Chandni said it all when she wrote.."Its like opening a Pandora’s box...". I read SnS's post on the same topic and I just had to vent.
I guess all our experiences with perverts while traveling in buses are more or less similar. My story goes one step forward.So there was this guy,a classmate in college, whom I was so totally oblivious to that I had no idea he even existed or that we were in the same class.Turns out that he lived very close to where I did and when he did attend college,we would take the same bus from the same bus stop.One day on my way back home from college,he accosted me and asked to borrow my Computer Science notes since he hadn't attended college for god knows how long and exams were around the corner.I obviously refused politely since I hardly knew the guy and I needed my notes to prepare for the upcoming exams. My turning his request down for some reason seemed to have had a very adverse effect on him and he took it upon himself to make my life miserable since that day.
There was this park that spanned across maybe half a mile from the bus stop to the street in which my house was.This creep and his friends would sit on one of the benches in that park every single day and the moment they saw me, they would all yell out my name as loud as they could.Initially I didn't pay much attention and just ignored them.Soon they started passing weird comments as well.That really got to me and I would turn around and glare at them and they would just laugh and do it all the more.I tried talking to that guy but it was of no use.I was after all this meek, bespectacled,class-nerd whose polite words were no match to that guy's abusive language.I told my dad about it and he went and talked to them but again it was of no use.My dad is again a very soft-spoken man who has never uttered a harsh word in his entire life. These guys would pretend that they did nothing wrong in front of my dad and make it look like I was making it all up.The moment my dad turned around the corner, the whole routine would start all over again.This torture continued day after day and I felt so miserable and helpless and angry and violated. That 4 minute walk from the bus stand to my house used to the worst part of my day and I dreaded it with all my heart.
A few months later,I was with a group of friends and I just happened to casually mention this episode to them and how frustrating my life had become.And just like that, from the very next day, it stopped. I never saw that guy or his friends ever again in that park and there was no one torturing me and making my life a living hell. I was of course thrilled to bits but I was also super intrigued about the sudden change. It was too good to be true.
It was only a year or so later that I found out what really transpired. In that group of friends that I mentioned earlier, there was this guy.Lets call him S. S was actually my best friend B's classmate and a very close friend of hers.I used to hang out with B and her friends all the time so I knew them quite well. S is the quintessential guy with a golden heart but a toughie on the outside. After hearing my story, he decided to take matters in his own hands. He along with a couple of friends confronted that creep and beat the life out of him and let him go only after warning him that if he ever messed with me again,they would throw him under a bus at the very same bus stop. That was enough to scare the living daylights out of that guy and he never bothered me ever again.
I don't think I ever managed to thank S enough for what he did for me. Everytime I brought it up, he used to just give me a hug and brush it aside as nothing. Except that it was not nothing. It meant everything to me at that time. Though there was no physical harrasment involved, those guys did lot of damage to my already fragile self esteem. It was frustrating that being in the same locality made no difference to them. It was frustrating that neighbours who saw them bullying me did nothing to stop them as they brushed it aside as boyish pranks. After all those huligans were merely shouting out my name about a 100 times.It was frustrating that I couldn't handle it on my own and that I needed someone else, a tough guy nonetheless, to make it all go away.
I remember the day I told my husband about this incident. I told him every single detail and I wept.M held me close and I could feel his body tightening and his jaws clenching in rage.It was so therapeutic to just let go of the demons and unburden myself. And then there is today. This is where I undergo another round of therapy by writing about it and opening up to you all.
I did learn to stand up for myself and be more outspoken and bold after that incident.I just feel that the price I paid for it was a bit much.