Of when I was groped by a man in a crowded street

I am burning with a passion so fierce as I’m pressing these keys. It was an incident that made me test my own strength. And if there truly is a god above, at least I would be able to answer that I did not maintain a neutral stance at the hour of moral crisis.

Today, as I was walking the horribly crowded streets of Delhi, much changed in the afternoon that was just like any other.

I was groped by a man.

I felt his hand on my breast. It was the ugliest feeling I’ve ever known.

The rest happened within seconds. I pushed away the hand, turned around and was face to face with a dirty and rugged old man with squinted greying eyes. He was carrying a heavy stick in his hand. I acted on instincts and with all the strength I had, I kicked him at the back of his knees again and again.

By then, I could deduce he was a crazy man, mentally unfit.

He started threatening me with his stick and raised it up in an attempt to hit me and I thought for a second he would drop it with full force upon my head. Still, I did not take a step back and kept standing in the same place boldly.

The sad reality struck me when I saw not a person coming to my support but choosing to be mere spectators instead.

Before long, I found my hand advancing towards the pepper spray (which I always carry inside my bag) but I was more or less trying to understand the situation. My brain started working faster than ever. First, he was half mad (still, that he groped me by the breast tells a different story). Second, if I used the pepper-spray, the other people would have to suffer as well. Third, I could use the power of the crowd to help me through the situation.

Then I began shouting at the top of my lungs how I would have him jailed if he so much as dared moving a step.

Perhaps that made the people around me understand what was happening, for it was then that a few shopkeepers and other men came forth and started pushing away that madman.

All this while, he was still threatening me.

I beckoned more people to support me. I cried for help and the earlier deaf ear had started to hear.

I was a witness to the amount of strength a crowd has. After all, it’s made of you and I, isn’t it? And we must not forget that we are powerful.

Later when the matter was settled, a few people also inquired in soft tones if I was alright which was a positive gesture.

Now that I think about it, now that a considerable amount of time has passed by, I’m glad that I refused to be silent, that I  refused to be a porcelain doll only fit for the shelf.

At that moment I wasn’t just an individual, I wasn’t just Kanika Tripathi. I was every woman, I was every person who was victim to harassment or abuse. I was not just my own voice but I was also the voice of the voiceless, I was a torch to those who had seen nothing save for darkness.

If I had not taken this stand, would I be writing this post? Would I be living with satisfaction, living without regrets and sorries?

Would I be able to answer myself and my deeds? Would I have a story to tell to those who need my light?

The answer is no and though this test was something I would pray no other soul should have to endure, I’m satisfied that I passed it and came out, above all, victorious in my own eyes.

 

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Playing the keyboard on a stormy afternoon

 

I remember being a part of the school choir when I was little. I was awed by the way my music teacher’s fingers would dance on the black and white keys of the grand piano. It looked divine when she would close her eyes and let her fingers guide her through the notes. My only wish would be to be able to play like her, but most unfortunately, I never owned a piano or a keyboard. In the years that followed, I engaged myself in literature and soon withdrew from classical music. My wish to play the piano slowly faded to forgetfulness.

Until…

A few summers ago, I rediscovered great delight in listening to classical music. Writing comes more easily to me when accompanied by classical music. It helps in setting a mood for my daily trade on the writing desk. Continue reading

Time Travel (II)- The Two Worlds

Painting in pastel
(c) Vicente Romero Redondo

(Dear reader, if you don’t know about Young Sir Maxwell, I urge you to read the first part before reading this.)

Clouds of smoke rose from an old wooden house at the corner of a deserted street. It was but by some devise of fate that Miss Daisy happened to stroll past the street at the hour she should have been reading by the firelight in the comforts of her house. Her widened eyes saw the rising smoke from a distance. Down fell the shawl she had carelessly thrown over her shoulders, down fell her treasured copy of Les Misérables. She ran hurriedly with one hand on her hat which threatened to fly over her head.

She had passed by the house on previous occasions, she had heard of the solitary occupant of the house, but she had never seen him. In that house lived a mad man, or so had she heard the mouths speak.    Continue reading