Monday, February 05, 2007

Why didn't she scream?

Nightmare on Hope Street. It began at around two. She saw him staggering towards her. He'd had a drink..a few. And as he walked on closer, her worst fears came true. He looked her straight in the eye. In that instant, she knew. She froze in space and time.Paralysed by fear. She could not move a muscle, even as he drew near.

He threw himself right at her. "I have no money" she said. He said he didn't want it. She thought he'd strike her dead. And then he crumbled to the floor pretending he fell down. "I'm sorry, love" he stammered. And groped her all around.

In pain, she muffled her cries. In fear of being silenced forever. Her fear of death had never been stronger than it was during this endeavour.

With a deep intake of breath, she pulled herself together. She pushed and ran, till her baited breath had reached the end of its tether. She ran and ran till she reached her room, feeling her fear so deep. Shocked and dazed, she crawled into bed, and simply went to sleep.

The morning came, and with it hurt and pain..."What could I have said, what should I have done?" But really, all she could do was feel stupid again.

What could she have done?
What should she have said?
Why was she so muffled?
Why wasn't he dead?
Why didn't she strike?
Why wasn't it a dream?
Why was she so passive?
....Why didn't she scream?


Blogger Sine Qua Non said...

She was scared. God forbid it, but if there is a next time, she will scream. She will shatter every ear drum that ever turned deaf to cries of help.

February 7, 2007 at 4:03:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Woman?? said...


The fear felt in "the moment" is hugely more intense than anything imaginable in the warm sunlight of retrospect.

Yes... God forbid it... but if there is a next time... what will she do?
THAT is a question that will be most important to her.

February 7, 2007 at 3:53:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger vichchoobhai said...

girls should carry something for self defence. May be a pepper spray? she should know where to hit a man to make him unconscious. A kick on his balls would do that. But most important of all, she should have the presence of mind to use these mechanisms of self defence. Whether a scream would have helped is dfficult tosay. It depends on whether anybody was within earshot.

As we write this, there must be umpteen such things happenng here in Mumbai city, so far considerd safer than Delhi.

February 7, 2007 at 8:37:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Hari Potter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 7, 2007 at 9:17:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Woman?? said...


Since the past is past and cannot be changed, I would like to be positive and imagine that this has made her stronger.

My best wishes to her.

February 8, 2007 at 9:50:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Hari Potter said...

Just take care.

February 8, 2007 at 1:26:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Vichchoobhai - it is very easy, specially being a man who will thankfully never have to really experience something like this, to say "she should've kicked him in the balls" or "she should have the presence of mind to use self defense mechanisms"...I think she is possibly reasonably unscathed today because of some presence of mind. Its easy to think clearly in retrospect, but "Woman??" couldn't have said it better - the fear felt in "the moment" is hugely more intense than anything imaginable in the warm sunlight of retrospect. oh, and Pepper spray is illegal in the UK. Also, by "scream", i didn't actually mean physically screaming alone... it was a metaphor. In the end, she did scream though. To the police. :)

February 8, 2007 at 1:27:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funda- the time it takes to panic is the same it takes to think. a chant that should help keep one levelheaded always.

February 8, 2007 at 4:47:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

anonymous...i wonder if you've ever come close to being raped. fundas work in theory, always. But in practice..ah well, that's a different story all together.

February 8, 2007 at 5:35:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous that anonymous person said...

i kid you not- i have. fundas are always more credible when based on experience. it all boils down to how much control you have over yourself, and, i have to agree with you, control is very difficult in such a situation. but not impossible.

February 11, 2007 at 8:35:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous verbal diarrhoea- apologies said...

i just read the post above this- it's great that you're so aware when many people are not. may i also clarify that i meant presence of mind- not cogitating various insignificant details around you at the moment.

February 11, 2007 at 8:48:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Control is different from panic. Obviously its control and presence of mind that saved her, innit? But panic...It percolates into your very bones, and turns into fear later..I was talking about panic, not control.

February 11, 2007 at 3:39:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems as though we've lost the point of discussion altogether- or was there one at all?
either that, or there's some misunderstanding.
you were talking about panic where?
and i recognise the fact that it was presence of mind that saved her- there's no argument.

February 11, 2007 at 11:18:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Actually you're right...I'm not sure if there is a point to this discussion. I was relating an unpleasant incident, that's all.

Aren't 'Panic' and 'the fear you feel in "the moment"' the same thing? That's partly what this discussion became about.

Anyway, it was traumatising enough without this discussion analyzing the situation to shreds.

Let's not discuss this anymore. :)

February 12, 2007 at 5:39:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, let it rest

February 13, 2007 at 8:01:00 AM GMT+5:30  

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