“What’s the time,” he asked. I answered.
“What’s your name,” he asked. “None of your business” I said.
He came closer and I was getting jittery. His eyes looked red. He meant business.
“I only want 500 Rs., ” he said.
“I don’t have it, don’t come near me”
The next minute I was grappling with his arms.
Screaming ‘help’ (like some bloody English woman) and what else I can’t recall.
I was dragging him along to the hotel nearby.
I found myself on my back on the road and I was thinking “God I don’t want him to jump on me”. I struggled to get up before he did.
He had moved a couple of feet away. I found a stone and threw it at him.
He was saying’ don’t scream like this. I only did it for fun..thappa ninaikaathenga”
I was saying, “come to the hotel with me, naye”
I stayed safely 10’ away while I looked for stones to throw at him. He left while I stood there shaking.
After a few minutes I heard the sound of voices. I went down the road to see if he had some friends, or someone could catch him. He was not to be seen.
I didn’t kick him in the groin, I didn’t give him an elbow twist or punch him as all these manuals tell you to do. At that moment, you are not really thinking.
What I remember is physical fear. Some primitive thing that pops up when a male becomes aggressive. He was thin and young. Maybe I could have beaten him up. Maybe chased him and got him punished by whoever was passing by. But I wanted to get away.
I went to the hotel nearby to tell the security. It could happen to their guests. The security person was happy that I was talking to him and not really taking in anything. “Our guests go by car,” he said. Why didn’t you go by auto?”
What we see in the movies when people run from pillar to post after rape or injustice seemed so true in my mind.
That this could happen to me, in our peaceful town is still mind boggling. On a road I have been walking for so many years. He could have been some junkie taking a risk.
I don’t want to tell my family.” why do you walk along that lonely road you owl,” is what they would say.
It seems like a dream. Bu the ache in my arms and my thumbs that got twisted are good reminders. And he could have slipped a knife in easily, is something I don’t want to think about.