The reason we write about something is because we can’t get it out of our mind, it’s still there, hovering for answer’s – for an outlet. I want to share my nightmarish experience, hoping no other goes through it ever … but it’s impossible and to be honest I think I was one amongst the lucky few who were not assaulted inspite of being alone.
So yesterday evening, as a routine I left from work and headed to pick up my daughter from her art class. I admit when I was much much younger, I have driven fast, taken some leverages, driven zip-zap-zoom on occasions but that’s really in the past. An overall personality change comes from within, without being prompted – once you become a mother. The day I held my little girl in my arms for the first time, that day I had realised nothing in the world was worth risking her or myself for. I want to be around her; for as long as I can – to enjoy her smile, to watch her grow, to protect her, to guide her, to see her shine …!
It’s almost an hours drive from work to her class, and the entire drive was smooth as always. I was well in time and in no rush at all. Five minutes away from her class standing behind a row of cars on a narrow lane, (where there were two rows of moving cars and one corner row occupied by parked cars, I was doing nothing ) just waiting for the traffic to move – when my senses were shocked with a loud thud ! The sound was so sudden and so loud I instantly jumped to my left and looked. What had happened ! My side mirror was turned outwards and then another sound of a bang and a skid sound and then the horrid sound of a crash. I was almost in shock that this has happened so close to my stationary car. After a few seconds I blinked and gulped. I saw the driver from the parked car next to mine had stepped out and was overlooking someone in disbelief. I jerked myself out of the initial shock and opened my car door – I could see a man flat-out on the road, and his scooter half on his legs half under my car. I will never be able to get the blue scooter and the passed out guy in blue cloths out of my memory. After I looked at him for a few seconds I figured he was drunk. His head was lightly swaying right and left his eyes were closed but their were no physical injuries.
The cars behind me started honking and turned right and moved on. I took the cue and got back in my car. I felt sorry for the man lying on the road but what could I do ! He was terribly intoxicated. Just as I sat back in my car out of no where a mob started accumulating around me and wouldn’t let me go. I was yelled at asked to step out and held responsible for that accident. I was baffled. I told these men still sitting in the safety of my car that my car was not even moving he rammed into my side mirror and passed out. To my utter shock the driver in the parked car on my left at the time of this incident started spreading the rumour that he thought it was ‘me’ who hit the guy. The reasons I was hearing floating around me were : lady driver, car owner, poor man … The mob started getting aggressive, I could hear thumps on my car windows and the bonnet. They threatened me to step out of the car immediately. I called 100 (police). I explained the incident to the cop on the line, he asked me my exact location, and assured me he was sending help. Meanwhile I was forced to park my car at the side of the road. To be able to do that the mob lifted that man from the road literally holding him by one arm and one leg and dragged his scooter aside too. I called my mom and asked her to fetch my daughter, quickly thought of the closest help available and reached out to a friend who stayed close by. I gazed around looking for CCTV camera’s … my mind was running leaps and bounds.
In all this chaos, I unknowingly tuned of the engine off my car and the doors got unlocked without me realising. While I was answering a man on my right, to my complete horror the left front door of my car was opened by a young man. This was the moment when for the first time I felt fear and realised I was in a very vulnerable situation. Surrounded by some 50-60 rowdy judgemental men – I had no escape and no help. Surprisingly amongst the shouting crowd this guy spoke to me very genteelly he requested I take the injured man to the nearest hospital immediately and then they would willingly let me go inspite of me being at fault. I explained to him what had happened and that these men behaving like hooligans with an alone lady was not acceptable. I informed him cops were en-route and that I did not intent to move even an inch without the cops guiding me to. After hearing me the gentleman advised me to lock my car carefully and stay within. I locked immediately. I was surrounded by labourers and random children taking pictures of me and my car, using abusive language. I could see, passing by cars stop and well dressed men joining the crowd just to see what was going on. They would step ahead peep inside my car, like it was an alien space ship and then go back. I felt so offended at their behaviour but I also felt extremely helpless. I pretended I couldn’t see or feel fear at all.
Suddenly I noticed the crowd dispersing. A few men and that gentleman I had just spoken to were asking me to go. I rolled down my window and said, “look calm down the cops are on their way please wait …” and they replied, “madam go the man is heavily drunk he just got up and started blabbering random stuff – he is a drunkard.” I said I have been telling you the same.” They signalled me to not waste more time there and go. They fixed my car’s side mirror – helped me reverse my car and I drove at the same pace as earlier, simply because on that narrow crowded road it’s impossible to drive any faster.
Just as I straightened my car out the cops called inquiring my exact location and I updated them that the drunk man got up and walked off hence the mob dispersed. Once I confirmed I was okay and in no trouble the cop hung up. I headed my daughters way and informed my mom. At the art class in the waiting area I realised I was shaking from within. My demure at that moment, was calm and controlled but I felt fear and chaos within me. I used the loo, took a deep breath and parked myself on a couch. Played a few rounds of candy crush once again lost round 102 and then greeted my chirping girl with all the love and warmth.
We headed home and I was still not okay. I narrated the incidence to my family and I was still not okay. My daughter and I put together dessert for the full family and I was still not okay. I slept in the comfort of my bed and woke up still with the incident fresh in my mind. I am at work and the first thing I decided to do was write my experience and share with you.
I faced the mob yesterday and it was scary. I faced the mob and it was judgemental. Was it fair ? If that drunk man would have not come to his senses what would have happened to me ? There was not one scratch on my car why was it assumed I hit his scooter ? Why was I subjected to so much aggression that I couldn’t step out of my car to help a man fallen on the road ? God forbid what if that guy would have died due to the impact of the fall and intoxication, what would my future be like ? The mob had already decided I was at fault, and the mob decided the drunk man was not worth their time ! Who gave them that authority to be so judgemental ! What impact would this incident had on my kid had she been in the car with me then ? I shudder at the though of the possibilities of what all could have happened yesterday !
The MOB will haunt my thoughts for a long time, i know ! I hope no one else ever get’s to know. I thank the Delhi police for not letting me down, I thank that one man in the crowd who did not judge. These were the longest & most intimidating 10 minutes of my life, longer than the time I spent in the labour room bringing a new life in this world.