It was just another weekend at a hip club in the ‘party capital’ of India. There, the multi-ethnic young crowd was having a gala time relaxing away from their hectic weekly schedules. Many were seen simply indulging in various forms of alcohol (ala cocktails, shooters, etc etc) while some were busy shaking a leg or two to the groovy hip-hop tunes by the DJ under strobe lights. Alcohol, beautiful people, good ambience, psychedelic lighting and pulsating music thumping from the gargantuan speakers; the night was young and happening. And, I with my posse was having a ball.
In an alcohol induced stupor & loud music, dancing the night away; time simply flew(or at least it seemed so). And, lo, it was almost dawn and the DJ spinned away his last track for the night. Hence, the party came to a gradual end. For starters, I was exhausted after dancing like a demented lunatic (for like 4-6 hours) and to add to that the euphoria-inducing effect(s) of alcohol was fading away, leaving behind a mild yet splitting headache. So, I was resting.
While, I was drowsy and impatiently waited for my friends (who had vanished like Houdini! with their dates I might add); a hushed conversation (in hindi) nearby caught my attention. Phrases like “Abey isse kahan le jana hai?”( where do we take her) and “maza lenge” ( we will have some fun) struck my ears. I turned around, only to see a “firang” girl (most probably of Russian origin) clinging on to this shady-looking guy who looked like the ringleader of this gang of ‘local’ miscreants.
And, it was this very guy who was making these nefarious plans. I was worried. I tried to make eye contact with the girl, possibly to signal her about the imminent danger or atleast give her a cue. But, the girl in her carousal, simply smiled at me; completely oblivious the impending peril. I was frustrated.
So, seeing no other option, I was honor bound to intervene and to prevent this ‘probable’ heinous act from happening. But, seeing their numbers, I decided to ask my friend(s) for backup. I asked the friend who was sitting nearby. But, to my utter dismay, when I explained the dire circumstances; instead of being agitated or worried, he coolly stated:
These guys look like locals and hence could be dangerous
The stupid girl is asking for it clinging onto this shady looking guy.
Not to act like a “hero” unless I wanted to be stabbed/shot at (that too for a stranger)
Appalled by his reaction, I looked around for my other friend(s). But, to no avail as they too responded in a similar, cold, heartless and blunt manner.
I was frustrated with their reactions but ever after berating them for a while, they didn’t show the least interest in my concerns. And, they almost dragged me outside and into the car. I half-heartedly left the club, worried about the girl (not that I had any right to, a coward that I was)
And I left.
I have never forgiven myself for leaving that night and leaving that hapless girl to those wretched mongrels. And god knows whatever happened to that girl, I still wonder. I did pray and wished for her safety & and to this day would like to believe that nothing “untoward” happened to her.
But, I am also aware of the fact that this world is not some righteous utopia and India (esp. Delhi is not a safe haven for women in general). And, also there is a very high probability that “the girl” was sexually assaulted that night.
And, even though I was aware of her plight.
I DID NOTHING!!
And, I am to blame.
Sigh. Her smiling face has been etched on my brain and is a grim reminder of my cowardice. Everyday I look at myself, that incident made me realize that I have failed all my ideals, ethics and morals I firmly believed in.
If only, I had intervened.