Will it ever be safe for women to go out on their own without fearing lecherous eyes and groping hands?
I was walking home from work as usual — the sun was just about to set, my favourite A.R. Rahman’s tunes blared in my ears, I carefully walked on the bad roads so as not to trip and fall. There was no one on the streets except a few people farther away and a kid on his bicycle. As it got darker, I focused on the road. Suddenly, a hand gropes me. I was in shock and stood still. I snap out of it and turn around to see the kid, not more than 10 or 12, wearing shorts, school bag on shoulders, pedalling away merrily.
A school kid? Are you kidding me? How did he even have the courage to do it? These were the first thoughts that ran in my mind. Then I realised I should react. I quickly weighed my options. One option was to run behind him, but he would just cycle away. The second one was to scream. It was just a little after 6 p.m., but no one was near enough to help out. Third option was to call the police, but what do I tell them? A school kid probably on his way to his tuition classes with a school bag riding a bicycle groped me? The streets are filled such kids like him.
I continued to walk, teary-eyed, and I prayed, “God save all women.”
Or should I have said, “God save the kids”?
Swathi is a IT Graduate, Nanganallur