It was a usual working day and I was walking towards the bus stop back from my office. I usually wait for an empty bus so that I can get a seat of my choice. I boarded a bus and sat down. After a while bus started moving and I, as usual, took out of my earphones, and started listening to music while observing the regular roadside chaos from the window. As the bus reached the market the bus started getting full as the office hours were ending and everyone was trying to get a comfortable place on the bus and reach home on time. Meanwhile, I learned through the window and was watching how the people have engaged themselves without knowing about their surroundings. Suddenly the bus stopped in the middle – this is what they usually do, stopping anywhere anytime on the road depending on their choice, as they say
“Rules are for fools”
Though I was listening to music and enjoying the outer roadside view I saw a women of 45-50 year old boarded the bus and she was struggling to stand as the bus was full and while I was observing the faces of people who were sitting on my front seats any of them didn’t have any expression of giving her a seat. So I just felt it odd of not offering her a seat because I was always being told
“Respect the gender that gave you birth”
So I removed my earphones and offered her my seat. As the bus passed over by 5-6 stops the bus got overloaded. It was very difficult to remain firm in the standing position with a bag on my shoulders. I was sneaking over and over again through windows by bending down a little just to see did the bus reached my stop or not. I was eagerly waiting for my stop and suddenly the women to whom I offered the seat stood up as her stop has reached and while she was passing by me bus driver applied the break and she fell over me on my front and she thought that I harassed her and started blaming me for it and said to me in the local language
“ tueh chiv neah mouje bene gare..
zanh chiv kane zamith..
teli kathe chu resh thovumuth.”
Meaning: Don’t you have a mother, a sister? At home? Did a stone give birth to you? For what then have you kept the beard for?
She was shouting on me as If I was a rapist. Just because I have a beard am I titled to be
A Rapist, A Liar, A Terrorist, and A Smoker?
Everyone was numb and didn’t say her a word even knowing about the fact. And meanwhile, I wasn’t able to tell her a word as I was shocked and confused what was happening …In my whole life, I fought for my respect and protected it. Meanwhile, She was still shouting and her words were prodding into my soul.
Even I was half paralyzed till now for what was happening but I was still hearing her and letting her prod into my soul by her illegal words. And as she de-boarded the bus she was staring at me and in her eyes, I could see I was declared.
A Criminal, A Characterless Guy, and A Rapist
For whom she would have given the orders “Hang till death” if she would have been a Judge.
As the bus started moving again nobody could see how paralyzed and half broken I was internal. They could only see that I was a bearded guy and fault should be mine. And they couldn’t see how broken I was at that time as I pretended strong in front of everyone just to save myself from other sarcasm
“ladkiyo ki tarah mat rooh”
Meaning: don’t cry like girls
Even I wanted to cry and scream just to release that genuine anger which I wasn’t able to shout it out on her and couldn’t because that’s what a bearded guy does as it’s said
“czakh gase tagin czapin”
Meaning: You must be able to eat the anger
Meanwhile, the bus was moving I pretended normal as if what just happened didn’t bother me but inside, her words were still roaming around my head and were continuously questioning my soul
“You are a characterless and an unfaithful guy”
Tears were just about to fall from my eyes but I somehow managed to clear them out by my hands pretending as if something went into eyes.
And while my heart was struggling to find the answers of the questions that her words lead to bus stopped and the conductor shouted
“waliv sa wasiv sourekh”
My stop had reached and I deboarded the bus with other people … as I walked by the road I realized I would never be able to answer her questions and even if I would have society wouldn’t have accepted as we live in a society where :
“A Man is guilty until Proven not”
“A Girl is not guilty until Proven”