An old lady became a Hero

By Julia Fernandes

March 5, 2013


Yesterday evening while heading home, I was blissfully listening to my music while sitting near the window of my train. After a station or two, a menacing looking ruffian from the adjoining general compartment began leaning and continuously gawking at me.


As each station passed, his stares became bolder and more in-your-face-kind of to the point of getting down at each platform and coming near my window. I put my head down and began ignoring him.


I was just mulling what to do when an old frail lady who was sitting besides me noticed his antics all along. She just could not contain her anger. She removed her spectacles and exploded on that man with the choicest expletives. Like a protective mother she then made me swap places; she sat at the window and pushed me inside.


As the train moved on from the window she dared that man to come out and stare again at me. Needless to say, her threats worked and that ruffian did not show his face for the entire journey.


While I thanked her profusely for her gesture, it set me thinking, why I could not stand up for myself? Why I could not get as enraged as she was? Why I could not shout and intimidate that man and put him in his place like she did?


Then I realized we live in a society where girls are not conditioned to pick up street fights or get into street brawls. We are always taught from young to ignore such kind of things. As a result of this, I have become desensitized to all this. 


But it is such people who, when left unchecked, go onto commit heinous crimes against women simply because nobody stops them in their tracks early on.


It took an ageing and frail lady to change my mindset. She displayed courage and glory in standing up for what she saw was wrong. She helped a rank stranger like me. Yesterday, that lady became my hero. She taught me a valuable lesson. In today’s dangerous times, we should have zero tolerance for any nuisance.


As we were parting ways in chaste marathi she told me,“Kadhi ghabrayacha nahin,” as I silently promised myself that I will be strong and I will stand up for myself as and when the need arises.