"Man who was no less than a soldier!"

When Blogadda came up with “this” competition, I really could not think of any men other than men in my life who stood up for me. It really takes lot of courage and selflessness to stand up for an unknown woman.

After thinking a lot I suddenly remembered an incident which happened to me many years back. We were new to Hyderabad and I was still exploring the place. I was scared like any other newbie and always wanted my brother to escort me to bus stop or my dad to drop me to a mall I wanted to go.

I preferred to be in the company of a man I know instead of taking an auto or a taxi. I heard too many auto tales in the very first month we shifted to Hyderabad. There is an area called Gachibowli which is IT hub near to Hi-tech city. An autowallah drastically drove the auto and snatched the lady’s purse and belongings and pushed her out of the auto. It happened to a fellow colleague. She was totally bruised and shaken and it was enough to send a shiver in my spine. I never took an auto after that. I strangely preferred service auto thinking there is less scope of crime but I was not comfortable with few stares or lecherous eyes. I was glad when I finally got the company bus pass and started taking the office bus.

After two months of stay and getting comfortable with Hyderabad, I started going out on my own. I used to go to early morning walks with my dad and some times alone on the empty roads around my house which was in Mehdipatnam near St.Anns women’s college. It is one of the busiest centers of Hyderabad. I used to go quite early for the morning walk.  Due to the women’s college we used to read one or the other news on eve teasing and used to hear a lot about oglers. Other than that it was comfortable and a safe locality for any one to stay. I had this opinion till that awful day. That day I got little late but the roads were still empty other than few school buses honking and the beggars sleeping on the foot path. I started walking briskly with my MP3 plugged in my ears.

My Mom always warned me to walk with out any music as hearing to music on roads is not safe but inertia of motion happens in my case only if I have some good music as a companion. I always keep the player on a very low volume. That day my dad did not accompany me as he had to go to market for some urgent work. I was almost done with my walking. I was in the last but one round. There are many U-turns and bends which I need to take in those colonies arranged in a maze. I was huffing and panting and walking on the side-walk of the street when suddenly a guy from no where came like a flash on his rattling scooter and slapped me hard on my back. I froze.

For a second I did not understand what happened. I shrieked loud. My voice was loud enough to wake up the dead bodies but no one came out of the houses even if they were sipping their chais and reading news papers in their verandas  and a man who was cleaning his car near by did not flinch. By then tears were rolling down my eyes. I looked around helplessly to understand what just happened.In the initial second I felt a tree branch fell on me and hence the force and the pain. The lecher even had the guts to turn around and look at me with his blood shot eyes. I was boiling by then and ran behind him after picking an wooden stick near by . He was blissful and drove away. His scooter had no silencers. I was not in a stage to note down his number and he just left like a sudden tornado.

An old man was coming from opposite direction and even before I told him what happened , he sensed there was some thing wrong and ran after the scooter. He hurled a stone at him but by then the man fled away. The old man came running to me. I was still shell shocked. He asked me what happened. As the person slapped me while he was driving in jet speed it was really painful and again a fresh set of tears formed in my eyes. He bent his head down as if he understood and walked with me till the end of the road requesting me to be careful and gave me courage that some times shit happens. He told he has a daughter too and shared some tips on how to be vigilant. I half paid attention as I reached my colony. He  asked, ” Shall I drop you till home ?” By that time my dad approached me as he was back home and also as I called him.

He was fuming and had a short conversation with the uncle. I called him uncle and didn’t even bother asking his name. He was elder than my dad. We invited him for tea and he narrated all the sagas of Mehdipatnam like how even burqa (outer garment worn by Muslim women from head to toe) clad ladies are teased in that street. The statistics he gave petrified me. I was still lost in thoughts hoping the moron just wanted to snatch my chain or my player but it was evident that he clearly had no such intentions.

Uncle smiled and told me not to think about it . He was in to social activities and also managed the colony events. He shook my dad’s hands and waved a bye to me.

He treated me like a kid and at that moment I felt so light.  I never thought to pen this down in my blog but today the letter “M” and blogadda’s topic made me write this. Where ever he is , he is a true soldier. When many young men who were hearing me acted deaf and many well to do men who were washing cars glanced at me as if it is a daily ritual, this old man stood out of the crowd and took that one step to make me feel better. He definitely didn’t have physical strength to run after the culprit but the way he came to my rescue moved me. He for sure was a hero that day and he rekindled my belief that few good men always exist.

After that day I never dared to go for a walk all alone ! I was accompanied by brother , dad or  mom. I stopped going for morning walks and joined gym due to the sole reason of not feeling safe on an empty road.
Do you face the same jitters too ? What are your experiences ?  Gandhiji said India is free when a woman can roam on roads fearlessly well past the midnight. Leave the mid of the night. I would be glad if at least our roads are safe in the wake of the dawn !

This post goes as a tribute to that elderly stranger who was different from others.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com
and also this is my 13th post for  “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” !

39 thoughts on “"Man who was no less than a soldier!"

  1. I have stayed in Hyderabad for nearly 7 years and have had incidents like that happen to me. What I hated about it is exactly what you said, no one bothers to even look up or see if you are okay or not! Coming from Calcutta, it was a major shock to me! You were lucky that you had at least one concerned soul.

  2. Thank goodness for Uncle. Let's hope that in the future that more than few good men will exist in this world. Thank goodness you are okay.

  3. Bad Incidents/people make you love people a little less until you know them. But some good people out there still carry human values keeping our faith alive. To keep the human value alive, goodness demands more – it needs to cluster.
    BTW, You will find Chennai/Bangalore way safer than Hyde.

  4. Bad experiences are every where Anupam.There are many good ppl in Hyd too who come to rescue and bad ppl tooo Who dont think twice. I am right now in Bangalore and hear stories even here. ITS NOT THE PLACE , its always good and bad people 🙂
    Thanks for dropping by my blog

  5. Actually many times people are helping in hyderabad. I heard many cases wheere people come to rescue or protest. That was a fateful day for me. But was glad still a man came forward to help. Bad that U also had similar incidents
    Thanks for dropping by

  6. @Suzy : It was years back when I was new to hyd ! Ya few good men are there always

    @Doodling words : True ! World is still up and running as good still over powers bad

  7. U know I used to catch my bus to college from this bus stop neat ST.Anns Mehdipatnam :). Thw world is a small place!

    U know these may be small incidents but tehy scar us for life n making us believe a litt lesser in life :-/

  8. I cant believe such things happen so randomly in such big towns… shocked to hear that no one reacted… atleast I thought people would rush to inquire what happened !!!!

    Thank god for that Good Samaritan 🙂

    Such incidents are rare around my place… infact my wife, mom or bro's wife venture out for walks or shopping alone on most times

  9. Big cities are often inviting to random and haphazard ppl .Arent they ?!!?
    Yep no one in vicinity bothered . !

    I can never forget that man
    Good that ur wife and all can go out alone. I also go alone but after that day just walking in wee hours was little frightening. I stay vigilant if I have to go

  10. As a guy, this is extremely embarrassing and shameful to hear. I have seen such “men” in hostels, school and college, tried to understand their psyche. They generally tend to have major childhood issues and no sense of remorse. Unfortunately there is no solution, except to take care of your own self and give such elements hell if they ever dare to trespass into your comfort zone. “Uncles” are very rare.

    Akhil Kalsh.

  11. Somehow my respect for Gillette went down when they aired this ad – it's like they're capitalizing on the general mood to sell their bloody blades.. I wish they were a lil more sensitive and not so opportunistic….

  12. Yep thats true. I dont like the ad and it can be even women who can guard women but this time I guess they started this contest just to respect few men 🙂 So I thought to try it out and highlight what happened with me 🙂

    Thanks for the comment RAJ !
    Long time !

  13. Yep ! This is the reason why women cant be normal even with good men !
    Its a big dilemma to judge whos what and whos who ?
    Being debonair and dressing neat also lures some times

  14. That Uncle was a true Hero and very good of him to come to your rescue. I was not very comfortable during my last visit to Hyderabad. Autorickshaw drivers always insist on taking you through a different route which is not a very good sign

  15. It's sad that you had to stop going out alone. Why should women be made to pay for the crimes of a few bad men. Your uncle reminded me of my father, he used to come to the rescue of any woman being harassed on the roads. I salute him and all such great men who show us what a gentleman looks and behaves like.

  16. Hi, This apathy of our country folks is so revolting and little do they realize that it can happen to one of them. This is what happened to poor Nirbhaya and her friend who shouted for help in Delhi. This bastard should have been taken to task and beaten black and blue. This is what they deserve. I really respect the man who came to help you and hope many men follow this example. Young men who were standing should be put to shame. Nevertheless, a woman is not weak and whoever face such problems, should yell on the streets and face such worthless and sexually frustrated men.

  17. I lost count of how many times it happened to me. I shout and yell, but the guys always get away and nobody bats an eyelid. People need to change. As long as there are item numbers and such stuff impressing vulnerable minds, such things won't stop.

    It is scary to travel by share-autos these days too, even the educated feel the need to get some cheap thrills :-/

  18. Goodness. That's scary stuff. I've always lived in the USA, but I had some interesting moments while in lower income New York City. Fortunately I learned to keep my shoulders back and meet people in the eyes, which communicates a sense of belonging there. If you're not afraid in a bad neighborhood, they assume you belong. I also found dragging my kids along made me less of a potential victim. Awesome, right?

  19. Its strange how it is a universal problem for a woman. Ya having some company makes us feel good !Its true. Specially in wee hours it felt uncomfortable after what ever happened with me !
    Hope u r doing good
    TC 🙂

  20. Cant argue on item songs thing but ya if brain is already damaged such songs surely accelerate the sick after effects :-/

    Ya taking an auto and reaching safely is a stunt in many places

  21. I'm so glad you met an “uncle” who could help you. I've always lived in the U.S., but there was a time when I had my own apartment with no car and had to take the bus to and from the college. The area I lived in had few lights on the streets, so it was somewhat unnerving to walk alone from the bus stop to my apartment. There were even a couple of guys who would actually run home! Eventually, you learn the ins and outs, but you can never let your guard down completely when you are by yourself. Bad people are very good at finding those who are unsuspecting. Sad, but true.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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