Sarath Ramadurgam – Was: a victim City: Crowded Bus/Bangalore


Was: a victimBMTC__BUS_164836f
City: Crowded Bus/Bangalore
Was wearing school uniform

Reaction : Moved away silently

Incident was : multiple times

Perpetrator was a stranger, in the age group of 20-30

I don’t think I have told this to anyone until now, but I think it’s time I broke my silence too.

I must have been about 8 years old, I don’t quite remember too well. It was a very crowded bus and I was standing (with my dad somewhere nearby). Two young guys offered to make space for me in their seat. I vaguely remember one of them being really nice to me, so I decided to sit. They made me sit down between them. The really ‘nice’ guy held me a little too tight and kept winking at me. I didn’t know what bothered me but I was instantly uncomfortable. He forced a kiss on my cheek. I called for my dad and got out of that seat. Thankfully my dad came by and nothing else awkward happened.

Fast forward a few years, I must have been 12 or 13. This one I remember quite well. I was with my grandmother coming back from whitefield in a crowded bus (just my luck). We had to adjust with this very elderly man (50+) because I was too small a kid to take up a whole seat for myself. This old man instantly struck up a conversation with my grandmother. I remember that he was extremely nice and polite and soon diverted all his attention towards me. He soon started hugging me. Then he asked if he could kiss my cheek. Weird! When I didn’t say anything (one of the problems in India.. children cannot speak badly to adults even when they are trying to abuse them), he just forced one. I don’t think my grandmother even realized that I was uncomfortable. I don’t blame her, she just thought this man was being affectionate. I started to squirm and turned my face far away from him. He continued to try forcing more kisses when I just told him to stop and that I don’t like it. I think he actually asked me why, in a coy way as though nothing was wrong and continued his attempts. I think he soon got out of the bus. I remember being extremely relieved after that.

I didn’t quite realize why both these situations made me so uncomfortable until much later. I’m glad I became extremely cautious after that while travelling in buses.


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