Born and brought up in Bengaluru, I love this city a little too much! I love it so much that two years ago, I decided to say goodbye to the US to come back and settle here. I was always too proud of being a Bangalorean. I remember the days when the roads were more pedestrian-friendly and when people were concerned about one another and came out to help whenever they saw someone in need. As a child, I was brought up by my neighbours, as my parents had to juggle between work and us, their kids. I remember walking around and playing on the roads carefree.
All these sweet memories were shot down on 25 November 2013. It had been a usual long Monday. At 5:30pm I left from my house on my Honda Activa and was heading towards the gym. I usually drive to the gym, but considering the parking problem in that area, I decided to take the two-wheeler. I am very wary when riding a two wheeler, so I stick to the side of the road and let everybody else pass by. I was doing the same thing, going past BDA complex at Banashankari 2nd stage, when I heard a loud horn (a wolf horn), so I moved closer to the footpath. The person behind me kept sounding the horn for a long time and finally moved closer.
The next thing I know is that two guys on a white Honda Activa are next to me; the guy sitting behind pushed my shoulder (guy in turquoise/ blue shirt – Naveen) while the one in the front (guy in red t-shirt – Praveen) kicked my right calf muscle. I was shell-shocked, as I fell off the Activa, but then held on to the footpath and balanced myself and the vehicle. I quickly glanced at their vehicle number, got up, sat on the vehicle for a couple of minutes as I gathered my senses back. I decided not to let this event ruin my day and headed towards the gym.
As I joined the next main road, i.e. Suchitra Kala Mandira Post Office road, Banashankari 2nd stage, I saw the same guys standing near a shop there. I had two choices at this point in time, one was to ignore these rogues and just pass by; the other was to confront them.
I saw that there were about 30-40 people on the road, mostly men and thought this would help me stay safe. I went closer to where these guys were, asked them why they had kicked me. I wanted to know if they knew me or had any reason to kick me. Praveen charged towards me and I immediately clicked a picture of him at that minute. This aggravated them further and Praveen started abusing me in English. Naveen too joined in and started abusing me using third rate, cheap, extremely vulgar Kannada abuses.
They both were trying to jump on me while two guys, their friends, were trying to hold them back. I looked around for help and all these men on the road were just standing and watching the whole episode unfold. I then shouted randomly at all of them asking if they had no humanity left in them and how could they just be spectators to what was happening right in front of them.
After this 10-12 men came along and first advised that the guys were drunk and I should therefore adjust to such things. This just ticked me off further. I parked my two-wheeler and said that I needed to know why those guys kicked me and would not leave till I was given a valid reason. The two guys continued abusing me and tried to come forward to hurt me, but were held back by the people who had come to help. In the next 15 minutes, the people there coaxed them to calm down and sent them away. At this point I was not just physically hurt, but mentally torn hearing all those abuses and I was shivering.
I called my husband, gave him the vehicle number and sent him the picture of the guys. He got the details of the vehicle owner from the Bangalore One center. We then went to the police station to register a complaint. It took us about two hours to complete the formalities and in the station I was told that these guys were regular offenders. The cops did have some complaints against them, but nothing got to the FIR stage as the girls had backed out.
Eventually, Naveen was arrested on the same day and Praveen the following afternoon. They were taken to the magistrate on Tuesday night and then granted bail. I went to the police station on Wednesday morning to collect a copy of the FIR and was told that they would be out of custody in the next couple of hours. The police also informed me that the court case would continue and that I would have to go to the court when they sent out the summons; not sure how long this wait is going to be!
I was told that the boys were 20 year olds pursuing their 12th standard. I don’t what to spoil their future or play any part in making them bigger criminals. My only intention is to teach them how to behave with others, especially women. And I hope they learn that!
While this is what I am thinking, my family, friends and a lot of other people who heard my story on Facebook are worried about my safety. I think I will be alright, I have seen a lot of support from family, friends and even strangers; this gives me the strength and perseverance to face all odds.