All Talk and No Action Saturday, March 15, 2008

My work requires me to put in long hours. Sometimes these hours
stretch into late nights.
Now this is enough to give my parents sleepless nights and lack of
appetite (Lo..yeh bhi koi baat hui khaana na khaane ki??)

They keep telling me..."Zamana Kharab hai...sambhala kar...Bhai aaye tujhe office se lene??..achha yeh nahi toh kisi dost (read "Guy") ke saath aane ki koshish kar.. (haan ab saare ladke velle baithe hain na??)

Anyway, just the other day, reading one of those gloomy stories about eve-teasing (euphemism intended) my Mom almost got a minor attack! She kept harping about my lack of safety & security. All my attempts to placate her only added fuel to fire...the conversation later took a point of no return where I found myself being blamed for being a careless traveler, an irresponsible girl...a kid who couldn't take care of herself...

Suddenly, her eyes widened.. I knew her mind was up to something...and I felt like smothering the newspaper editor for spoiling my day !!

My mom rushed to the kitchen and came out with a "Potli"...The potli had a "deadly combination" of laal & kaali mirch...

"Tu aajse apne saath yeh leke jaayegi..."

Now this was too much....!

Notwithstanding protests from people who know me...I would like to think of myself as a fairly confident traveler..Not that I hold a Diploma in Judo or have a Dara Singh look alike as my BF... But I have always "Felt" sure about myself while traveling...

"Lekin mamma...." All my protests died in my mouth when I saw her bloodshot eyes... Fearing another round of her emotional outbursts...Idecided to carry the potli... anything to avoid the battle !

That Night was the scariest in the History of my traveling !!

I donned my best "Don't Mess With Me" look and undertook what I can call the longest journey I have ever taken...Throughout the ride back home, my eyes kept finding their way to the rear view mirror...trying to assess what the driver was thinking...

Did he look sleepy? Was he fancying a drink...a smoke maybe?

Would he rather be someplace else than drive? A bar...home maybe?

Home...Family? Did he have one? Kids? A daughter maybe..?

The thought of light chat crept into my mind. I dismissed it immediately not wanting to give away the unease i felt...

I reached out for the magical "potli" in my purse...my
dukh ka sahara...Somehow it failed to provide me with any solace. All I wanted at that moment was to be home, tucked in my bed, listening to Himmesh songs (Yes..even Himmesh sounded bliss to my troubled mind then !).

"Agar isne koi bhi battameezi karne ki koshish ki...toh I won't leave him...For his own sake he better behave..!"

After what seemed like ages, I reached home. I muttered a "Thank You" to the driver, he smiled and left.

Finally!Home...Bliss...

Feeling Safe...? Maybe.

Exhausted...? Definitely !

Strange...All these months I had been traveling without any scissor/knife/spray and other such accessories which other regular travelers claim to carry... I had felt no need for them...
Yet today, even after being armed, vigilant and "almost" ready for combat I did not feel comfortable.

My "Saviour" did not make me feel safe or secure...

I had ended up feeling uneasy, suspicious, sceptical, doubtful, jittery and all too aware of my vulnerability.

For all I know, maybe the driver too wanted to be home and tucked away in his cozy bed...

Phew! Is this how most women felt while traveling late? How did they deal with it?

Uff...sleep and exhaustion were taking over and I could not think straight...

However, one question needed to be dealt with immediately...

Should I carry my "Bodyguard" again??

8 comments:

Namrata said...

Hi
finally ur blog is blessed with my comment... i am sure the pride and joy u feel at this moment cannot be measured... actually had come online to read some stuff but ended up remembering ur comment PLEASE MEIN TERE HAATH JODTI HU, UMMM CHAL PAIR BHI CHU LUNGI.... MERE BLOG PE HITS BADHA..... can anyone believe she was almost in tears...so here i end up on ur blog reading all the posts... now can u believe i read them all.... as u know the avid reader that i am!!! I know i know i am supposed to comment on your posts and not write such a long storyyyy.... but as u have not given me the promised darshan i will bug you here... waise yaar kahaniya likhne mein to tu master hi hai.... but nice relevant posts... and somewhere hidden in your post i find u mentioning about me also... are tune meri taarif kar di hai :) so you know it obviously would be nice.

Post regarding ur cooking skills...
well written. but we wud believe ur cooking skills only when u invite all ur friends and enemies for lunch/dinner cooked by you... Lets hope people turn up considering the risk that has to be taken.. (must say u cook well.. of the lil that i have tasted)

jab tujhe rona aya... to ro leti na.... infact mujhe fone karke roti.... (so that i cud chidko lil more namak on ur jakham).... but welll th8 of and ya mujhe sirf thank you bolne se kaam nahi chalega.... u know whts the return gift

and ya travelling wala post... i agree however confident traveller we maybe there is always a hidden fear.... like the early morning time travelling to collg... and god forbid if the police entered the train... instd of feeling safe.... all the great th8s that u felt with the driver wud creep in until either he got off or i did...

kip up the good work!!!(bolne ke liye bol diya)..
and ya sometimes u can even travel to places other than ur CHembur

bahut mehnat karke likha hai so dont dare to delete...

Tina Sekharan said...

Be scared!!! Be very scared!!! Thats the message sent to us all the time....
Can't say it's the worst advice I've ever been given... Just cause we have been lucky so far, doesn't mean that we will be lucky in the next late night travel occassion

All Talk and No Action said...

@namz
I can say this is the BEST comment on my blog so far :)
n yeah...i beg n plead...do keep visiting my blog!!

@Tina
Yes..I agree with the caution..better feel uncomfy yet safe rather than sorry...
Btw..felt nice to see ur comment..:)

ketan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ketan said...

Body guard..!!! In our company we have Security Guys excorting the female employees..Garib company..Cant even arrange a security guy.!!Poor little girl..kitna sochna padhta hai na..Office jate hue bhi tensoin aate hue DOUBLE TENSION? I know zamana kharab hai..Carry a epper Spray instaed of POTLY.!!

All Talk and No Action said...

@ketan
Thnks Buddy for all the mirch masala...
Btw u wld do a good job as a security guard...are ur services on offer? :)

Shyam said...

Kharab jamana hai ... watch out when you go out of your house kuch bhi ho sakta hai... these dialogues seem so filmy an down market but the fact of matter is that even if my daughter or wife or friend (girl) were to go out in dark i would be scared ... i dont think it will really matter ki she is carrying a knife with her, but yeah that sense of relief will be there that if someone does try something funny with her, she will not be afraid to use the body gaurd on him and if nothing else that may just give her some precious moments of time by when help will come her way... maybe is these cases those sprays which blind ur opponent will help a lot

All Talk and No Action said...

@Shyam
Its reassuring to know that male friends are worried about one's safety...
Its sad, in a country where we worship goddesses...the female folks have to look over their shoulders every time they venture out after dark...