Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fight or flight

Here is a story about a complex situation of feeling desperation, pain and anxiety together. Ever been in such a scene? My friend did. Yesterday, mid-air!

She was on her flight to Delhi, when a co-passenger war transforming from indecent to bully to groper to sociopath. It started slowly as encroaching her seating space. Then gradually he made the two seats next to her as his personal reclining space. Then his hands began to have certain ‘innocuous’ movements.

Panicked, she stood up and asked the not-so-gentle man to behave properly. He did not. She pushed the ‘panic button’ and air-hostesses came running. Seeing their short skirts, our bully turned even aggressive. He started manhandling them; even tore the shirt of one; and turned to my hapless friend.

His arms were at her throat, when — here enter the villains of the story — she begged for help to a duo sitting in front of her. One was as old as her father and the other of her elder brother’s age. She pleaded in Malayalam, English and Hindi, but the too-gentle men did not move a finger.

Then my friend decided to take the matter in her own hands — literally. With all the power she had, she punched the sociopath on his face. That was more than enough to push him out of the way. She moved out of the place, and demanded to see the captain of the flight. Then she saw another girl, sobbing.

The girl was apparently our bully’s first victim. She silently suffered. Then the groper confidently turned to my friend, but she was definitely not willing to be a prey.

The entire cabin crew came there and warned the guy that they have the power to take the flight back and dump him at the boarding point. They asked the passengers if they have any objection. Only two passengers had problem — you guessed it right — the oldie-youth duo!

She moved to the executive class, but the bully followed her there too. Then the cabin crew intervened, dragged him back and made sure that he will not create any more trouble.

The flight landed safely, but my friend was far from safe. Our bully had turned vindictive now, and started following her. She hid in a cloth store. By that time, the flight operator had him booked.

Now please check these characters.

1. My friend: She valued her esteem and modesty, and decided to speak and act for her. A lesson for all females and a threat for all the unmentionables in the garb of males. I feel proud to be her friend.

2. The sociopath: Hidden among most men, the sex-starved bullies come out when a woman is conveniently close. The ones in costly attire start with lecherous talk, the crude ones believe in action. Products of improper guidance, deserve asylums.

3. The sobbing girl: Specimen of the silently-suffering femininity. Such behaviour often provides the undesirable confidence to the sex-starved bullies to continue their filthy ways.

4. The oldie-laddie duo: They qualify to be the real villains of the story. The greatest deterrent for any bully from misbehaving is the chance of good thrashing from real men. It’s bad enough that these two didn’t care to help a helpless girl, but they were also against diverting the flight to the starting point. They were not only cowardly, but selfish also. A shame for the clan of true men.

Now that you have read the post, please take the pain of typing down your observation on the aforementioned four characters. Now, for all those male chauvinists who would instantly conclude the woman in the picture ‘would have wore provocative clothes’, my friend was in a full-sleeve kurta, pyjama and had a shawl. Now don’t ask her to be tucked up from tip to toe, please.

1 comment:

nidhi said...

good god, chandu! this is beyond shocking! my sympathies and empathy with your friend, but also, very proud of her. apart from everything you've said being valid, it is shocking that things like this can happen even on an airplane, where you'd expect a certain class of people to be travelling and therefore can expect decent behaviour from them. not on the roads, or in trains , or in buses, but planes, definitly. i would for sure. i've been groped and threatened and leched at in all of these places, but not planes. such sick people ought to be in an asylum, that's right. it is outrageous!