Vedant was walking casually and he looked up. Their eyes met and she immediately looked the other way. He saw her walking past him, rather galloping and nodding her head. He felt miserable.
He wondered,’ What just happened? Am I a criminal to her. I don’t even know her. I did not intend to threaten her, but this is something that I did not expect’.
He looked at his watch. It was 8:30 PM and he thought to himself, ‘All the more reason for her to be scared. It’s not you Vedant, calm down, its not you.’
Jasmine was petrified, she saw a figure walking towards her from the other end of the road. She looked at her watch. It was 8:30 PM. It was a dark night and she could feel her heart beating. She did not want to be a prey for the savage animals God created, called ‘Men’. Time and again she had been looked at in an uncouth fashion. As if her clothes were being ripped apart by the eyes that were gouging at her. But she had no control over it. She considered herself physically weaker than the opposite sex and instead of raising her voice, she often, quietly bore the horror of being mentally molested and raped at least 50 times a day. As they came closer, she was terrified, she did not wish to look at him but curiosity enveloped her aura. She reluctantly looked at him and saw him doing the same. Chills went through her body. She immediately looked away and started nodding her head in displeasure. As she galloped away from the man, she thought, ‘ How many times do I have to face this? When will they stop treating me like a sex object.’
Vedant was pissed off. He couldn’t bear the fact that, the girl probably considered him to be nothing less than a rapist. This hurt him badly. All his life he had tried to be respectful to women. All his life he had considered them to be equal to ‘Men’, but that experience disgusted him.
The next day he met Seema and narrated the whole incident to her. Seema replied,’ Are you sure you were looking at her decently?’
Vedant couldn’t bear the fact that Seema told him this. But to clear him self out he said – ‘ Yes, I barely looked at her. Our eyes just met.’
Seema – ‘Well in that case I do not know’
Jasmine went back home and jumped into the bed. She closed her eyes. Tears went down her cheek. She tried to forget her journey in the metro that day. She was surrounded by a herd of day laborers. It was 7 PM and there was barely any space to stand. She could feel a hand brushing her chest. She tried resisting. There was a jerk and the hand immediately groped her chest but swiftly held the support handle on the ceiling of the train the next instant. She could take it no more. Thankfully she had to exit at the next station. She somehow managed to squeeze through the crowd who felt pleasure in practicing a human ‘chipko movement’ on an attractive woman rather than a tree.
She deboarded the train and exited the metro station. There was a huge queue of autowalas battling each other for ‘the maal’ to be travelling in their vehicle. While one was lucky the other’s kept looking at her, screening her, mapping her from top to bottom while they bit their lips.
When they were on the road, the driver would often look at her in the side mirror. She paid the fare and got ready to walk the last 250 metres to her house. She looked at her watch it was 8:30 PM. She could see a figure walking towards her from the other end of the road…………
Vedant went to the shop. He lit up a cigarette and tried to forget what he had just experienced. Such a horrible experience it was for him. He blew out the smoke that was in his mouth and called up Seema,’ kal movie dekhne chalegi? ‘