Read about Blanknoise Project and visited their blog as I’m a keen blogger too, especially about things that really matter. I feel what they have got here is by far one of the most remarkable actions in a long time.
I clearly understand the feelings of all those women who have contributed to the blog as I can relate to them through my incident. Although, I wasn’t victimized as I fought back, and how! I’m all of 23 now, but two years ago, while going to a friend’s place to join him for a morning walk, this is what happened…
Firstly, it is important to mention the clothes I was wearing – an oversized, zipped up sweat-shirt, track pants that reached my ankles, sports shoes with socks rolled up. In other words, not provocative! What’s important to mention next is my built. I’m a small built girl, who seems timid and naïve. Of course, the operative word being SEEMS!
And so I’m heading to my friend’s place for which I must take a lonely alley. And that’s where this man, twice my size, stood waiting for his next victim. This area is one of the lanes near Chapel Road in Bandra, Mumbai. For those of the readers who know this area, will understand the kind of housing system here too. It’s simple to get people to help by sheer yelling. But that morning, it wasn’t the case. I passed by this spineless man, who groped me before I even knew it. And the next thing was my little but powered fist with my cell phone still in it, in his face. He had a cycle which he quickly sat on to scram. But I kicked it and he fell down. I caught him by the collar and screamed for my friend in a voice I didn’t know was ever in me. But before he could come down, all the sleepy neighbours were out looking at this morning show. I asked them to help me, but “let it be…” was all they could say in between their lazy yawns. But this didn’t stop me for yelling out again for my friend, who by then had reached. He is of average built, but all he asked me was, “Sam, what did he do?” and the rage he saw in my eyes was enough for him to slap the man just once. He did that, and the man was on the floor now, screaming for mercy. Mercy was always good to ask for. But he denied, and that only worked against him. I was merciless by then. And the people, now all 150 of them, were watching and asking me to calm down. But no frikkin’ way! He had touched me and made me feel like a thing so disgusting that I just couldn’t forgive or forget. I kicked him in the face; I slapped him till it hurt him. And my friend only held him for me to do whatever I wanted to do to him. And then a lady, who apparently knew him, came around from behind me while I was busy calling the cops, to tell him how he just had to deny everything as I had no proof, by saying he had slipped and fallen on me. By the way, she happened to be a lawyer. I went up to her, and asked her if she had a daughter. She nodded affirmatively. I asked, “If I was your daughter, would you still be giving him legal advice against me?” she walked away. And nobody came forward to ask any more questions. The next thing I did was take him to the cops. I was studying as a media student in a reputed college. I informed the cops that if they didn’t beat him up in front of me, I was calling the Press. And they did. It didn’t undo what he did to me. But I left the police station not feeling like a victim.
His name was Mohammed; so much for sharing the name of the Prophet. And in between all the punches and kicks I threw at him, I asked him his name and when he replied I looked him in the eye and said, “It’s people like you who spoil the reputation of an entire community and add fuel to the fire.” He obviously wasn’t equipped with a brain to understand that. But I did my best to not feel like I victim and I’m sure today that I never was.
I also managed to get a job with a leading newspaper on the editorial team.
I’d like to share my story with the rest of the readers who have been victimized as they need to know that they may not be the strongest but when you are wronged, you get the strength from within. Just never lose faith in yourself. All else will follow.
Posted 21st March 2007 by J