This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at BlogAdda.com for Indian Bloggers.
I was aware of the “Gundaraj” of Uttar Pradesh in news, articles, media etc but I had never dreamt of become a victim of it. And after that unfortunate day, I had witnessed it firsthand. We had just finished our first year in college and it was the time for summer Internship. Shyam and Anu were to join their offices in different cities and I was about to join my office in New Delhi.
It was 6:30 PM. We were on the hanging out, enjoying street food and each other’s company. After a while, we decided to return to our respective hostels as Shyam had to catch his train next day. Though we were not very far, it was only a 20 minutes walk, we decided to take a cycle rikshaw to reach hostels on time. It was a normal evening for three of us.
The light turned green and we were on to cross the road. All of sudden the rikshawpuller applied a sudden brake and we were almost in the middle of the road. We were hit by a bike. The bike riders abused our rikshaw puller and passed vulgar comments about us. We were just staring at them in disbelief and anger over their extremely rude and unsocial behavior. Before we could say or react, they disappeared and we believed that the whole drama was over. We had travelled hardly 10 wheels from the place of incident when we found them following us. Before we could understand anything, they came in front of us and stopped the rikshaw. They didn't even find the time to stand their bike properly. Their eyes were red and we realized that they were drunk. They pulled our rikshawpuller on the road and started beating him. We were in a state of shock. It was just 7 PM in summer. We didn’t understand what was going on. Why two unknown person came and started a fight with us? Why didn’t they had no fear of law and order? How were they so powerful?
We immediately got off from the rikshaw and tried to save him. After our interference the two men then grabbed our friend Shyam. They broke his glasses and started beating him. We were continuously pleading to leave us but they acted as if they were deaf (but our pleas fell on deaf ears). They were insane. The busy traffic on road got interrupted but they didn't stop. We wanted to save our friend but we were threatened by these two men. Anu was in a state of shock and was scared. I was scared too but I wanted to save my friend anyhow. I stepped forward to stop them physically but then I was pulled back by Anu. Out of fear she said, “Don’t intervene, else they could strip our clothes in public, they are powerful”. She was crying and disturbed with their brutal actions. I told her to stay in a corner and started to find a way to stop them.
I saw more than 100 people standing nearby and were silently watching us as if some daily soap was being telecast. I had no options left apart from asking help from the public. I ran in front of almost everyone standing there, pleading to stop these men, to rescue us, and to interfere at some level on moral grounds, however I found myself seeking help from the deaf audience and the blind viewers. At the same time I heard one liner from the public that “In logon ne hi kuch kiya hoga” (we must had done something wrong). How easy is it to target a girl for everything wrong? I was surprised.
That statement boiled my blood and I wanted to break his head to stop his nonsense. If he was not aware of the truth, he should have kept his mouth shut. I came back to my friends. I saw Shyam was lying on the road, they had now stopped beating him and now coming closer to us. I had now realized that I had no options left but to fight alone. I didn’t know what happened to me next, I recollected all my energy and started shouting at them at the top of my voice. For next couple of minutes, only my voice was on air. I narrated the incident from beginning to end, in loop. I was just repeating. I was loud and loud and loud.
I then saw some people from public were coming closer. I didn't stop and continued my narration. I saw these two men step back from us. For the first time, we could see fear on their faces. They had now decided to run away from the place. One of them threatened me to stop the narration else he would not leave me, but I didn't stop. I was getting louder till the time they fled. We stood at the place for a while and hugged each other to confirm that we were alive. My eyes were filled with tears. We then heard someone in the public say that I roared like a lioness and because of my willingness, I won this fight.
This is a real story of me, Anu and Shyam. It was not an easy escape. It was possible because we had not given up. I have brought this story up because it changed me. I became acquainted with a new girl who was living inside me. She was brave, courageous, fighter, a true Mardaani. She was the Hero.