How often do you find someone fighting your battles for you? Yesterday in the cab, a woman fought mine. I was travelling in a share auto from University to Lingampilli for some work and I was as usual in my own world looking outside in the window, not exactly aware of the people or happenings around me, in that state when you have everything in your mental framework but you still don't want to acknowledge the presence of things and people around you. Even in such a state I could feel a man's body brushing against mine. Such a feeling is not unusual if you are travelling a crowded shared seven seater. So while a took a moment to figure out in my head whether I should ask the man to move, I heard, someone shouting in Telugu and before I could figure out what was happening a woman in her forties pushed the man away to one side and placed herself between me and him. In the next two moments I could see her lecturing him pointing towards me. Although my knowledge of Telugu is minimum I figured that she was telling him to stay away from me. Once things settled down I looked at her gratefully and said thank you. She looked at me (the woman to woman, all understanding look) smiled back and nodded.
Later I figured that the man was her husband, from the conversations that she was having with him. The journey continued and as I slanted myself against the seat I saw a hand coming towards me from the corner of my eyes.Yes, the man was stretching his hand towards me behind her while she sat facing the other side. When I turned suddenly she sensed something wrong and saw what he was doing. As I was about to say something she signaled me to wait and looked at me in a way which said "You watch the performance my lady, this show is mine." Before I could digest what was happening she grabbed his hand and pushed him to one side and showered him with abuses. The man sat there listening to her like an obedient puppy. Once she fixed him she looked at me and smiled, a victor's smile, also a victim's. I didn't have anything to say, I just simply smiled at her in gratitude, in respect, in awe.
I know it was her battle too. But she didn't have to fight it then. She could have decided to guard her family's dignity and ignored the man's doings. She could have kept silent. But she didn't. She decided to speak up and teach him a lesson then and there. She protected herself and she protected me. I know that there could be multiple layers to this story which this write up might be missing. But as incomplete as this is I believe that stories like this needs to be written in indelible ink and stored, so that, even when all hopes crumble down , when all trust is broken, when all that you see is darkness and there is no one but you to fight your battle, your conscience tells you 'you are not alone and there is light, somewhere in the tunnel!'