Being a crime journalist for more than two years, I had thought that I have attained the level of narcotizing dysfunction, where you become immune to see the crime happening on a daily basis. Until, I became a victim.
I was proud to have covered that era of change when women actually started reporting cases of eve teasing and rape. A wake up call for all of us. As journalist we come across the genuine and the fake cases. We look at them just as same, thinking that we will never be at the receiving end.
In my mind, I had thought of all the possible situations at one point or other and how I will react. Trust me, all of it fails when it actually happens.
God has its way of making us realize that we are still humans, women, the weaker gender, and still need to empower ourselves from within.
It was this regular Monday when I was on my way to the district courts in one of the safest cities in the country, Chandigarh, on my two-wheeler. As usual I was making and receiving calls on my mobile on a handsfree. In between the calls, my music playlist, acted as a filler.
I took my usual road to the court which has the least rush and just one traffic signal. As a call came, I slowed my two wheeler, moved to the left side of the road and took out my phone.
A man, wearing clothes which looked like uniform, came on another scooter, over-took me. While doing that he turned to me and said something. I could not understand. I thought he said something was wrong with my scooter. I looked around but could not find a fault. Then I thought to myself that he might be one of those ruley ones and was lecturing me for using a phone while driving.
I ignored him. Moving a little further, I didn’t realize when I went ahead of him. I was trying to call my Cheif to inform him about something. The man came again. He again said something. I did not understand, AGAIN.
Only when I paid attention to what he was trying to say or do, i noticed that the fly of his pants was open and the “tools” were out, erect.
I gave him a disgusted look and he smirked at me. He pulled down his navy blue sweater and sped up. He jumped the lights and took a left turn inside a village of the city.
For two seconds, I felt like being back in college, vulnerable and clueless what to do. I slid my phone in my pocket and started following him. I kept pressing the horn of my scooter to alert the fellow passengers. No one paid a heed.
I followed him for about a kilometer before he managed to escape. I took a wrong turn and lost him.
I could feel the blood rushing though my veins. My hands were shaking and vision unclear. I just wanted to grab him and beat the shit out of him, how I still wish to do that.
Not knowing what to do when I lost him, I called the police. They ran everywhere but couldn’t find him. I gave all the possible description to the police. The police swung into action. Recorded my statement, registered a case and have started with the investigation.
Though chances of him being found are less, I doubted if I did the right thing. So, I called up an expert, an old friend and a successful criminal lawyer. Told her everything and she said, “you did the right thing. This may be a tip of the iceberg. He might be involved in a bigger crime”.
For a minute, I doubted myself. What did I do wrong. My clothes were not revealing. A full sleeve long kurta with a pair of jeans. Helmet his my face and hair pulled in front. Where did I go wrong. In had to actually tell my self aloud, “it was not my fault” and realize that the man was a pervert.
As much independent we become, as much bold and upfront we women are, the problem persists. Because for them, we are just here for their pleasure. A cook, a maid, a servant, a whore, a baby machine and the stronger gender will make sure we are happy till we “Satisfy” them.
It was that man who made me realize that even though my father and my brother have never looked down upon me for being a girl, I am still a woman and every time a man makes me realize that, I will doubt myself and question myself if I was at fault?