Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Night (mare) ………



Hectic and tiring 31st March can be, but dangerous? Never thought of that. Well this post is especially for those working women who are forced to sit up late on this very important date  which marks the end of the financial year in almost all offices and establishments, whether it be public or private.

As usual on the 31st of March ....………hmm, sorry don’t remember the exact year, Sitara who is a gazetted officer, left home early for office. Before leaving she informed her mother that she would be late. This was a routine year –in-year out exercise since she took up this job. Her daughter’s auto driver was assigned the job of bringing her home at night. Though she had the option of staying back at office or spending the night at a colleague’s place, Sitara preferred returning home since her daughter was very small and alone with her grand mother. Her husband was away far north.

The day was as usual a very hectic and tense one and being Office- In- Charge meant that Sitara had to wait up till the year –end work was accomplished.  Finally it was well past midnight by the time she could leave for home. Her home was around 20 kms from her office. She had barely covered 5 kms when the auto driver informed her that 4 people were following them on motorbikes. Sitara asked him to   pick up speed which he did. But, the men were not ready to give up. Both the driver and Sitara were at their wit’s end. Should they enter a nearby lane? Should they seek help from a nearby house? To add to their woes Sitara’s mobile battery too let her down. 

The bikes closed in. Suddenly Sitara, who I must say is one-up when it comes to presence of mind, got an idea. She pretended to call in the police patrol van on her mobile. She asked the auto driver for the vehicle nos. of the bikes that were following them and ‘relayed’ the same to the ‘police officers,’ loud and clear so that the men on the bikes could hear her.

As luck would have it, the bikes suddenly took a U- turn and sped away. Finally she reached home safe and sound, but the incident left her shaken.  Her mother came to know of the incident only the next morning. That was the last time she travelled all alone at night.

When I think of this incident now, I wish her mobile batteries were fully charged and that she had Smart Suraksha with her . The Smart Suraksha App is an Android Application that aims at making women feel safe. This App, at the press of a single button, could have sent her message of help to five pre-chosen contacts from her contact list. It would have also sent across her location. However, I've now decided to pester her to get the Smart Suraksha App immediately so that the coming March can see her more confident to take on the challenge of travelling at the odd hour.

Insight :

This is not a piece of fiction but a true story. The name of the character has been changed to protect her identity.




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