You never know what you are capable of. You have no idea as to what you end up doing in the spur of the moment. You have no clue as to what you do in that crucial moment would be a rational action or just a sudden outburst of emotions.
I was in 8th standard when my family took a trip to Vaishnodevi. Yes we have a spiritually well endowed family who sometimes can be mistaken as too religious. You need to walk 14km one side to reach the main temple and so obviously this means you have to walk 14km back down. So one can imagine the physical pain a person experiences after the entire journey is over. It’s beautiful and totally worth it but equally excruciating.
We got a train back home and since it was blistering cold we bought second class sleeper train tickets. I had puked like three times before getting inside the train and my head was reeling. My Dad got a seat in the next compartment side berth, while my mother and my little brother adjusted in the lower berth of the same compartment as mine. My mother helped me lie down on the middle berth and wrapped me with a warm blanket since I was wearing a knee length frock. The entire compartment was filled with young Army Cadets including the middle berth opposite mine.
I slept off as soon as the lights got switched off except for a dim yellow light. In between my sleep I dreamt that someone was touching my hands and then making way towards my breasts. I thought I was dreaming and somehow opened my eyes, only to find the army cadet on the opposite middle berth stretching his arms and trying to get his hands inside my Frock. I had a massive headache and did not think straight. I gave a dirty look which made him take his hands back to his own berth and went back to sleep. Soon I felt his hands trying to pull my frock up and I looked at him. He smiled at me and continued touching my stomach and then coming up to my breasts. I went numb and I my mind went Blank.
I forgot that I could call my mother who was sleeping just below my berth or my Dad on the next compartment. I got down from my seat and saw a Surdarji Ticket Collector on the next Bogie. I don’t know what made me run to him and force him to come back to my compartment with me. The noise made my Father and my mother wake up who got terrified looking at me silently forcing the ticket collector to my seat. Now the compartment lights were on and the entire crowd was peeping in to watch the drama. My Dad asked me what happened and being shy and still shocked, all I could say was ‘HE TOUCHED ME’. People stopped my Dad from hitting the Army Cadet who was now dragged down from the middle berth. His head officer ordered him to get off the Train in the next station.
All I remember was a loud commotion and my father trying to beat the guy. As I sat on my Dad’s Side berth I remember the dirty stare the cadet gave as he passed me to get down in the next station. I still remember his face.
My Father later asked me why I did not wake him up. I have no answer to that. I am not happy with what I did and I don’t think walking to the next bogie and dragging the Ticket Collector is a good idea. But I did what my brain asked me to do in that particular moment. Somehow I am still proud of myself.