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The same old story that all women using public transport are familiar with; but this one has a difference.
The bus was about to leave, and she ran a few steps and boarded it just in time. It was the peak hour for bus transport, and there was even more hustle and bustle than usual. Grudgingly, she had to take that bus to make it home on time, for her daughter would be home in a while.
She navigated through the seemingly endless number of commuters, and held on to a seat’s railing as the bus moved on.
As she was reaching inside her purse to get the bus fare, she felt some contact from behind. She turned back and saw nothing that she could tell. She paid for her ticket. And as the bus began to move from the next stop, she felt contact again. She turned and saw. Now she knew what was going on.
She turned to look into his sneering face. She just wanted to get home, so she decided to be patient. She moved away from him a little, as much as the packed bus would allow her.
A few minutes later, she felt a touch on her waist. She flinched and looked back with gritted teeth. It was him again. She felt disgust. She shut her eyes and told herself that it would be over soon. Tears peeked up from under her closed eyelids, glistening. She hoped that the journey would end soon.
But a few minutes later, it happened again. And she was ready this time. The moment she felt the touch, she slapped the hand away roughly, turned and pushed him away savagely. He fell on his behind. She was livid. And she looked around, at the gaping commuters. People who couldn’t care less. She knew that she was on her own. And she knew that she had to fight.
As he got up, she could see that he was rattled. That sneer was long gone. His eyes showed fear. That amorous confidence and chauvinistic ego had vanished into a deep chasm. He was panting heavily. He looked scared. That was enough for her. Resolutely, she turned back and awaited her destination, amidst queer silence.
As she got ready to get down at her stop, she cast him one last, stoic, gutsy look. She then walked away, head held high. Shaken, not beaten.
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Lackadaisical engineer. Student journalist. Football is love. Jam is ecstasy. Dogs: heaven. Reading = breathing. Madras
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