On my way back from Mohali to Delhi, in India, I got an apology.
This was the first-ever apology made to me for harassing me. He apologized twice because I did not reply when he apologized first.
He was sitting next to me on the Bus to Delhi. I was sleeping the whole time on the journey. It is only when he made me uncomfortable, that I got up.
I could not figure out what to do. I was just recalling how an Indian celebrity Sushmita Sen dealt with a teenage harasser in private.
I was recalling an interview in which she told the media that she told the harasser that his whole life can be destroyed if she makes it public.
I just thought about something and took out my notebook and a pencil from my backpack. But, then I got another idea and put them back in the bag.
I opened the notes writing app on my phone and wrote a note: “Agar maine abhi shor machaya to log tumhe peet denge. (If I made noise then people in the bus will beat you up.)”
I moved my phone’s screen toward the harasser and directed him to read it. I am not so good with body language but his next step was pretty evident.
He called up his girlfriend who was angry because he had earlier cut her calls pretending of poor network and roaming charges. That was nice.
He said sorry to me. I didn’t know what to say because no harasser ever did it. I was first harassed when I was in Kindergarten. It was a novel situation.
Before getting down from the bus, he said sorry again. I ended up replying, “it’s okay”. Obviously, it is a default reply of “Sorry” worldwide.
What else? I cried, I cried because I was happy that I got an apology. For me, it was an award because all the earlier times I only got denials.
Either harasser would deny their actions or simply blame me back. Some would say that I am a bitter woman. Some would go even low.
This time it was different.
This was all for today. See you again some other day with some other story.