Friday, 10 January 2014

A journey back home...when I was alone...!!!!

All of us travel from home to college and office everyday and get to see and meet many types of people! I have experienced this several times and I am sure there are a hundred girls who experience this daily while commuting from trains and buses. When I used to travel by train for my previous job, I had noticed, whenever the train took a halt at any station (this particularly happened on the Kurla-Vashi harbour line), the guys and men in next train used to stare continuosly, sometimes pass comments and laugh, and sometimes even sing! Of course, it was irritating, but most of us are helpless! After all the life of Mumbaikars revolves around the clock and we are bound to reach our office on time, so no one has the time to question these disgusting acts. And then the train just used to move on, and, with it, we moved on too!

 Today, however, I encountered an experience that left me wondering whether girls and women are really safe in Mumbai? I was as usual on my way back home, waiting at the bus stop. Today, I was alone! I walked to the stop and then waited there for a few minutes. Then I saw my bus approaching and for whatever reason (I don't know what was wrong with the buses), it was hell packed so I decided to leave it. And I have done this many times for I know the next bus comes within about 10-15 minutes. Today, the buses were late and the next bus did not turn up until 7.55 pm (the first bus that I left went around 7.25 pm). So the next bus finally arrived at 7.55 pm and there was no scope to board it since people were already hanging out from it. With no option left, I waited for the next bus to come. And this almost 1 hour at the bus stop was truly boring, I had already got headache and was really bored to wait anymore. So I thought I would board the next bus no matter how packed it was! And luckily, the third bus arrived about 5 minutes later, was fully crowded as expected, but I simply boarded it (I did not have another option).

And then began the worst part! The bus was too packed unlike always..and the crowd wasn't sophisticated as it always was! Yes, there were office going people but they were very less in number; the major crowd was substandard, it looked as if some men were drunk (I am not sure whether they really were drunk, but their look seemed so)! And when I boarded the bus, I went a little away from the door and caught hold of the rod so as to not lose my balance. The second thing I did was find money for the ticket and after I was done with all this stuff, I finally looked up at people, only to find that all the men and guys surrounding me were staring at me! For a minute I was confused, I thought whether I have been looking awful, I checked whether my clothes were alright and found everything was fine! The next time I looked up, the same faces, staring intently, without moving their eyes! And a girl certainly understands a man's look well, all the girls reading this would agree! No this time, I got a bit worried and more than worried, I began feeling extremely awkward! I just took the ticket and put on my headphones to avoid the crowd and forget them! Even then, my attention went to them and still, the same faces, the same look and the same intensity! This is when I began feeling very cheap!

One thing I hate is that continuous, cheap glare of men and the way with which they look! And unless a man does not misbehave or say anything to you, you cannot complain of mere staring, right? So bad I felt about myself, in every sense I regretted coming by bus alone! Yes, I know it was a government bus, so nothing could have happened, people do not dare to misbehave at public places. But the intent looks and those seemingly drunken eyes were killing me! Somehow I felt I could get down but I was meant to get down at the last stop. Luckily later, I got a seat and I got a bit relieved. Within a few minutes, the bus had entered Dombivli and I was relieved! What a disgusting journey it was! Imagine girls, if people can give you that look so intently, they might probably have misbehaved had the bus been private! Immediately I decided I would never travel by bus again alone. And it is a humble request from my side to all girls, avoid taking buses when alone, especially in a not-so-safe area