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  • Writer's pictureL.J. Singh

The Forgotten Humanity - 'Emotional Breakdown'

How an incident encountered by me led to my emotional breakdown which kept me in self-imposed isolation for over a day, introspecting and mulling over my own helplessness and apathy of persons present near the incident.

I was walking on a crowded road where scooters, bikes, cars, and jeeps were jostling for space to get through the self-made jam. There was an open-top SUV jeep in which two young men were sitting having some drinks in a somewhat vacant spot on a bye-lane. And there also, one young urchin girl in tottered clothes carrying a suckling infant on her breast, was begging alms from these men. One of the SUV jeep occupants started molesting that young lady by holding her hand. She was trying to get her hand freed from the lecherous inebriated man but he kept on molesting and groping her.

Passers-by were just trying to be oblivious of the shameless act by looking the other way, even some were watching the dirty display as if it was something amusing. When no one came to her rescue, I, an extremely frail and over 85 year old person, standing on another side of the road, could not ignore a shameful indecent act of groping on a helpless young woman, mustered some courage and shouted at the perpetrator and advanced towards him with my raised walking stick.

Though the hooligan let go of the sobbing girl's hand but he jumped off his jeep with a rod in his hand and came menacingly towards me. When he tried to hit me, my decades-old self defence training during my cadetship came to my rescue. I managed to ward off and evade his attacks. This could be also due to his being in inebriated condition, his attacks were not rightly aimed on me, his target. I was shockingly dismayed when nobody came to confront the attacking man though some members of the public were casually offering sermons like, 'hey don't fight, don't fight'. But by chance and to my luck, when I was about to be overpowered by the hooligan, two police sub-inspectors on a bike stopped near our scuffle and warned the attacker. These two police inspectors had recognised me as they had visited my home a few days earlier to take CCTV footage about a theft in our locality. They scolded the hooligans and wanted to take them to the police station, but since I didn't want to be involved in the ensuing police procedures, and wanted to be left in peace and return home, I told the policemen to deal with the hooligans on their own with charges of other offences of drinking in open and/or molesting and illegal parking, not assaulting me. And I advised that the poor girl should be spared from any further harassment and inconvenience due to her being asked to be present during the police investigation. The policemen agreed to my suggestion and booked the offenders for being a public nuisance and other offences.

The young girl along with her infants was sobbing and trying to hold her crying child as well as her torn blouse. I gave her some money and even some of the persons who so far were just watching the incident like a roadside drama, came forward to give some money to the distraught girl. I returned home on my own, even though both the policemen wanted to escort me safely to my residence. I didn't want my family to know about my incident, who would have only got angry at my being unnecessarily involved in someone else's incident which could have resulted in grave injuries to me.

Even though I tried to put the incident behind me, where I could have been killed or maimed, however, I don't regret the call of my conscience. But for a day or so I couldn't forget the incident and am unable to concentrate on any of my usual chores. Even my ringing telephone and in-coming messages tunes, could not bring me out of my stupor. I still haven't got over my and that poor girl's traumatic experience. But I do wonder that had the target of the molester been any other woman, not the poor beggar girl, those just watching as mute spectators would have shown such apathy to the plight of the victim too.

Written By-

L.J. Singh

Retd. Chief Engineer (IMM)

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Devinder Singh
Devinder Singh
Jun 29, 2021

Very well written


Inderpal Kaur
Inderpal Kaur
Jun 29, 2021

Really very very appreciable and noble work

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