Stepping out in wee hours.
After attending a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house in Bangalore, I decided to return to my PG post-midnight. Though it was scary for an akeli ladki (lone girl) to travel at such odd hours, I had to return as soon as the weekend curfew was relaxed since I wanted to return to my place and sleep for the rest of the day.
So, it was around 3 o’clock in the morning, which was hardly the morning as it was completely dark and deserted outside. And needless to say, that even at that time, several Bangalore auto drivers cancelled on me, and finally, after several rejections, there was one masiha who agreed to drop me to my PG.
As the journey started, I could only see a couple of people on the streets. Either they were tea shop owners who were about to open their shops for the day or other shop owners who were closing their shops and returning to their homes after a tiring day at work.
And here I was in the auto rickshaw. The strangest part was that these wee hours are considered to be the creepiest, not because of the ghosts but because of the different people who are supposed to have unsafe or unholy intentions. And as they say, “ek akeli ladki khuli hui tijori ki tarah hoti hai.” In the middle of this, there were these scared butterflies that made my stomach rumble.
So, what was strange? It was the fact that nothing happened to me as such that would have made me feel unsafe or like I was being looked at or targeted. It was a freaking safe and peaceful ride where nothing unsafe or untoward happened whatsoever. Can you imagine it? Like a girl travelling at such a time of the day, she felt safe on the roads. Well, then I realized that Bangalore is a safe city after all, and that’s unusual for a city to be.
But isn’t this how it should be? that women feel safe no matter what time of the day they decide to go out. Is it not how every woman should feel while they are alone, safe and secure? Is it really a thing that needs appreciation and applause, or is this how it should be?
It’s high time that people realize that the safety of a woman is not a privilege or something that needs to be questioned or given. It is how it should be and how it should have been in the first place.
Agar Ladki khuli hui tijori hai to chori karna zaroori hai kya?