22 March, 2009

An Incident To Remember

Knowing about an event is one thing. Witnessing it is another...

Newspapers taught me how people molested young women, harassed them and even raped them. I used to sometimes disbelieve the veracity of these stories. But an incident in May 2007 cleared all my doubts.

It was a pleasant Sunday morning. I was browsing through a few movie reviews when an idea struck me - "Why not watch a movie at the IMAX multiplex, famous for its exhilarating experience, for just once?" I immediately rushed to my Dad and asked about it. Since nobody in the family had ever been to IMAX, Dad gladly accepted it.

We, i.e. my parents and I, set off for Wadala, Mumbai (where the IMAX is located) by late afternoon. When we were about 400 metres away from the IMAX entry gate, Dad slowed down the car. I wondered what Dad was up to. The car was moving very slowly, presumably stalking someone. I was totally confused.

After a little while, I realized that a girl in her 20's was walking down her way to IMAX. She was busy talking with someone on her mobile phone. My Mom's eyes were constantly on her and Dad was looking ahead. Ahead, where a group of hooligans with their motorcycles, were prepared to strip a young woman off her modesty.

No sooner did the girl come closer to the group of youngsters, than a series of lecherous comments filled the air. The girl tried hard to ignore them and walked a bit faster. One of the guys followed her and even rolled his fingers across her skirt. Seeing this, both Dad and Mom turned explosive.

Dad fired up the car engine with Mom shouting, "Dash him, Dash him. Don't leave him!" The car sped so quickly that I felt Michael Schumacher was in the driver's seat! Hearing my Mom's angry shouts, the guy realized that we were after him. He accelerated his motorcycle and tried to take a U-turn from the next junction. But to his utter misfortune, he crashed into a lorry and fell flat on the road with several bruises. In the meanwhile, the other guys fled off with their motorbikes.

Wasting no time, Dad came out of the car and rushed towards the fallen youngster. Soon, a crowd gathered. And learning that the guy had tried to molest a girl, the people hammered him. Mom called out to the startled girl and offered her a seat in the car, right beside me. The guy was thrashed so severely that he could hardly speak or move. People dragged him towards the girl and asked him to apologize. Not satisfied with the repentant 'sorry' the guy uttered, Mom ordered the girl to slap him. But the girl did nothing of that sort.

Dad got into the car and asked the girl for an explanation. I don't remember what she said, but I think I heard the 'I prefer walking' sentence. A few conversations exchanged, we entered into the IMAX premises with a damaged self-reputation and a motorbike left behind.

I don't know why youngsters achieve infamy with such antics. But I can surely tell you one thing - There is an erosion of human values in India.

My only message to you all...
If you want India to become what it should (i.e. a developed nation), it's time you start respecting your fellow Indians.

Your views and opinions regarding this topic are always welcome.