It was a usual Saturday evening, I was returning along with a friend of mine after our grocery shopping. It would’ve been 6 or maybe 7 in the evening. We were walking along the sidewalks of the road chatting, a lot of cars & bikes speeding away, as they usually do on Gurgaon roads. My friend was walking near the edge of the road & I was beside her. Gurgaon roads are pretty reckless with all the construction work & construction rubble spread all across the roads making them extremely unfriendly for pedestrians.
Suddenly out of the blue, a bike brushed past my friend & groped her chest. Before we could realize what had happened the bike sped off & was already 100 meters away. To add to the shame & trauma the bikers stopped a good 500 meters away, looked back at us, relishing the humiliation that they had served us & sped off ahead. I still remember the smirk on that guy’s face, that expression of ultimate satisfaction that he was feeling having embarrassed & invaded someone’s personal space. The feeling of utmost gratification was all over his face.
But that’s not all, a good one month later we both were again returning back again from the same road at almost around the same time. We both had the last unfortunate event still fresh in our minds but we both were acting as if it never happened. I don’t know why but it felt awkward to even mention about that incident at that point of time, mostly because I didn’t want to remind my friend of the shock and trauma she was in after the incident. This time intentionally I decided to be the one walking near the edge of the road; I changed sides with her making some silly excuse, trying to protect my friend this time from the perverts. We both were trying to make some conversation because we both were a little scared & intimated being in the same situation but yet we both were uncomfortable recalling or talking about that incident. And then it happened again!! But this time I was the victim. And it was the done exactly the same way. The pillion driver groped & sped the bike and stopped a little distance away, they both looked back at us with pride at what they had achieved, gloating over the discomfort they had caused me. I still remember the pathetic feeling, that disgust, I fell prey to a lecher’s creepy intentions, that too the second time around, I was helpless & defenseless and they could feel me up & humiliate me again! And I also still remember the anger that flushed my mind & body at that time, in fact it is still alive inside me, I’m still full of rage, if one day I meet those guys I’m sure I’ll fry them in hot boiling oil. I somewhere blamed myself for that incident, was mad at myself that I fell prey to those jerks twice.
But I’m confused where my friend & I were wrong?? We weren’t out at an ‘inappropriate’ time for girls to be out all alone by themselves nor were we dressed provocatively. We were two 2nd year college girls, dressed very normally in jeans & T shirts, returning from an odd grocery errand after a tiring day at college. I don’t think there was anything in both of us that was calling out for unwanted attention or anything that invited such a treatment but yet we were in that situation, our honor played with, not once but twice!!
I still wonder at times that when our nation became a nation full of perverts & molesters!? The guys on the bike were not more than 16 yrs but the sort of activities they are indulging into, makes me shudder that if this is what adolescents are up to, God knows what the adults are capable of! The problem lies deeper than it seems.
This Blog is part of the Men Say No Blogathon, encouraging men to take up action against the violence faced by women.
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