues get resolved or how you treat people. I have seen how my friends got traumatised and anxious. But after treating them this way, he would do something nice for them and then use those nice things he did as an excuse for his behaviour. Whenever they were treated like shit, everyone else would just say but remember what he did for you, he was so nice then, this is just a phase. It got to a point that they felt like they owed him for that one nice thing he did, and continued to be treated like slaves. It was a vicious cycle till they could take it no more.

The constant snarky comments that people had to endure every time they visited some other venue, the banning, the bullying. The homies would just cover up for it by saying he is just insecure and is scared to lose the people who visit here whom he loves so much like a family. Well that’s just plain bullying and the solution to that is therapy and not harassment.

As for all the people defending him saying that he is such a kind and good hearted man. Well being a good person at heart is no excuse to get away with being a dick. What makes it even worse is that, he is not owning up to his mistakes and apologising to the many people he hurt along the way. As for all the other people who will jump up and say oh then why did you still go there? Because I loved the music and all my friends were there, I just would stay as far away from khodu as possible and eventually I did stop going there once I grew the fuck up and realised that nothing was changing there anytime soon. The very fact that so many of us who are coming ahead have to remain anonymous says a lot right there, as we are afraid that he will call all of our friends and ruin our social lives in a small place like Pune. We have been through enough and don’t need do endure further harassment.

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