Thursday, 3 July 2008

Wheel of uncertainity

Location: My Workplace
Time: Evening around 6.00pm after work

My office is located 10 minutes away from my apartment & so I walk it up most of the time. I generally leave the office building thru the underground carpark at the back. There is this cargo business located just opposite to our building where you find a lot of these guys from Kenya and Sudan, working there. They mind their own business most of the time but they know you exist & you know they exist coz you see them everyday at the same time.

One day I was coming out of the carpark and there is this 1 negro perched on his cycle bang opposite the road. After a cursory glance I turned right & proceeded down the road.
Some 1 minute later I could hear a sort of a low ‘shhhhhhh’ from behind me, like somebody trying to attract my attention in a sidey way.

Warning bells went off in my mind. But I did not turn to check who it was. I was certain it was the same guy on the cycle. Then another ‘shhhhhhh’. It was quite lonely road & it was also becoming dark. I did not panic but was not happy about the situation either. Soon I could see him from the corner of my eye. He was cycling verrry slowly in the same direction I was going, but on the opposite side of the road. And again “shhhhh……” . I took out my phone & dialled 999 for the police(no I didn’t press the green button yet).

I have to tell you guys that this country takes a very serious view of a complaint from a woman regarding matters like eve-teasing & harassment. The police monitoring that particular area will reach the scene of crime immediately(like in 3-5 mins) & haul the guilty off to jail without even hearing his side of the story. Actually that way, women feel quite safe in this country.

And so yes, I make a show of dialing the number. Ofcourse he can’t see the number but he can see that I’m dialing a number, right. And sure enough the next moment his cycle passes by

I smile triumphantly. Then I hear the sound again….shhhhhhh…..

Now I’m confused. I squint in the approaching dark at the African on his cycle more carefully. He is texting somebody on the mobile & so was cycling very slowly. And his cycle wheel was making this ‘shhhhh’ noise everytime it turned full circle.

To say I felt like an idiot is an understatement.


  1. he he he..

    we generally go by stereotypes.. often are mistaken!

  2. Funny how we misunderstand situations some times...but then that was very smart thinking of you when you dialed the number, wonder what i would have done.

  3. haha..poor guy!
    next time ensure the person is ACTUALLY teasing before presSing the panic button :D

  4. At least you didn't press the green button! I agree with winnie the poohi, we tend to go by the stereotypes, and are often mistaken.
    Still, it's good to be careful.

  5. hee hee... missing the good old days back home? ;)

  6. nance
    stereotyping is not right. it is also better to be safe than be sorry...

  7. something very similar happened to me too. But i thought there was a ghost chasing me with a discreet ching-ching sound and it was my bloody key chain!! he heee.
    but thatnk God you didn't hit the green button lady!

  8. lol, yea, quite a few people i know have been scared in a similar way. its always better to err on the safe side though

  9. WTP: yeah it is funny when I thk abt it now:-P

    Sunshine: Actually I had 2 options the green button & run for my life:-D. In such situations experts tell u yell 'FIRE' instead of help.

    ISH: hehe after tht incident every time I see that fellow I have this sense of guilt and hide a shamefaced expression.

  10. IHM & Lan: No, no....him being a Negro had nothing to do with could have been anybody.
    just imagine its getting dark & u r going home on a lonely road & somebody is behind u making a shhh noise.
    even if it was a woman, u'll wonder whats wrong with her & whether u shd raise an alarm:-P

  11. wannabe: hehe I see that u r imagining the usual 'some idiot cycling past singing the popular regional song kinds or mayb whisting, winking etc(the kalabhavan mani irritating manju warrier kinds):-D'

    preethi: long time no see. happy to c u back in action:-D
    Ching-ching sound huh, LOL

    g-man: "its always better to err on the safe side though"
    whichever way i read this sentence it comes across as an oxymoron..LOL

  12. well it is an oxymoron :) useful one tho

  13. Yup! :D To understand it perfectly, you need to grow up in Kerala... don't think, you did right?...still you've got the picture! ;)

  14. I got goose bumps reading this. But yeah, u never know when danger lurks. Good for u, u think on ur feet.

  15. hehehehe ,poor guy ,he would have been in a soup if you called ,all is well that endswell

  16. g-man: in that case, thanks;-P

    wannabe: yep i got it immediately:-P

    bins: yeah it was scary for some 3-4 minutes. Afterwards ofcourse I felt so stupid:-D

    Sukhoi: Yeah I know. Still makes me feel guilty whenever I think about it.

  17. ha ha!! This was a funny story!!! I can imagine something like this happening to me. :)

  18. anjuli: these kind of things are always happening with me too. the other day I was waiting to cross the road & this car slows down in front of & the driver makes a gesture.
    "Huh the nerve of the man" I thought, "he actually thinks I'm going to get into his car".
    only after he passed by I realised that gentleman actually slowed down to let me cross the road.


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