Incident - I
My father has a transferable job and we would change cities every 2-4 years. I, young girl of just over 11 years was used to such shifts and now was in a place called Avadi near Madras (now Chennai). New people, new surrondings and a different language welcomed us. I was excited, curious and eager to explore the city with my parents! So after the initial settling down was taken care off we set out to experience Marina Beach. I loved the sea, the beach and the breeze. I was in high spirits. We had to change a bus on our way and we were about to get down the first bus when it happened. I was the last in que to get down and my parents was coaking me to get down fast. In the rush a man came just infront of me and pinched me hard. For a second I froze I didn't know what had happened and why did he do that. I was very confused and was feeling terrible. My excitement just vanished. My mother noticed my changed behaviour and asked what had happened I just mummered something about feeling tired and let it pass. The fact that I still remember it conveys how shocked and taken aback I was.
Incident - II
Same city ie Madras, few months later. It was Durga Puja time and Dad had found a Pandal where Durga Puja was carried out. I don't remember why but our school was closed that day and it was ashtami. The Puja Pandal was not walking distance but not too far also. My mom asked me to go there on my cycle just before lunch time and get the ashtami ka bhog (its the lunch served to Durga Mata and then mixed in food converting the whole food to Prasad) as due to some reason we all couldnot go there in in the afternoon. So I on my cycle with a bag containing a tiffin went there got the bhog and was on my way back. It would be sometime around 1-1.30 in the afternoon and there was noone on the road near my house but for a boy on cycle coming from opposite direction at high speed. I didn't give it much thought till he was very near to me and was on my side of the road riding very fast and staring at me. Before I could say or do anything he hit me hard on my chest and went ahead. I got enraged but was very scared so I did nothing and went home. But after lunch I told my Mom about it. She was very upset and told me that I should not take such things lying low and fight back and it was good that I had told her about it. She also asked me if I would be able to recognise the boy and I asked in affermative. She also told it to my Dad when I was not present. In the evening we were going to the Puja Pandal on the scooter and we overtook the boy. I immidiately shouted, he is the one. The boy heard it and immidiately turned his cycle and started running in the opposite direction. My dad turned the scooter too and chased him. I must say the boy was very good at cycling and Dad had a disadvantage of us being there too. When that boy realised that he is not able to shake us off he left his cycle and entered the nearby temple. Dad saw him and left the scooter and ran after him. Dad was well recognised in the area to few people joined him and asked what happened. He just said that he has to catch that boy. The boy was chased down and by that time people came to know that he hyad tried to act funny with me.
I have till date not seen anyone being beaten up that way. I dont know how many sandles, chappals and slaps that boy received that day. I hope he changed after that because I never saw him again. But I learned what my Mom said..... Fight Back!
Incident - III
Like anyother girl, I too have many stories of eve-teasing which I can share. But this ones special. I was doing my graduation (2nd year, would be 20yrs old) in Delhi from South Campus and my college was near Dhaula Kuan and I used to stay in Moti Bagh which is not very far away. I would reach back home anywhere around 2-3.30 depending upon the number of classes and plans with friends.
This perticular afternoon it was around 2.30 when I got down at the bus stop. There are two ways to reach my home, one is through the main road which is very long and another between the gallies which is short and deserted. I had not faced any problem on the short cut route and was comfortable using it. That day another man got down at the bus stop and started walking behind me. I didn't pay any attention till he called me out. I stopped and turned. He then told me that he is new to the are and was looking for a specific address and told me the address. I informed him that he has come much ahead and on the opposite side of the address he has mentioned saying this I turned around and continued on my way. I now felt that he was following me so I turned back and saw him coming after me. When I confronted he said that he is sure he is on the right path and I'm confusing him. He was too close to me by now and I was aware that there is no one around. If I should, people maynot hear or if they do by then the man would escape easily. The man suddenly attacked. I was already anticipating it so I moved quickly to block him and succeded ( I had learned Martial Arts for over 3 years after Incident-II but left as Dad again got posted out). He tried again and I was enraged. I punched him hard on his mouth his lips got caught between my knuckle and his teeth and he started bleeding. He was taken aback but he tried to get back. I blocked him again and punched him again on his face and in quick succession landed another blow on his stomach. He bend down because of pain and I hit him on his chin. He fell back and I moved forward. He was totally taken aback and turned around and ran away holding his bleeding lips. I turned around and walked home.
Now when I think of it, I feel that the surprise element caught him off guard and he could not retailate the way he was capable of.
The idea of sharing these three incidents was to show how I changed over a period of time. Today, I feel I am capable of handling any situation. Maybe this comes through my body language and thats why I face less eve-teasing now (Thank God for that!)
Location Avadi, Madras then Delhi
Time: Evening then both in the afternoon
Current age: 30
Age at the time of experience: 11, 20
From Shock to Anger to frustration to elation to confidence
Posted 23rd June 2008