tuitions.I was in standard 8th then. It was the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi and
around 7 in the morning. It was drizzling.It was wet & cold everywhere. I loved
the cold breeze hitting my face. There were hardly people on the roads due to the
festive occasion. It was unusually silent everywhere .My classes were about 15 min
away from my home and I used to walk my way to my classes.
Two routes led me to my destination-a long route and a short one. Me being a lazy
kid chose the shortcut route daily which would help me reach my tuitions just in five
minutes unlike the other route. The short cut route meant crossing a narrow lane ;
by narrow I mean only one person could enter from each side of the lane at the same time.
If more people entered, one would have to literally squeeze in their way out. This
route was always avoided by people during the late night hours because the person at
one end couldn’t see the person coming from the other end until you reached midway.
And if something unfortunate ever happened midway it would take another five minutes
for you to cross the lane to reach the main road where the lane ended. The lane was
like a snake ,long unending,the mouth and tail of which were miles apart.
saw a man in his forties clad in a lungi walking towards me. I took out my umbrella
and started walking towards the other end of the lane.We both were walking towards
each other.When I first saw him he was at quite a distance and so I was busy trying
to switch open my umbrella. In no time I felt someone groping me and fondling my
breasts. By the time I realized what was happening, I saw him running away.I followed
him still unsure of exactly what to term the act he had done to me.Within seconds he
had disappeared.He was nowhere in sight. I came out of the lane back from where I
had started ,completely shaken,scared and not knowing what had happened to me.I had
lost the guts to cross the lane all alone. I knew he had done something wrong to me
and I wanted to reach my parents somehow.
Ten years back there weren’t any cell phones, sex education wasn’t mandatory as it
is now,our families never discussed sex, molestation, rape. just like today it’s a taboo to talk about it openly.I called up
my parents from a local booth and I didn’t know what to tell them as to what had
happened. I had done no wrong but then the conservative attitude of not discussing
such dirty stuff stopped me from coming up with the truth and i lied to my parents
someone tried to snatch my gold chain.
At night, my mom was worried about how I would go the next day. My dad was like
why do you have to choose a path which people avoid when chain snatching is on a
rise. Why can’t you go via the longer route. I was asked to stop wearing gold chain
for further safety. I have always been someone who wouldn’t bear wrong done to me silently .I just stood there and told my dad “Why would I
change my route when I haven’t done anything wrong. If u wish to drop me daily you
can come with me, if no, I am not changing any route ,any path” And the conversation
ended there forever.
I was scared for a few days but then there was no change in my plan to use the same
route again. All I thought was I hadn’t done any wrong and I am not encouraging
someone who does wrong by me changing my way. Days passed by and After a period of 3
months, as usual I was going for my classes. I entered the lane and there were some
other ladies too who were behind me in the lane. They too had entered the lane at
the same time with me. I reached midway and I came face to face with the same man.
A chill ran down my spine. I could no way forget his face .I still remember his face even after ten years .He too
had recognized me and gave me a wicked smile; a smile that still gives me goose bumps. I
trembled but then I knew I had to get out of the lane to save my self. I was sure
of the fact that he wouldn’t do anything in the lane since there were ladies behind
me.I ran my way out of the lane,and after walking few steps out of
the lane I turned back only to find that he was following me and was at a hand’s distance.
My heart raced , it thumped louder and harder and I went totally blank.A moment came when I totally became blank and failed to do understand what I was doing and what I should do next. A feeling of fear of what will happen , an anger all cropped up at the same time.But something in me kept me going .I knew running to a crowded place
could save me of the worst that awaited me. The roads were empty since it was an
early morning time, but I didn’t lose hope. Getting into any unknown building wasn’t
any safe option either .I kept running and he kept following.Suddenly I saw a man in
his fifties coming out of a building.He was out for a morning stroll.I ran to him and broke down and told him the entire story. There were no mobile phones then and so I couldn’t get in touch with anyone except for him.He understood what I was trying to say, and asked me to show who the man was.By the time , I could show him the ugly face of my molester he escaped.This gentleman then dropped me all the way to my tuitions and ensured I was safe.