Sunday, June 30, 2013

Confessions of an irresponsible citizen

The following is an incidence that happened in my life recently. It’s a true story (wish it had never happened, though, and even if it did, wish it never ended the same). But as they say, some things are meant to happen! It has taught me a lot in a short span of 30 minutes and the memories will stay with me for a long time – which is a good thing as it’ll help me be more responsible. Without adding more to the suspense and without further ado, I’ll directly jump onto the story.

There are some guys (perhaps girls too) who drink too much and can't handle it. It was a usual day and I was on my way back home. It was about 6:30 pm. While crossing the bridge in Dadar (one of the busiest railway stations in Mumbai) I found a drunken guy wandering around. He looked disgusting in his worn out clothes and one could make out that he was drunk by just going near him. He soon suddenly began stalking a girl. He was trying to grab her attention by walking closely behind her and occasionally staring at her from the side. She sprinted, changed her route, slowed down and tried everything to dodge him, but he continued. He followed her to the ticket window and waited while she took her ticket. At first, I thought he perhaps knows her and she’s just angry at him for something he has done (may be a sad love story), but soon I realized that that wasn’t the case.

I began following them closely to see whether the girl knows him. After she took the ticket he continued following her. While getting down the stairs she gathered enough courage to turn back, yell at him and warn him that she’ll call the police if he didn’t stop stalking her. That’s when I was sure that he was a random stranger harassing an innocent girl. I sprinted and tried getting hold of that guy, but to my surprise, both of them disappeared suddenly. I felt really ashamed of myself. I didn’t realize what impact my ignorance or indifference can have on someone else’s life. The girl was going through a mental trauma, or perhaps much more. She (and may be many such girls) would be scared to move out on the streets because of such horrendous experiences. That guy might have left a lasting scar on her mind. The next time she walks on that bridge, she might never feel secure again. I could have helped her but somehow just didn't want to get into a mess. Somehow I felt I'm responsible for what happened to her. She didn't have to go through it. I could have helped but I chose not to. I was really disappointed in myself – felt like an irresponsible citizen.

Luckily, just minutes after that, I came to the platform to catch my train and saw that guy following another girl. I began chasing him this time. Coincidentally, a female police officer walked past me just about the same time. I told her about this guy who’s drunk and is following girls. She found him and realized that he's drunk. She thanked me for bringing it to her notice and dragged him away (hopefully to the police station).

By handing him over to the police, I might have saved a few other girls from getting traumatized but I feel utterly humiliated that I couldn't stand up for a girl who had no choice but to go through this. I respect all women and after this incidence, I’m sure that I will never let this happen again. Girls deserve to be treated with high respect; it's high time we (filthy) men understand that. If you’re a guy reading this, please make sure you don’t repeat the mistake I did and if you’re the drunk guy in this story, then I hope you get locked up in jail! If you’re a girl, please make sure to immediately report such an incidence and make people around you aware of what you’re going through. I’m sure many people around you would understand your situation and react appropriately........wish I had!

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