An Open Letter to Vice Media’s Natasha VC and to Anyone Else Who Thinks I’m Lying – http://wp.me/p3Lbqo-oE
Being an introvert person, I don’t really like to share much about what I’m doing or what’s happening in my life on everyday basis over the social media. But what happened today & a few days back with us, I just had to share with you all as such issues are a social concern.
When we start our day in the morning and head towards our respective jobs, we never think that we or our loved one’s can become a victim of the increasing mishaps in the world. We take everything for granted. Himachal, though, is considered the safest state in India as far as the crime rate is concerned, yet, things like eve-teasing, robbery and other such crimes are still prevalent.
Few days back, while we were going to the market, I and my Bhabi (my brother’s wife) were eve-teased by a group of five young boys (aged 7-15 yrs) who started calling us cheap and derogatory names (I wonder where they learnt them from? I can’t even write them down. that’s how vulgar & disrespecting they were – you can imagine) followed by obscene gestures, which called for them to be taught a lesson and yes, I caught hold one of them & slapped him real hard but the kid somehow freed himself & they all fled before I could drag them to the police station. As we moved ahead, they threw stones on us from behind. Thankfully, we were unhurt. I don’t care if they were kids. I have beaten much elder jerks twice & dragged one to the station before. Old or young, what’s wrong is wrong.
Ever since I have read about Amardeep Sada who became the “youngest serial killer“ at a mere age of Eight years and juveniles being involved in many rape cases I really do not trust kids these days to be unarmed. Not every kid will become Amardeep, of course, still, I would like to mention, “Crime has no age.” So rather than whimpering, it is better to take some solemn action.
This was one case. Let us talk about what happened today with my mother. As she made her way for a conference that she had to attend at her place of work (KNH HOSPITAL, SHIMLA), my mother was attacked by a chain snatcher. My mother is a very sophisticated lady when it comes to anything, be it working or wearing clothes. While traveling or while going to the market she makes sure to cover her neck and keep the chain or jewellery (if she’s wearing any) tucked in her clothes. That’s how conscious she is. At the time of the attack too she wasn’t wearing any piece of jewellery other than what is a necessity for Indian married women to wear (sometimes such necessities to me feel more like a burden & an open invitation to thieves).
Any who! As soon as, my mother felt the hand of the thief on her shoulder, which was his first attempt to grab the chain, without wasting another second, she quickly caught his hand with all her force while trying to secure her chain. She got injured in the scuffle, as he pushed her in his second attempt to snatch it. There were few labourers standing behind but they just decided to become mute spectators rather than coming over for help. On realising that he can no way steal the chain, as he couldn’t find it anywhere, and that my mother was even more fierce, down he went, like a cat, with the fear of being caught now, leaving my mother lying on the ground (injured but not helpless). Then came the audience who had been watching all this till now & helped my mother get up. Sensing that they too can be potential goons, my mother quickly tricked them “oh, meri chain neeche gir gai. koi uthao zara” (oh, my chain fell down. Someone please pick it up) while she hid it in her fist, so they don’t try to snatch again as she was alone over there & exhausted too. Quite clever, I must say. They searched but when they couldn’t find the chain, picked up her specs and gave it to her. Being a bold & independent lady, she surely knows how to defend herself in a situation like this. This was followed by a few more people coming down to where all this happened and she was taken to the hospital where she got her first aid while her colleagues were petrified on seeing her wounds bleed. She had deep wounds on hand arm and knees but thankfully not fatal. She got bruised a little on her eye and nose too and other parts with injuries were followed by some swelling.
Despite all this, she attended the conference today and came back home by the evening only. It would not be justified to simply say that she is a very dedicated employee. The word seems too small. She loves what she does. After she got back home, we were all bewildered on seeing her injuries and when she told us about what happened, it shook us from within. It took us some time to get back to normal and my mother’s strong and jovial – happy go lucky nature made it all look like a perfect action scene from a Bollywood movie. This also reminded me of how Rani in the movie Queen fought with a goon who tried snatching her purse. But that was made up and this a real incident with a real Queen who actually fought a real goon. We were shocked and my mother rocked.
I can not thank God enough for bestowing my mother with strength and keeping her presence of mind that helped her protect herself and come back home safe. Oh yes, the police came too, got her statement recorded but as she couldn’t see the face of the thief because her specs had fallen so she refused to file an FIR. After being insisted by the officers, that if anything is found on CCTV footage, she must see and confirm, to which she agreed. Unlike the police of other states, Himachal Police talks politely with respect and concern and never try to scare people about the cons of filing an FIR. That’s appreciable. They have also got more security to cover that place after the incident and that too in civil clothes to make sure no such goon goes unnoticed so such incidents could be avoided in future.
Coming back to the point – Safety! No, we can’t always expect the government or the police to be present everywhere, although they are trying their best to. According to my mother, the snatcher seemed to be a young boy & taking some sort of drugs and do you know what is common between the incident that happened with me & my Bhabi & my mother?? Both times it happened just within the residential areas & they were people from U.P. No, I’m not stereotyping. I know few really genuine people from that state and have a very strong bond. Also, I am sure there would be many more good people from U.P. out there. But the facts can never be ignored. As it’s not just twice, something like this has happened with us. Back when I was in Delhi & Chandigarh, I had been a victim of eve-teasing quite a lot of times and most of the times they were from U.P. Not neglecting the fact that he ratio of local eve-teasers is less however that too happens quite a lot. This statement by me might offend many but it is the truth. I can’t say about others girls but only vouch for my own experiences. What if those kids who said nasty and vulgar words and that chain snatcher had some weapon and tried to attack us with it? Anything could have gone wrong and our lives could have been in danger. It is hard to imagine anything worse happening.
But the problem persists. We just can’t take anything for granted. Anything can happen anytime & anywhere. Yesterday, it happened with me, today with my mother and tomorrow it can happen with you and day after with your loved one’s too. So, I urge all of you to be conscious both at home and outside. No place is safe as the thugs can be anywhere. Make sure the doors are locked and refrain from attending strangers who come to sell different items door to door. You never know which one turns out to be a threat. If possible, install a CCTV at the entrance and drawing room of your home. When you step out, be aware of your surroundings. Don’t keep walking straight in the direction of your nose and not looking around. You might want to avoid contact with some people you don’t like. But you wouldn’t want to miss a potential threat. So bumping into a a few people you don’t like seems like a much better option. Prepare yourself for the worst. You must always be ready to handle any sort of situation and defend yourself. Even better, if you can get trained in self defence. You can not always control what happens but surely, being cognisant of your surroundings will help you make a much safer place for yourself & others too. And lastly, be fearless. Trust your instincts. Help people in need. Don’t keep watching. Audience is for reel life in theatres. In the real world, we are actors. So act and react as and when required. Don’t be afraid of anything. Nothing is weaker than your fear & nothing is stronger than being courageous.