Scream for help

Every other day we hear news about girls being raped, molested, killed by a spurned lover and what not! Even babies are not spared. It is heart wrenching!

An incident that happened to me in college still haunts me. I was waiting for my bus after classes. A man, about 60-plus, approached me and in very fluent English said, “You look familiar. Are you from so and so school?”

Being naive, I smiled back at him and told him my name and the school I studied at (all my life I have heard my elders says don’t talk to strangers, but here I was blurting out my name to this well-dressed ‘uncle’).

“So are you going back home?” he asked. At this point, I became wary of him. “I am going that way, I will drop you, come,” he persisted. I said no it’s OK and started walking away. He then opened his car door and literally pulled my hand. “Don’t create a scene dear I will not harm you. People are watching,” (he sounded like a maniac). Fear gripped me and I ran for my life.

A week after that I saw the same man standing at the same bus stop talking to a young girl who was all smiles. But I didn’t have the courage to tell the girl about him.

I didn’t talk about it to my elders. What would have happened if I had believed him and got into the car? Now, looking back at the incident, I realise that I should have shouted for help and that would have helped other girls from being harassed by that man. Crimes against women are increasing day by day. I understand very well that speaking about things like these is difficult and embarrassing, but it would prevent others from suffering at the hands of the perpetrator.

Although I cannot give a permanent solution on how to put an end to this, all I can say is that speak up if someone harasses you. Just like the saying goes a ‘stitch in time saves nine’, so will voicing your problems help prevent predators like him from going after other women.

Sudha Mohan