This post was written on 10th January, but just couldn’t publish it. Never felt like publishing it, it was rough, it signifies the conflicts in my mind, it has stayed in my drafts for a long time. Just as an impulsive action I am publishing it, maybe because human rights issues that I am dealing with in my internship have forced me to pull the publish button… but the real reason is below… In the end
I was traveling by a public bus, on my daily journey, back from college. Usually I try to plunge for a seat to pass the hour it takes to reach my home, but not on that day. It was clear, I had to stand for the rest of my journey, holding those supporting hooks and pipes meant for giving a better grip to passengers. An old man boarded the bus, looked very confused to me. He came close and asked me, “Will this bus go to Shivaji Nagar?” in a very exhausted tone, I nodded in approval, usually I don’t just nod when I communicate with someone, as I find it rude to just nod like a retard, but not this time, I was trying to be sure while answering as I felt he was smelling of alcohol, but I wasn’t sure. He moved away.
Two girls boarded the bus maybe 16-17 years old, in their own world. In the evening the buses are so crowded that luck and skill are the two things that need to be on your side. The girls seemed to lack both of them, and they had to stand, holding those hooks and pipes.
Seeing those girls, that old man shifted base, he was standing at right side of the bus, he shifted to left, near the girls. I could smell something foul, the world knows what alcohol can do. He stood close to girls, giving constant stares and then looking back as if minding his own business, I was closely watching. He made his first advance held the same pole one of the girls was holding, just above her hold. His hand was touching her, the girl felt uncomfortable and removed her hand, seeing her that man also raised his holding height, just to make her hold back that pole, she had to come back as holding something was necessary to counter the jolts that the bus delivers. She placed her grip at the same place, but that man slided his grip down slowly, as if forced by bus’s constant ups and downs, it touched her again. She removed her hand again, stood a little more far away from that pervert. That didn’t stop him from giving a constant and lusty stare to her, she was just trying to look away, not giving any sign of notice to him. This carried on, no one bothered, the stares continued, the advances continued.
While all this was happening, I was looking very meticulously, as if some spy would do. I wanted to bash that man up, to ask him what’s the need of doing whatever he was doing. I might sound like a coward, but I didn’t do anything, not because I was afraid of that pervert buddha, but I was feeling lost and confused as to why that girl wasn’t showing any reaction, not making any noise, not asking for help??? I could have thrown that person from that bus, but had no genuine reason. A question kept circling in my mind, “Why you didn’t say anything miss, what makes you silent?”. This confusion just kept me from taking an action, I was in a state of total confusion, deep thought. By the time, i regained my senses, that man might have reached his destination, the duo of girls had found a place to sit finally.
As the bus neared its destination most passengers got down, seats became empty. Every standing person rushed to get his or her seat, trying to get some relief from stiff legs after standing for nearly an hour…
I published it, because a colleague made me realise, that I have great prejudices against gender, races etc, while I always considered myself as a secular, rationalist person with a neutral outlook towards this world…Maybe I have strong prejudices, maybe that is why I kept mum… But finally I published it… Great