Your name mam? – A short fiction

7.00 PM

She stood in front of the mirror and looked at her figure. She was in awe of her figure and she had this habit of checking out her structure on all possible occasions. Then she unzipped her handbag and took out the lipstick and applied it on her lips. She then adjusted her hair and smiled at herself for being very pretty, and walked off from the rest room to her desk.

She checked her email for one last time and then she closed the laptop. That’s when she observed that she had forgot to replug the charger for her mobile. She saw it and there was only 5% charge remaining. But she didn’t want to wait further, so she packed her bag and left for the day.

“Okay yaar. See you, tomorrow” she said to a colleague, who was sitting next.

“Hey, you look pretty. Any date?” the colleague said.

“Hey shut up. Don’t pull my legs.” she said.

“Haha. What’s the need for makeup when you girls leave office and go home?” he said.

“Oh man, shouldn’t I look even more beautiful in front of other men when I travel.” she said, winking her eyes.

“Aah, you are such a flirt.”

“Oh shut up, ok da, see you bye” she waved her hand and left the place.

She was a normal urbanized girl who took additional care on her makeup and always made the effort to look good wherever she went.

She started in her scooty pep towards the mall.

After sometime, she reached the mall, parked her bike and went to the first floor. Her phone rang. It was Ashok, her boyfriend. She quickly rushed towards the corner, where there was less noise and picked up the call.

“Hey dear, where are you? Can we go for dinner tonight?” the voice on the other side of the phone said.

“No, darling. Not today, I am busy now, I am working on a customer issue.”

“Ok. Did you eat something?” he said.

“No dear, not yet. I will go and have something. I am busy now da, can I call you once I reach home?” she said.

“Ok ok. Sure, bye. But don’t forget to eat.” he said.

“Ok da, sure. Bye.”

How could she tell him that she came to the mall to get him gift for his birthday which would fall two days from now on.

After spending a lot of time, she selected a nice watch for Ashok. “He was crazy about watches and he would never get bored of one.” she thought.

10.30 PM

Since it was late, she planned to take a shortcut to reach home from the mall.

She had two choices, one was to take the main road which would take a good 15-20 minutes extra, another one was to take a short cut. Since it was already late, she took the short cut. After she drove a couple of minutes into that shortcut, she realized that her bike started slowing down.

“Oh shit. Low fuel. I forgot to fill petrol, I was about to do it when I started from office, but due to excitement of getting the gift, I forgot it.” she thought.

Her bike came to a complete standstill in a few seconds. She cursed herself for forgetting to refuel.

“Oh shit. There is no petrol bunk nearby. I would have to travel at least 1km from here.” she thought.

“Let’s call Ashok.” she thought and picked up her mobile phone from her pocket.

That’s when she realized that she had told him that she was busy in office. She hesitated to call as she had to tell the truth, which would ruin the birthday surprise or manage. Eventually she decided to call him and ruin the surprise.

On seeing the mobile phone “Oh shit. It got switched off. Fuck, I should have charged it in office.” she said.

Now, she was in the middle of a lonely road with no human in the vicinity.

She had no choice than to leave her bike locked and go to the nearest area where she would get a cab or at least an auto.

She pulled her bike to the corner and parked it near a closed shop and she noted down the shop name for easy identification to come back the next day.

Then she started walking. That’s when she observed three men emerging from the side road, giggling at each other cracking some joke. She turned around to check who they were. When she looked at them, they instantly became silent and gave her an eerie look.

She quickly turned away from them and continued her walk. They seemed like construction workers leaving home after their work.

She had to walk at least a kilometre till she reaches the main road.

On seeing those guys, she felt a bit uncomfortable and started walking faster.

“I sense they are following me.” she thought and had a look at them with her peripheral vision.

They had started to talk something in their local language, which she didn’t understand. But she knew they were teasing her as she heard the words “Skirt” and “Madam”.

Now, she started to walk even faster. But they followed suit.

She turned back at them with a scared look. One of the guy had a kerchief with him, which scared her further. She confirmed her suspicion that they were trying to attack her.

So, she started walking even faster. But even then, those guys followed her. Now, she had to go at least more than half a kilometre. But there was a problem, there was a dark area which she had to pass through. It looked like some 200 to 300 metre stretch without any street lights.

Anything could happen to her in the dark.

That’s when she started running. Those guys also started running and tried to chase her.

She probably thought of quickly passing the dark area and continue running towards the main road, where she could get some help.

But these guys sensed an opportunity and went for their prey. How do these guys get these guts?

After all, who will complain to the police after a rape or a sexual assault? A girl’s life would get spoilt is the usual thought process. In a society where victim shaming is common for rape and sexual assault victims, in a society where the thought process is that a woman’s extra lipstick will tempt men to rape her and her skirt would act as an invitation to have sex with her unwillingly, many women would rather prefer to be silent than letting their name getting spoilt.

They almost reached near her just before the dark area. But she probably had no choice, so she went inside the dark area.

After a few seconds, there was a loud shriek from her. Then there were couple of shouts from those guys. Then there was silence for sometime.

Then came a patrol jeep. When the headlight of the jeep made the area bright, the policemen were able to see her standing alone at the corner of the road.

Immediately, the jeep slowed down, stopped and one policeman got down and enquired about her.

“What happened mam? Why are you standing alone here?” said the policeman.

“Sir, I was going home. My bike stopped in the middle, so I was walking towards the main road.” she said.

“Oh. That is very bad. You should have called someone to pick you up. Ok, come on, we will drop you at your home.”

“My mobile got switched off, Sir.”

“Sir, Can you take me to the nearest police station. I need to file a complaint against three men.”

“What happened mam?” he asked.

“Sir, after I started walking three men started following me, and when we reached this dark place, they tried tosexually assault me.”

“Where are those guys now? Where did they go? Did they try to harm you? Are you ok mam?”

“Sir, nothing to worry. Those idiots are there.” she pointed out to the corner of the road, where there were three men lying unconscious.

The policeman then went and checked on those people. They were pretty badly injured.

He whistled his fellow men, immediately a couple of other policemen came and they came, this police officer spoke something with them. They immediately went and picked them up.

“Mam, you are so courageous. Are you sure you are not hurt?” the police officer asked.

“No, Sir. I am perfectly fine.”

“How did you render them unconscious? Electric shock?”

“No sir. Karate.”

The police officer then looked at the woman in awe.

“I’m quite proud of you, mam. I believe every woman should learn self defense. There is nothing like it. Even I have a girl child, I will enroll her in karate classes immediately.”

She smiled and said “Thank you Sir.”

“Your name, mam?”

“I’m Shakthi.”

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Shakthi means power, might, strength. Every woman has that, is that. It’s imperative women use it whenever it threatens them, especially against predators. Every woman should learn self defense.

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