“I am in a dilemma if I should forget it or let it affect me as a human. Let me share, one of the worst experiences of my life, for which I had no words to express for the initial few days after it happened.”
It was around noon Thursday when a friend, currently in Kolkata because of work, forwarded me a link of a blog post, in which a person had penned down what he said was “one of the worst experiences of my life”. My friend wanted me to speak to the blogger so that I could post the write-up on this platform, but due to some pre-occupation I couldn’t.
However, I managed to check the blog on my phone, and what I read was scary and chilling, to say the least. By around 5pm, the blog had gone viral over the Internet with around 8000 likes and hundreds of Twitter shares and comments.
As soon as I returned home at around 8pm, I tried to search the blog on my laptop, but found that it has mysteriously disappeared. The blogger has removed the post apparently in fear of backlash from the people he had written about (though no one has been named).
Since I had saved the page on my phone, I thought it prudent to share how the blogger came face to face with the unruly brats of the so-called Millennium City or Gurgaon.
Here is an unedited version of what the blogger says he experienced on that fateful day:
I am in a dilemma if I should forget it or let it affect me as a human. Let me share, one of the worst experiences of my life, for which I had no words to express for the initial few days after it happened. This time, I am not going to talk about something I read somewhere else or something generally happens or that we read about, but, for the first time, something that I experienced with my naked eyes. Here I am. Fazed with the experience and unable to forget those horrified faces. They were fearing the worse. And trust me it wasn’t DEATH!
On Sunday, Sept 15th, 2013, I had to appear for an interview @ a leading software company, Manesar. From Huda City Center Metro Station, I reserved an auto (to and fro). I booked it to return as well considering the unavailability of transport. I knew it was a little far off Gurgaon but didn’t realized this far. It took me around an hour and 10 minutes to reach the venue. By then the distance and the fact that I just can’t relocate to this place made me doubtful about wanting this job?
Anyway, when I reached the company the interview panel was not available. They could not make it, and thus, all the interviews happened via phone. This was enough to boost my frustration but felt helpless. There were around 17 candidates, and among them, a group of 3 people were friends together: a boy and two girls. One of the girls and the guy were a couple. As I found them enjoying the company, teasing each other and at the same time, talking serious matters like, if you get this job, we can talk to our parents etc. Moreover, they looked like one happy couple.
After 2 hours, interviews got over and much ado about nothing. They gave us a sheet to fill in our personal details and told us, our “next” round will be phonic. Dejected, we all left the building. I took my auto and moved towards Huda City Center Metro station again. Or should I say, towards the horrible fate I didn’t imagine even in my nightmare.
My auto driver took a different route this time through a dirt track with empty dry fields around with no human being visible to my eyes except a blurry flyover. After a few minutes, we saw two Qualis (cars) but we kept moving. The moment we were about to cross the cars, few people jumped up in front of us forced us to stop. They were 15 or 20 drunkards holding knives, spears, and sickles. Out of them 4 or 5 people came to us, slapped my auto driver, and pulled him out and few others started thrashing the auto rickshaw. Afraid, I tried to move out but one of them shouted,
“Bhaiya chup chaap andar baithe raho. Gaadi mei aag bhi lag jaye to bhi bahar mat nikalna.”
Suddenly, he was instructed by one of his mates to spare me as this had nothing to do with me. They attacked the driver with knives and spears on his back and arms whocouldn’t do anything except pleading continuously:
“Bhaiya, hum ye savari yahan se lekar nahi ja rahe, hum inko metro station se lekar aaye the aur inhone hi wapus sath jane ke liye bhi book kar liya tha”.
After some slaps, punches and spears, they turned to me and asked if he is telling the truth. I told them yes, I booked the auto for returning too. I came here for interview at this company, and asked the driver to wait for me for 3 hours. After listening to me, the person talking to me, turned a little polite, and told the driver to leave asap. But then suddenly, one person, clad in torn t-shirt and pajama, started shouting that they were not going to let us go. They caught us after a long wait, and must not miss this chance to teach this outsider auto driver a lesson. And they started all over again. The driver was in much pain. He was shivering like anything. Scared and helpless as I was, I kept watching him, and came face to face with the coward inside me. I came out of the auto and tried to stop them. I told them that it was me who brought him here so please let him go. He won’t repeat it. You can take our money. And “money” turned out to be the last word I uttered in favor of my driver. The next thing I saw was a knife on my face followed by a red eyed instruction to keep quiet and do as is told to me. I backed out. I never encountered anything like this ever in my life. Not even in Jharkhand where I grew up. For me, this was indeed the worst ever experience.
WORST EVER? REALLY? May be it was worst in its own way, but what I saw next was something horrendous and shameful.
So far, I didn’t notice that they had also stopped another auto, which was not visible due to the sudden attack and cars hiding it from my sight. That auto was carrying those 3 friends I saw @ interview venue. A couple and a girl. Their driver was near to unconscious and the male friend among them was sitting on the road with his hands tied and scars on his face. The driver’s back was red because of the blood. Around 7-8 people circled the auto and were verbally abusing the three people. What I heard is as following:
– Darr lag raha hai. Ladko se darr lagta hai. Tum do ladkiyan ek ladke ke sath, hum 15 log do ke sath kyu nahi ho sakte
– Arre nahi yar, abhi wo gangrape ka faisla aaya hai na, maut ki saza mili hai sabko. Hum logo ko bhi mil jayegi.
– Jab milegi tab dekh lenge. Lekin humein maut ki saza nahi milegi, hum log normal rape karenge na. Waisa wala nahi… wo to janwar karte hai.
– To kahan lekar chale inko, yehi dekhein inko?…dekh sakte hai na…ae madam…choli ke peeche kya hai …. dikhaogi ya hum khud dekhein???
– Yar inki marzi bhi to jaan lo … kya pata rape karne ki zaroorat na pade
I was shocked. I always read about rapes and felt the anger inside me. But though it was a verbal abuse and not a “RAPE” (I hardly see a difference), my anger was masked by fear. Were they going to commit it? God, please No. And their local accent made it sound like they WOULD do it. I got scared, very scared. I wanted to kill them but my fear overpowered my anger. Then I realized I was not afraid of myself anymore. Because suddenly my problems, being stranded in the middle of nowhere with my driver beaten up and in blood, seemed nothing in front of the girls facing those words. I tried to look at them clearly but could not. Thus, I came out of my auto slowly and saw them.
The two girls were sitting inside holding each other and silent out of fear. One of the two girls was hiding her face behind her friend’s arm. She was shivering. The other one, looked as if she was praying and asking them for mercy. And those assholes were treating them like some animal in cage. I didn’t utter a word because so far limited verbal abuse. None was trying to harm them physically. And I suppose, even the girls might not want to utter a word because god knows how they were going to react to any kind of request or protest?
I was standing behind them, and suddenly one of them tried to get inside. And the very moment, out of fear of what might happen next, I asked them to leave them alone as they have issues with the drivers and not the passengers. And this was the last words that came out of me. The guy who was trying to get inside, got out and rushed towards me with his sickle. I moved back, but of no use. He put his sickle around my neck, grabbed my hand and said,
“Yahan bus tu hi hai jo wo nhi kar raha jo hum keh rahe hai. baithne ko kahan to chup chap baitho. Mooh khologe to bolne layak nahi bachoge.”
I wasn’t scared of what he said but rather of the thing that was around my neck. Everything that happened was something I always read about or saw in movies and never faced it. Somethings (like experiencing a knife on my neck etc) were not a big deal and I always believed I can handle them until it turns out to be a bigger deal. And something already a big deal, got bigger. Those girls must have seen a hope when I spoke but soon they also realized it was momentary. That moment, when I saw them, before getting inside my auto, I felt, they weren’t afraid of death whatsoever. But what they feared was a lot bigger than anything I have ever seen in my entire life. I felt ashamed of myself. There are MEN who were threatening them to rape, and there were MEN who weren’t threatening them but didn’t even help either.
That moment also reminded me of NIRBHAYA, what she must have gone through, and her friend, who will live his life with a bitter truth that he was suppose to save her but he was no superman. They were more than enough to handle. I wonder if any brother, father, friend, and a good person can ever save any girl surrounded by so many people, in this state of mind when they are drunk, full of weapons, roaming around in groups, and UNEDUCATED shouting WE ARE THE SYSTEM. No one can and may be that’s why system is built. And that day it was a reminder, how broken our system is.
I was in my auto, wishing to end this as soon as possible. Then suddenly, one of the attackers screamed to lets go to “JAGGI DA DHABA”. All gathered together, discussed something, and asked my auto driver to take his auto with them. They instructed all four of us (2 girls, their friend, and me) to get inside the other auto and took us to main road. One of their cars was following the auto we were in and the other car took the auto I reserved with them. They vanished as soon as we reached main road. There, they arranged another auto for us and asked him to drop as @ MG Road Metro station.
We all felt safe by then. But I was worried about the auto driver. I remembered that I had his phone number with me. I took out my phone to call police. But the driver of our current auto saw me and requested me to not make any calls until we leave his auto. On our way back to metro station, I saw one of the girl’s nose was bleeding because of panic. The other girl who so far held herself so strongly, looked as if she so want to cry out loud. I offer her my handkerchief to wipe out the blood coming out of her friend’s nose. But the moment I gave it to her, she held my hand tightly and started crying. She asked me to drop her till Rohini as her male friend was also beaten up and the other girl was not completely fine. I assured her I would.
At metro station, I called 100, told them what happened and gave whatever details I had. I don’t know if they had taken any steps. Inside metro, I called my auto driver, to check on him. They left both the auto drivers after taking their money and damaged their auto rickshaws. He asked me if I was safe or not, and inquired about the girls. He also told me to please take them to their home as they have just faced a traumatic incident and may need help.
After leaving them to Rohini, I returned back (sic). Back to my “NORMAL” life. Phew!