Nisha pedalled the bicycle as fast as she could. She wanted to reach home. She was angry and scared at the same time and this strange emotion made her face turn red and her cheeks warm. She applied sudden brake. They were right in front of her , with a broad smile. Their bike stopped her from moving. They wanted to give her a piece of paper. She was scared to accept that. She moved her cycle to side and started pedalling again as fast as she could. She could hear them shout from behind , “Madam stop, suno toh”. She turned into a lane. She tried hard to dodge them moving from one lane to another. She tried to move through the lanes of friends and family , so that she could shout if need be.
She halted for a minute. The name plate read her Uncle’s name. She could have gone inside and asked for help. But what will she tell them. That 2 boys have been chasing her for a week now and its been really bad today. There will be 100 questions , about who are they , why she did not tell earlier etc etc. They might doubt her modesty. Her cousins might tease her later. So many thoughts in fraction of seconds. She heard the bike again and she started to pedal all over again.
Finally she reached home. She managed to dodge them. They could not see her house. Her mom was standing at the gate. How come you are late was her first question. Nisha could not reply. She parked the cycle and went inside. Her face was red and heart was pumping fast. She crashed on the sofa and burst into loud sobs. Her mother looked more worried now and asked what has happened. She could not speak for 5 minutes and went on crying.
5 minutes later she explained it all to her mother. She was scared that she will never allowed to go to tutions again. She was scared that she will never be allowed to go out of house alone. Her father came and asked all the details. She explained the looks of the 2 boys and whatever she could remember , the colour of bike , the sticker on the bike which said “rocky” and things like that.
Her father asked some of his well wishers to trace the guys. The stage was set. Nisha went to tutions as she went everyday. Just that she knew some of his father’s men were waiting for her to spot the guys. They did not come. Probably they realized that they did a bit too much on the previous day and wanted to give Nisha some rest. The police (who was informed , without a formal complaint) however traced the bike and the guys as well.
Nisha never saw them again. She went to tutions the same way for another year. She was thankful to her father and his friends. She was thankful that she told the episode to her family before it was too late.
The memories of that day are fresh in her mind , even today. But she is also thankful that it happened. Because it made her strong in more ways than one. Now she knew she has a family that trusts her.Now she knew that being young and good looking and being teased by men , was not her fault. Now she knew that she can handle all such stupid men with dignity.
She met another such guy one day after an year or so. She was not scared anymore. She never dodged him. Instead she drove with peace. When she reached near her house , the guy wanted to take the opposite lane. She shouted back and told him , why don’t you come home , after all you have come such a long way. The guy never expected such a behaviour and pedalled as fast as he could. She smiled that she gave it back.
Her father saw all of this from the terrace. He asked Nisha, if he was her friend. Nisha smiled and said , no , but he came all the way with me , so I asked him if he wanted some tea at home. Her father smiled back.
Editted to add : Submitted the same for this contest.
And I tag Pixie, Shruti and Abha.