Have you ever thought what a woman is capable of? Or if you are a woman, what you are capable of? I’m sure, you would have. Life gives us many such moments when we think beyond our daily existence. We shed all inhibitions and step forward to discover our new self. And most of the times, the journey we embark upon is forced by circumstances.
Many vouch that the time has changed, society has evolved and men have become more acceptable. I agreed to it; till I started commuting in public transport. Need not say, public transport in our country is overcrowded with commuters and crowded with men who won’t miss a chance to take advantage of a female. In five years of commute, I followed certain rules - where to sit, when and from where to board the bus and not mingle with any passenger. Thankfully, I had no bad experience while commuting, except for one. And my only regret is that I could have acted earlier.
There were many College girls like me who went to Chandigarh from Ambala and many boarded the bus from my stop. I distinctly remember a girl who boarded the bus with a boy and I always sighed for lack of company during my commute. But what I observed few weeks later was exactly different from what I had comprehended earlier. This boy was troubling the girl, passing cheap comments and touching her whenever he got an opportunity. I felt bad but chose to ignore it, ‘What if he comes after me?’ I thought.
For many weeks, I saw this girl standing with her head down and trying to board the bus when there was no crowd. And on some days, I remember, she didn’t take the bus and waited for the next one; but this boy would wait with her. Sometimes, I wonder how this girl would have prepared herself to go to College everyday; she would have prayed that either he didn’t come or she could manage to have a safe distance.
One Friday when I boarded the bus, I sat on the aisle seat of a three seating capacity row. Then, this girl came and sat in the middle with me. Now the boy who used to trouble her came, asked me to let him in as the window seat was empty but I didn’t move. I spoke nothing at all and didn’t move an inch. He started speaking loudly, saying the bus was not my property but NO, I didn’t budge. Finally he started abusing me. The gentleman sitting at the back seat asked me to move as there was no vacant seat in the bus. I looked back and told him, ‘Sorry Sir, I won’t. He teases all the girls and passes dirty comments.’ I spoke loudly so that many people could hear me and remember his face.
After that, I heard some whispers and a middle aged lady scolding the guy. He went at the back of the bus and stood there for the rest of the journey. I opened my Economics book and smiled at myself. I was proud of what I did and a little sorry as I could have done something earlier. The girl sitting next to me said ‘Thank you’ with a smile. Next week when I saw her at the bus stop, she was not tensed and she definitely looked better.
There comes a time when you can’t afford to be a mere spectator. The woman in you can’t accept what is happening. You want to break the shell around you and emerge. A woman can do anything; God has bestowed her with all the powers – The Power to Create, Nurture and Transform. She is capable of facing all the problems and emerging victorious on every occasion. At times she needs some reassurance and support. So, I appeal to all the ladies out there; Stand tall for yourself and for others. You are the Powerhouse of the World!