A sunny day in a chilly month of January. I was walking from Metro station to my home, the loud music from the headphones blocking everything that I dint want to hear. Seeing a large crowd circled on the road, I stopped. I saw two men lying down with arms around each other’s neck, legs tangled. These drunk sleepers, I thought, with music thudding in my ear.
As I walked passed them, I screamed. One man’s face was completely covered in blood. There was an injury on his head and it was nothing like I had ever seen. The blood dripped down, covering his dry, chapped lips, his lifeless cheeks and his drunk eyes. My second observation- These men weren’t sleeping. They were wide awake, fighting. Too drunk and too tired and too beaten up to stand and fight.
I was scared. As an instinctive reaction, I changed my route and started walking the other way. I just turned around and saw the crowd around those two men. They crowd- passive, indifferent, enjoying.
‘Am I like these people?’ I thought. Adrenaline rushed through me. I turned around, went up to the two of them and yelled, helplessness oozing from my voice. ‘Band karo. Ruko. Maar doge ek dusre ko aap’. Stop fighting, get off each other, you will kill each other, I found myself screaming, repeatedly.
Hearing a girl yelling, people suddenly came running towards me. ‘Madam, aap jaao, hum sambhalte hain isko. Aap ladki ho, aapke kehne se kuch nahi hoga’. You go and we will handle this. After all you are a girl, you can’t stop them. With this, one of the spectators, picked a huge log and started beating the two of them, spanking them, hitting on their chest, legs, and head. Laughing. Enjoying the power he had over two drunk, weak men.
The others stood around. Watching.
Bhenchod. Kaminey. Maachod. Sister-fucker, bastard, mother-fucker was all I could here from the fighting men and the beating men.
With panic rising in each cell of my body, I called up the police and informed them. I yelled- ‘ I have called the police. Stop you two and all of you idiots.’ I got a dirty, screeching stare from the spectators. I had stopped their perfect means of entertainment, of course I deserved it.
With the two men stopping and the crowd dispersing, I began walking off. One of the fighting man, sat in the middle of the road crying, howling. I ignored and walked off. I had done my work, there’s nothing more that I could do.
Tune mere 300 rupaiya faad diye. Chutiye. Mere bache kya khaenge aaj raat?
You tore and destroyed my 300 Rupees (5 dollars). What will my kids eat today?
I stopped. Turned. Saw that young man’s face for a long, long time. I suddenly saw not a drunk hooligan but a helpless father, a poor, very poor man and a disappointed individual.
Is my work really done? I asked myself and walked off, not turning around. Even once.