By Hemant Tigga.
A lean and thin average looking teen boy with his college bag came in rush and took a seat in a local passenger train which is about to leave. The station is a busy one but that particular train was rather empty.
I was travelling alone, that wasn’t my fault, I was seventeen, again that wasn’t my fault, he choose me out of lust and crossed the boundary and that certainly was his fault.
I was going home for long summer holidays, when I took that train from Ranchi Railway station at 6 pm; I had no idea that one day I will be documenting it and that the coming 4 hr journey for my hometown by that train, is going to be a terrible memory for me.
I was late to catch the train and before I would have noticed that the train has very few passengers, the train left the station, however I wasn’t alone there were few co-passengers, I was carefree and relaxed , I took a window seat and the cool soothing wind through window like the bedtime story make me sleep, when I got up from my sleep of almost 2 hr, I found that I reached Bokaro junction, and I also found that I am the only one left in my coach, I get down in the station for some stretching, had a cup of tea and came back to my seat without noticing that I was intentionally being followed by someone and without wasting time, very soon that someone showed up as a co-passenger sitting next to me.
He was a tall, heavy, strong built, muscular old man in his late 50’s, before I would have made a perception of him and before the train would have left the station, he himself get introduced as a retired military man, as the train left for the next stoppage, he started narrating his family details and other stories in an over-friendly manner, coming very closer to me, the train took speed and so as the physical closeness of the stranger.
What’s your name?
As he heard my name he throws his heavy body in excitement towards me and gave me a tight hug, that was weird for me, I thought maybe it’s not a weird thing for other culture, but generally in our culture love and affection are not very delightfully expressed in a physical form.
What a lovely name?
I pulled myself a bit farther after he is finished with his lengthy hug.
So boy, what you do?
I am doing graduation, 1st year.
Oh! Wow, he again jumped in excitement towards me, as if it was a great thing to do and put one of his huge arms around me and pulled me closer.
I smiled back, I was naive and innocent of his intentions, to me he was like a father figure.
You look so young for doing graduation; just after finishing these lines he placed a very unexpected and unwelcoming kiss on one side of my cheeks. I found it so unusual but didn’t react, however I started feeling uncomfortable under his strong grip, yet I remained silent. I thought, maybe he is just more of expressing kinds and expecting that after a while, he will loosen the grip.
I have two sons and one daughter all older to you, last year I got my daughter married, you must be my younger son’s age, your age dear?
This time he crossed all limits, after saying wow! He forcefully tried to kiss me- this time on lips, oh my god, lip kiss, my first kiss has to be very special, with someone I love and not certainly from this bulky creature, I somehow saved myself from his lips touching mine, all I could see was his huge face coming towards my face, like a wall, I couldn’t even see whole of it, and his huge arm get surrounded around me like a python’s grip, pushing me towards him and his saliva like python’s venom, I think I saved myself from venom but not from the grip, I felt suffocated, sweating and gasping and he was totally under control of lust, now there were no conversation’s from his side because he is now revealed of his intentions, no more polishing is required, now I was just a soft target for him, I had no idea what he was going to do with me, sex/rape/ murder /cutting/killing/throwing from train, all images passed my mind, and his hands knew what they want, they found my penis like a treasure, grabbed it from above my pant and started rubbing it wildly, I had no idea of the limit of his obsession, beside him-I was so delicate to get his hands off from me and his eyes were full of terror and then came his grand move, his hands slipped inside my pants, for a moment I was numb, for a while I felt it’s not happening, it couldn’t be, he was leaning on me with his more than 90kg weight, I was struggling hard with both my hands to put his hand off my pant and then very suddenly he took one of my hands and kept it above his penis, it was so creepy, I felt so nasty and helpless and then next moment like a magic suddenly as if the wind changed its direction and I felt great strength inside me and in one go I successfully throw him aside and relieved myself from his grip, the next moment I was sitting opposite to him, heavily shivering, don’t know whether with cold or panic, totally clueless of what might happen next, no man’s voice could be heard, a strange kind of horrible silence started nourishing possibility of all kinds of worst, the next stoppage is around 40 minutes run where I could expect some crowd if only I survive to reach there, I even didn’t feel like crying because my mind was very aware of everything happening around, he watching me very cautiously spreading his legs on opposite side of the seat so as blocking the only passage, ensuring me not to run, his intentions were darker than moonless, starless, cloudy night outside, I was the meat he was the hungry wolf, I could be eaten any moment, I was petrified, but I was totally in the moment, I was not thinking about reaching home, enjoying summer, or my life’s big dream, nothing was in my mind, it was empty, vacant, just thinking, how I could run from here ?
I have never been so clear of my purpose, certainly death is the greatest threat, it can teach us more than anything else, he attempted to rape me, I wish I could read his thoughts, each second passed as hour and probably 5 minutes after I was relieved of his grip, he put his hand inside his bag, my imagination ran faster than light, it might be a rope that he will use to tie me then he will probably rape me, it might be a knife, he may have changed his intention of raping and will probably just kill and throw me from running train, or it can be a gun since he was in military, but against all my imagination and against everything that can never be predicted from what happened so far he pulled a beautiful blanket, he got up from his seat and very gently put it around me.
I was still unsure of his intentions, maybe he is trying to give me some warmth so that he can earn my permission and try again.
Then he said something after very long time and that too without the presence of any strong emotion, they were Kasmiri blanket, very costly, if you wish, you can keep them.
The Kasmiri blanket did its role but probably not what he must be expecting, after few minutes; I stopped shivering and felt relaxed. However I pretended to be weak and timid, I was planning to jump and run.
For a while, I just focused on the sound of the running train and allowed it to grow inside me- overshadowing my fear.
Later I also found him in a relaxed mode and to my great surprise he took off his legs so far deliberately spread and cleared the passage, but I suspected it a trick, maybe the moment I will try to run he will grab me, after all he is from military, and he may have many kinds of wicked plans for me. Even then grabbing all my courage, in a fraction of second, I throw his blanket, took my bag and ran for my life, and didn’t looked behind until I crossed one coach, I followed sound of laugh coming from far, as I got closer I found few people in next coach, all busy in some gossip, didn’t seem to notice me, even then I carefully examined them by passing from there to and fro for 2 to3 times, they appeared common people without any bad intentions, I sat with them, I was breathing from mouth and sweating and my mind was also engaged in keeping track, if he is not following me, I had no other option but to sit with them, however my mind was not free from fear, comparatively I felt safer with those strangers, I was meant nobody to them, but for me they were life-savers.
I sat in the single window seat, it was still 20 minutes of run, I sat in an angle to keep track on the passage from his side, ensuring him not coming or chasing me.
I decided to get down on the next stop, the man is mysterious, I was still not sure of his plans, he was well aware of me leaving and totally capable of holding me back still he didn’t move, he allowed me to go, that was surprising, he even didn’t came chasing me. And why he would give me blanket?
What if, he will just appear with a pistol in his hand and shoot me, after all, I may be the only one knowing his secret, I am a witness, I may go to police, lodge a complaint and get him arrested, and his life will be ruined.
There was confusion, anger, irritation, frustration, helplessness, fear, all at the same time and I saw station arrived, I get down in rush and for few minutes sat in a dark corner making sure whether or not I am followed and kept eye on all passengers getting down, I didn’t see him, the train left and I moved myself to a noisy platform where there is enough light and crowd, and started waiting for another train, I expected this man to leave with the train, my mind was very occupied but without any plan, and just when I heard the announcement of my train and I would have taken a sign of relief, I saw him coming towards me, emerging from the dark shades of a distant tree, oh! my God, he is still following me, this means he get down from train with me, he must be secretly keeping eye on me, I was petrified, I get stoned, even among the crowd I felt alone, I forgot that if he will be near, I could scream, I could have hear no noise but his footsteps coming towards me, what he wants’, why is he coming towards me, did he want to scare me, or he will threaten me: but he just passed, keeping his eyes fixed on me as long as he can and disappeared in dark, his eyes were trying to read me, My eyes chased him as much as it can, I didn’t left the place in nervousness and when my train came, I left for home; however I ensured it wasn’t empty and I sat among people. I wasn’t sure if I am not being followed.
Maybe he is in this train and very well knows that I am sitting here but probably he will not come out in crowd, I must relax now but I couldn’t close my eyes, they were wide awake and then a sudden thought hit me making me more restless: maybe he just pretended to elope in the dark.
When I get down in my hometown, it was late night, around 11pm, it was a small town, and absolutely no human presence can be found on the road, except street dogs, I regretted my decision of not calling a friend or my brother, I was afraid, my home was hardly 1.5 km away from station, I started walking very fast so as to reach as soon as possible, I feel like being followed, I keep watching behind and when I took turn to that dark lonely street towards my home, just after few steps, I saw a manly figure coming from opposite side in the same street, from far it vaguely resembled him, I felt like, Oh! my God, it could be him, why don’t he leave me, what could be his intentions, I get horrified, slowing down and taking very small steps, examining the figure arriving closer, I started sweating , now I could even hear my heartbeats, still I kept walking gathering all my courage, there were no working street lights , I even didn’t have torch to see his face, and when he was just 50 meter away from me, somehow I guessed that this figure is not trustworthy , I took few backward steps while expecting any change in activity of the figure coming closer and then suddenly I turned around, I started running though directionless in the beginning but with all my strength, then got my awareness of route and took a right-turn , followed a damp & wet shortcut, I wasn’t even sure that it was him, I didn’t even looked back until I was just 100 meter away from my home, I found street dogs chasing me, anyhow I reached outside my home, inside home my pet dog started barking, my parents may have got up, street dogs still barking at me coming very closer to me, all groaning, I just wanted to get in, my parents were taking more than expected time, they must be asleep, hey! Please do it fast, I felt footsteps coming closer, he may jump from behind and stab me to death and I will be found dead before my parents come out, I started screaming and beating the gate with both hands, making it all so loud that even neighbors would have heard me, mom, open the gate, hurry, and kept watching behind, in the dark towards the street, and then he appeared, standing on the gate, it was my father, finally I get in, that moment my father looked like God, and my home-heaven on earth, very hurriedly I closed the door by myself, throw my bag somewhere and drank a glass of water.
My mom came: Do you want to eat something.
No I just want to sleep.
After this incident, for many days I kept thinking about him, strange man, disappeared in dark, where he would have gone? Was he always been doing this or it was just with me, or he will be always found in the same train, same time, maybe I should never take that train again, was he suffering with a kind of disease that made him attack young boys, or it was a onetime thing for him because later he was found to have shown soft corner for me, was all his stories lies or they were told just to get friendly with me, was he actually married or a lonely man under control of an oscillating feelings of lust and desire , he is dangerous, he needs treatment, and he must understand that he shouldn’t go on doing this, using his power to sexually abuse, it may be fun for him but not for the one he has targeted, was he a person devoid of love and socially excluded that probably made him treat people as thing, and perhaps his never met demand of love has now taken a wrong manifestation which is beneficial for none and where he behave as a distorted personality, what would be his faith, he left many question’s for me.
Later when I shared it with my friends few of them even made fun of me without understanding the sensitivity of this incident and the insecurity that it brought in me, and the unforgettable impressions that it left on me, that are perhaps going to travel lifelong with me, I would definitely think twice before sitting in an empty coach or with a stranger, because now I know boy’s are also not safe.