It was during those Diwali times when the bus was over crowded. Ravi was desperate to be at home during the festive time. It was an instant decision to surprise his family members. He hurried towards the bus stop. Travelling in an unreserved bus was never preferred by Ravi, yet he consoled himself. He requested the conductor to arrange a seat for him and the price would be taken care.
The conductor was lured by this offer and offered him the upper last sleeper seat of the bus. It was a double sleeper seat. The journey from Bangalore to Chennai was overnight, hence Ravi agreed to the offer. He boarded the bus with the mere happiness of seeing his family members within few hours. The seat was already occupied by a passenger, whom Ravi didn’t want to disturb. He silently climbed the upper seat, threw his bag in a corner and prepared himself to sleep.
It was midnight and Ravi suddenly found a hand on his stomach. The heaviness of the hand woke him up. He realized that it was the stranger’s hand who was sleeping beside him. He assumed it as a mistake and immediately removed the hand. The stranger made no movements and was in deep sleep. Ravi didn’t give too much importance to this incident and slept again. Within few hours the stranger turned towards him and implanted his hands over his chest. Ravi woke up suddenly with the touch and could no longer tolerate this behavior. He threw the arms of the stranger and requested him to sleep in a decent manner without any such further activities. The stranger didn’t react and immediately turned the other side. Ravi found him strange and smelled something fishy.
He couldn’t sleep further as the mere thought of being touched by a man was too disgusting. For a moment he doubted on his sexuality, and suddenly slapped himself for being so ridiculous. He decided to observe the movements of this young chap for next few minutes. The stranger laid flat on his place. He was fair as snow, had a French beard and a scar near his right eye. Ravi could conclude that he must be in his thirties. Ravi pretended to close his eyes and turned to the other side. It was 3.00 PM. Suddenly, a hand was gradually moving on his hips and then in a fraction of second it reached into the pants and was playing with his private parts. Ravi was in no senses to understand anything. It was very clear that the stranger was a gay. He turned towards the stranger and gave him a tight slap. There was silent for a moment and the stranger was thrown out of the bus.
This incident still haunts Ravi. It was a question on his integrity, it was against the law of nature. He wasn’t raped but he was touched by an unknown person, a touch that would just leave his thought paralyzed. Ravi felt as though somebody had used his body without his permission. He felt humiliated and assaulted. It was a silent rape.
There are so many such incidents which leaves us merely with thoughts. There are no answers or justifications to it, yet they exist as a deep down wound, which cannot be healed irrespective of several attempts. The pain of somebody else dominating and ruling the body is unbearable and unacceptable. I met Ravi over a cup of coffee and thanked him for sharing this incident with me. I didn’t want to console him or sympathize with him. He left with silent tears and so did I…..