This happened a good 28 days ago, on the 8th of April to be precise. I so wanted to blog about this then, but my dry-eye syndrome kept me away from the comp. So, pls to bear this in the name of NaBloPoMo 😛 😛
Su had ethnic day celebrations at work that day. Thanks to work, he remembered about it only in the morning and so we had no time to get his attire ironed. Su said he would get it done on the way, as our dhobi is just about 2 lanes away, along his route. It’s just about 10 min since he has left and I see a call from him. I thought that he needed change, when I heard a pained voice! He said there was a small tussle and he wanted me to be by his side. I ran like crazy and when I reached the dhobis’, I see that Su was hurt badly and there were 10 people muttering curses and no one to help him!?!
Now this dhobi has his stall put up in the ground floor of a complex which houses the chelas of IAS officers aka their drivers, gunmen etc.. Apparently, Su was standing near the entrance when one of them came and tried to show his power [????] by shouting at Su to move away! Su asked him the reason and he said this space belonged to *special* people! Su told them he had to take his clothes and that he was not blocking anybody’s way anyway and left it at that! Right at that moment, another man hit him so badly on his neck from the back side that Su almost fainted! Su immediately called the Police Control Room and complained against them. Not this not only scared them [which they would not show ofcourse] and also irked them! He made the next call to me and when I reached there, these goondas [the one who shouted at him first was a driver and the one who hit a gunman] werr trying to make a case that Su was blocking the way and there were many women who were coming there to cook, clean etc.. and for their good, they had asked Su to move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And these women were not only supporting them, but started calling me names because I was a *woman* who had dared to step out of home! Whoa! I had no right to go support my own husband when he needed me most? I asked the gunman how would it be if I hit him for no reason? And he flared up saying ‘You are talking like this to a policeman, that too being a woman!’ They then tried scaring us away by making a few calls, quoting names of different inspectors! As though! I took out my phone to take his pic 😛 And he told me ‘Oh ho, u r scaring me is it, take my pic! But the coward that he was, turned away while the driver tried to pick my phone away! But click I did and my hands were itching to post this one for a long time 😛 A few passers-by did try to feed some sense into their brains, which would not happen anyway! The dhobi, who was shivering by now was trying to mascafy the goondas, his main concern being whether his stall would be kicked out of the place!
Su said there was no use talking to them and said we would better go to the Police Station. There was more to come. Another friend and his Dad accompanied us. We went there and were telling them what happened when the SI called this *petty* I told him it might be petty for him since he sees such cases daily, but not me when my husband had been hit for no fault of his! One fellow there, Ramanjaneyalu started shouting at our friend when he said ‘Pls listen to us’ and started threatening him that he would take away his passport, hit him hard on *that part* etc.. They also told us that they would file a trespassing case against us!?! bcoz we went to the dhobi stall! How on earth did he have his store there first of all, if it was a private place?
They also threatened us saying ‘Give a complaint, we will see. As though you will come to the court to follow up!’ We did not budge one bit and then they came to know we were serious about it. This was the time Anna Hazare’s campaign was going on, and that made us all the more stronger 🙂 They mellowed down and told us they would call the driver and gunman and asked them to apologize and we could stop at that instead of making it big! Call they did, but even after waiting for 3 hours, nobody turned up. One inspector, who had just turned up at the station, told us that he would punish even his own kin if they were wrong, took our number and said we could go back and he would call us as soon as they would appeared at the station.
We were sure they wouldn’t. Cowards! They were just trying to scare us away by taking names of inspectors, and when we really went to the station, they could not even come there? Where did they get power to harass people from? Do they think they can threaten all and sundry just bcoz they are a certain officer’s gunman or driver?
Okay! My point here is only that, a major part of the cause of their behaviour is that they are sure people won’t bring such incidents to light or take it forward! Quite evident from the way they called it petty or took it for granted that we would not want to go to court! But, if every one of us do report such things, am sure the scenario will change! May not be in days or months! Social changes have taken decades and people have stuck to it! I read Anna Hazare’s autobiography recently and it shows how long he struggled [ofcourse we think so, such gr8 ppl dnt take it as a struggle!] to change the face of that one village! So, even if we crib about how our system is and wait to see a top-down change, we should be taking a few steps and try to work on the bottom-up approach too! And I am now personally seeing how much change a bottom-up approach can bring about, slowly but steadily! What are your views?
Everything in life teaches u a lesson. For me, the worthiest part of it was that at the end of the day, even while wailing in pain, Su told me how the two of us stood up against 10 of them at that point of time and never gave up. That trusting smile from the person with whom I will walk the most number of steps in life made my day 🙂 And ofcourse the fact that I had told myself 100 times over that I should not cry there no matter what and did not shed one single tear, given the sensitive cry-baby that I am 😛 😛 And these friends of mine, I just can’t thank them enough 🙂