It has been over 15 years and I still remember this story like it were yesterday.
I was a young engineering student in Bangalore. A loner by nature, I usually used to camp out in the college library after classes. The girls’ hostel, was situated off campus, so I had to walk from the library for another couple of miles, to reach the hostel. My finals were coming up, so, one evening I stayed out a bit too long.
While walking back, there was a lonely stretch of a pebbled narrow lane, which was, in fact, a short cut to our hostel, with a few small shops on the side. Suddenly I find a couple of young boys following me conversing in some local language. My sixth sense kicked in and I figured they were making some unpleasant comments. Not wanting to enter into any conversation with them, I continued towards my hostel. All of a sudden a man from a shop yelled out to me. I stopped and so did the boys, who gathered in a corner to see what was happening.
The shop keeper called me and started conversing with me as if I were some old customer of his. He said, the product I had ordered was now available, and that he would help me carry it back to my hostel. Ignoring the boys back there, the shop keeper was kind enough to walk me back to my hostel.
When we reached there, he told me, he saw me return, usually alone from college and knew where I lived, as he delivered things to my hostel. When he saw those boys he figured they were eve-teasing. Without getting into any confrontation, this was the only way he could talk to me and get me back to my hostel safely.
In retrospect, I realize that till date, he has been one of the most humane and kindest people I have ever met, and I am highly indebted to him for saving me that evening. He defined a man in the true sense of the word. He ensured a woman’s safety even though they were strangers.
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