REAL SOLDIER FOR WOMEN


Blogadda along with Gillette has been running a campaign "Soldier for Women" for quite some time now and have been encouraging women to write on the topic of honourable men in their lives who stood up for women. I've gone through many of the entries praising their daddies, brothers, uncles, son etc but inspite of repeated reminders/alerts to write on the topic, I was not motivated. Maybe because I'm not as fortunate as others and have not really seen admirable men around me, yes sadly not in my family too. Sometimes truth is bitter, so I didn't want to write about it at all. I've seen domestic violence when I was quite young, so nothing on earth will make me write praises for someone whom I've not seen being fair to the women close to me. We in society, donot feel comfortable writing about all these things and tend to brush them aside, giving a happy picture to outsiders. So, I'll skip the part of honouring such men whom I've known.

REAL SOLDIER FOR WOMEN

However, I've seen a complete stranger whose name I don't know, nor do I know where he is now - who was indeed a saviour. In fact, there are two of them and I'd certainly like to give them the title of "Soldier for women" cos they braved up against real life soldiers whom we normally expect to protect us.

It was a long 3 days train journey I had taken from Bombay to Assam during my college summer vacations. I was around 18-19yrs then and very eager to go to my native place. However, due to the peak season, I could not get a reservation beyond a place called Satna in MP, beyond which my ticket was in the waiting list. I had hoped to get RAC status in between the journey with help of the TC, as I often saw that happen when TC allocated absentee berths to those in waiting list.

Till Satna I was travelling quite comfortably, but when we reached Satna around 3am, I had to vacate the middle berth which I was occupying to someone else. I sat on the edge of the lower berth waiting for the TC to come by. There was a boy around my age ( or maybe younger ) who saw me sitting at the edge of his seat. Seeing my discomfort, he told me to sit comfortably and he himself huddled into a one corner of his own seat. I thought it was really generous of him to offer half of his seat when he could've easily ignored me.

A few stops later, a huge army group got into our compartment, carrying guns etc ( however I'm not sure which regiment ). They filled out almost the whole compartment. Some of them came and sat in our area too where I was. In the morning, after I came washing my face, I saw one of them sitting on the very place where I was sitting. Now since they were real army people, I had great respect for them thinking they protect our country etc. I sat on the small space in the middle of the seat, but the army guy did not shift or vacate it as he continued to sit on my place ( although it was the boy's seat which he was generously sharing with me )

The army guy then started asking random questions to me. At first I answered quite a few ( including told him that I was travelling alone, my name, where I studied etc ), but he kept going on and on and I was reluctant to keep answering more. I just picked up a magazine and pretended to read. That's when he passed few very nasty comments on me regarding me sharing the boy's seat when we were not related to each other. I heard them, but chose to ignore. "It was something like - you are freely sharing seats closely with a complete stranger, but not talking to us, talk to us too" - said in a somewhat cheap way in hindi.

After sometime the army guy got couple of his other friends and sat gheraoed in our compartment and started passing more bizzare comments taking my name. I started feeling extremely uneasy as I was the only girl there. There were two other boys who were sitting on the opposite berth. I asked one of them if I could sit near their window for sometime, as that place would be little far away from where these army dudes were. They had been witnessing the whole commotion and graciously let me occupy their window corner. So I quickly shifted to the window side. The army guys kept on making comments, teasing and oogled away at me, which was quite irritating. Infact, what was more annoying was when some of them got up on the top berth on the opposite seat and started throwing peanuts and chips down at me. The new boy who had given me the window space, saw all these as some chips fell on him too, told me to just ignore their misbehaviour. And since they were army people carrying guns, most of the people in our compartment were bit afraid to object.

This boy had another companion with him, and as I still didnt spot the TC yet, he told me to take his seat and that he'd share the other berth with his friend. This was a huge relief for me, as my seat problem was solved. But the other problem continued.

Towards night, there was a bigger chaos as some of these army guys had gotten drunk. And during night when I slept covering myself with two bed sheets ( even though it was hot summer of may-june ), I felt several times someone touching me or hover near my berth. It was a very uncomfortable situation. Never in my life I was so scared, that too from army people. My respect for them dipped tremendously that day due to their outrageous behaviour. While on the other hand, two random strangers had helped me and gave up their own comfort in this rather long, tiring journey. So I'm indebted to them. They were my strengths during that journey. I shudder to think if they weren't there what would've happened. For me that day they were the 'real soldiers' and not the real-life-soldiers who were present in that compartment misbehaving, who later got off in a place called NJP much to our relief.

We often hear of army people committing human rights abuses etc but rarely are we ready to believe them, but since this incident I saw some truths in those allegations. However, I must also add that I still do have faith in the army and donot judge the institution by a few bad apples.
Meanwhile, during that journey, I talked to the boys who were so helpful, friendly and made me feel safe, but as the journey ended we went our seperate ways. I have no clue where they are now. But they'd always be the ideal Soldier for Women according to me.

After that journey though, for a long time I avoided traveling by train, and eventually when I did, I made sure months in advance that I had proper reservation.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

*****

UPDATE : AWARDED SOLDIER FOR WOMEN!
SOLDIER FOR WOMENSOLDIER FOR WOMENSOLDIER FOR WOMEN

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6 comments:

  1. interesting post..coward men wakeup to be brave not villain & save the women.Women too got to be soldiers in today's world.smiles:)God<3U

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    Replies
    1. Yes i agree...women have to be very strong these days. thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. It's a shame that the ones on whom we depend betray us!Army men and this behaviour!Now really :O I am so happy that atleast a real soldier was there to help you:) A very good post:)

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    Replies
    1. yea...that was one scary journey I had :o

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  3. It is my pleasure to nominate you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award.
    http://wealthymatters.com/2013/04/22/the-super-sweet-blogging-award/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much my dear.

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