I was an 11 year old girl when this happened for the first time. I was pacing up quickly, following my parents blindly, holding two heavy bags in each hand. We were going to my native place, and were rushing to catch a train at the Thane station. But something happened between running to catch the train and finally boarding it. It was something that changed my life forever. I don’t know if it’s a big enough incident, but it shook me from inside.
I was busy following my parents and simultaneously searching for the train compartment. Amidst all the hassle, I spotted a man dressed in rags staring at me from a distance. He was walking towards me, and as I was too worried about finding our compartment, I couldn’t care any less about his existence. He walked slyly next to me, raised his hands and fondled my breasts. Just like that. I was stunned, shocked and stopped to turn around and see his face only to find him walking away with no guilt... A man touched my boobs and walked away.I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my cheek. Despite being so hurt and feeling really low, I did not tell my parents anything about this incident. I don’t why I didn’t, but it just felt right at the time. The tragic incident kept playing in my head no matter how hard I tried to forget it. However, after that trip, I made up my mind to react, revolt and rebel against such an incident if at all it ever happened to me again. I will not stay shut, not cry silent tears or pity myself.Then in the winter of 2009, I was in my second year of medical college. My college was in the outskirts of a city, located on a national highway. I was brought up in a non vegetarian family and back in college our only option was a dhaba nearby. Because of our frequent visits, the dhaba owner had not just built a great rapport with us but also had a special corner for serving us. He knew we were college kids, ever hungry for some good food. So while everything at this small dhaba felt safe, the only troublesome bit was truck drivers who would break for their lunch at this place.
One day, as I was carrying back my parcel to the hostel, I saw a drunk man, hardly capable of maintaining his gait, walking towards me. Despite his drunken state, his perverted mind knew no constraints. He walked towards me and raised his hands to touch me over my breasts but his motion was too slow. Because of that, I managed to push his hand back and dodge him. I walked past him without giving it a thought. As I walked a few steps away I remembered the first incident and how it had traumatized me all this while, and that promise I had made to myself. I finally gathered the courage and walked back to him. I patted him on his back and he turned around. I just gave him a tight slap with all the strength I had, almost dropping him to the ground. Watching this, people at the dhaba rushed towards me and came to my rescue. They beat him to blues for doing what he did.Today, when I look back, I feel so proud and happy. I’m sure that man will think a million times before doing something like that to any girl, child or woman. I believe we girls have to learn to stand up and fight our battles no matter what. Stop feeling like it’s your fault and stop taking injustice when you don’t deserve it. Just be confident and stand up against what’s wrong.Images: ShutterstockHave a story you’d like to share? Just drop us an email here with your story – don’t forget to put #MyStory in the subject line. We’ll get back to you about whether we can feature it.