He did not look like a knight in the shining armor neither he had the muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger or our desi Salman Khan that would shoo away any hooligan yet he had the valor greater than them which could scare off even the mightiest. An average built with a medium height and a happy go lucky boy, I was perhaps unaware of the ire in his eyes. No wonder, till now I had only witnessed his cheerful side! Besides, like all the young contemporary girls and women of the 21stcentury, for me being a damsel in distress was not only being feeble but irrational. Even now the phrase brings a frown on my otherwise serene and peaceful forehead. After all, I do not bother my father or brother to pick me up when I am stuck somewhere and do not picture a bodyguard to protect me 24×7 as I, like any other contemporary Indian Women can take care of myself.
We, the young Indian women can stand for our own fight but then there are those special men in our life (the ones that are part of our life and the ones that come across) that help us or come to our assistance and rescue us even when we can manage the show if not easily, although, slowly but surely. Their attitude and respect towards women not only makes you feel proud but ring a bell in your head that – Yes, this world is still a better and safe place for women!
I was neither a damsel in distress nor he was a knight in the shining armor, yet he was a soldier, a hero, a fighter because he stood by me then, when I was in a situation close to standing at the edge of a cliff and needing a strong support who could pull me towards a safer zone. Well, neither the place was creepy nor there were ravenous vampires looking for me but the place was utterly new for me and I was on the streets in this new city as a traveler ought to explore and have some pleasurable time.
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I continued walking as I began sensing the voracious laughs and the terrifying stares of the roadside mawali uncles that for an instant I wished that it would have been better if I had not come to this beautiful small little town. For a second, the entire episode gave me chills down the spine as it was a very hot afternoon and the narrow lane had just me and the morons. My worst nightmare was that I could neither identify with their language nor could they understand Hindi or even English.
However to my relief, my friend who was accompanying me on this trip suddenly came at the spot. The added dent in the whole episode which made it more frightening was that, I had forgotten that I was accompanied by him and lucky I was since he could get the hooligans out of the sight with embarrassment and disgrace. I thanked the almighty for giving me a good friend like him who do not believe in showing off their strength to the fragile but take pride in helping them. No wonder, he was not a brawny man yet when I saw him, I had a sigh of relief! He was a changed guy. Not the guy I knew. He had this very strange anger and disgust in the eyes which was not only frightening but also fear-provoking.
No, he did not beat them up neither he cursed them with the MCs and BCs (perhaps that is something very universal which the whole of India understands) but it was a proud moment to see how an ordinary guy like my courageous friend with half the muscular strength could chase off the uncalled situation with his wits, intelligence and presence of mind. The typical modern urban young guy – The Hero in disguise. Happy go lucky, cheerful and playful yet ferocious, valiant and bold to wipe off the atrocities of the society to bring a change including the acceptance of the modern Indian Women in our society.
My Hero in Disguise was my close friend, Avi who not just respects the women in his family or friend circle but takes care to help and support any women, whether it’s the sweeper, a neighbor next door, a school girl or a stranger. I’m proud to give him the sobriquet of ‘Soldier for Women’ for standing up for us with valor and integrity!