Saturday Night Fear

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I have seen fear in its worst possible disguise, but what I saw on a Saturday, night chance outing is unbelievable. It is probably nothing when you look at it from a casual point of view (and for quite a few it is just that: a casual, rampant happening) but my fears are overdramatic and it found a brand new face yesterday; I still shudder thinking about it; my sisters are growing up and my nieces are as well (I refrain from saying brothers or nephews because right now my complete focus is on the girl). Trying hard to put a face to my fear? Here, let me make it easy for you:

We had an extended weekend and on a friend’s suggestion and initiation, went out on a night prowl, I wanted to see for myself what the much talked about night life of a HIP in happening BANGALORE was like. But what I saw, was nothing I had bargained for. It is not your: drinking silly at the pubs and hyper dancing at the clubs I am talking about. Even I have gotten used to seeing that by now.  It is this penchant for substance abuse among youngsters that has had me thinking. You say: you’ve heard about this a million times before? Well, it is your call but for me this was as if I had never heard of it, before.

Going back to our story: our outing did not go as planned so we had to quickly come up with plan ‘B’ and that we did and two of us girls followed three guys like Mark’s little lambs.

Plan ‘B’ was to have a quick dinner and see if we could go on a long drive. In that pursuit we entered a restaurant and selected a table to sit at and these traditionally clad waiters went around with their initially formalities one of the braver of them all came and told us we had two minutes to order and another half hour to finish the meal. We didn’t even wait for him to turn around; all of us got up in-synch and walked away while people stared at us like we were a buncha circus animals let out without a leash, not their fault really, their stare was directly proportionate to our behaviour.

Anyway, then we walked down the street to look for someplace else, tried to enter another restaurant where we were luckily stopped right at the entrance and unceremoniously shown out. He was bound by time constraints and we too didn’t mind it one bit. After all, it was our christening into the brotherhood of the sleepless n crazy. Anyway we moved on, thought we had taught ourselves enough for a day’s outing (or is it night’s?). We entered a restaurant that would serve us even three, four hours after the curfew limits set for the city night clubs and eateries (how does that happen? Go figure!). We ordered our dishes and were waiting for them to serve us when I turned my head back to see this bunch of drunk, creeps sitting at a table behind us, staring at us and I could swear I saw them slobber. Even George Bush could have figured out what was going on in those sic heads, as if that wasn’t gross enough to handle another bunch of creeps came and sat next to our table and then another and gradually planet restaurant was turning into a creepier, and when I went on to notice all this our own gang was involved in a little bird watching of their own, I turned back to see what caught their fancy and tuned my eyes in the direction they were looking and I was zapped to see this guy completely ?STONED?, if I may.  I turned back to my friends to discuss and make of sense his state of mind. How could he protect the girl sitting with him? (Quite obviously his girlfriend) I thought. My friends almost mockingly asked me to give the table a second look and this time carefully observe, I looked back again and I almost lost consciousness. The girl was in an even worse condition, she couldn’t keep her eyes open and her speech was slurring. Then I looked at the creeps that I was talking about and it was almost like their eyes lit up at the sight and they just couldn’t look away from the girl. The couple in question definitely didn’t look like they had had their last puff or a last gulp of whatever they were tripping on, if the restaurant was offering something stronger they would have gone for it.

They were both not in their senses, the girl was clad in a questionable attire (forgive me if I am a little conservative on this one), there was not one set of eyes present in that room that was not looking at them. I wanted to tap at the guy and ask him what was going on or tell him take the girl and go home. But I didn’t have the courage needed to do that. I think most of us suffer from a lack of conscious initiation syndrome, it is all there in the head but it can never motivate your mouth or your hands enough to do anything.

Anyway, we quickly finished what was served on our table and set out on our way, throughout that way, infact, up untill this very minute I am wondering if the girl reached home safe. Highly impossible! If someone came and told me I met her personally and she went home safe that night: I would first tell them to get their screws tightened after that if it were true that she had infact gone home unharmed, I would ask her to thank GOD, profusely because she was definitely one of the luckier few, I would have also asked her to vow never to do it again cause your luck doesn’t remain the same everyday, it is the most fickle minded element I have ever experienced, hell, luck has not been fair to Sachin Tendulkar and Tiger Woods in the recent past. But then if I could tell her that and she would listen to me so easily, wouldn’t we be living in a perfect world? That is exactly what it is not; we are not living in a perfect world! We have to work towards it.

""…If he loved himself why would he be putting HIS own existence in danger?…..""

I am thinking of a way that has not been tried to make these kids aware of a thousand dangers that lie in their way because of such irresponsible behaviour. None! They have been made aware in every possible way available.  Until yesterday, I was of the opinion that, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, this penchant to live on the edge was ones own, personal choice. If they want to get into such habits despite knowing the risks involved, they may as well be responsible for the aftermath.  But after what I saw in the restaurant, I awoke to a different kind of risk involved, which is not worth leaving them at. I think our involvement is not enough, our persistence is not enough. Like I said in the beginning: all these thoughts come to me because I have all sorts of girl relatives growing up, and one can never say what kind of trouble they could get into tomorrow, you’d rather protect a situation from dangerous exposure, than try and repair it after it is spoilt.

You cannot leave these kids to spoil the situation any further: is what I have realized. Maybe I don’t understand the situation under which they take to these sorts of unhealthy practices but what I realize for sure is that when they come to their senses and start regretting their own doings, there might not be enough time to return. While they are into such practices they might think that they have beaten the world while actually the world has beaten them.  Because there is a parallel world to theirs, a community of drug abusers are only a prey to the community of predators waiting with baited breath to strike at their most vulnerable condition. They are exposing themselves to dangers, willfully. I am sure in big cities like Bangalore, so many molestation cases go unnoticed because they are just not reported because of the shame involved in it. And why shy away from the fact that the predator could be one among you. Innumerable possibilities!   

Take this couple in the restaurant; they might have thought they were taking refuge inside the restaurant but how long will the restaurant be open? They have to close it sometime, in two hours, three hours but the couple didn’t look good to function atleast for the next 24 hours. What would they do to get home SAFE?

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon’s ever widening in the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older
And she’s three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her?
Can anybody see?       
The above song keeps running in my head over and over again, isn’t it is so very true? By the time they realize how deep a trouble they are in, it is way too late to return. They keep looking for some hope, a ray of light in the otherwise dark dungeon.  I wish I could be of some help.

There is not enough awareness, not at all. Hypothetically, let’s say one person lures another into one such habit but he is a parasite who will only grow, on your blood. You might think the lurer does this out of love and goodwill for you but how can someone love anyone else when he cannot love himself. If he loved himself why would he be putting HIS own existence in danger? Forget about yours.                    

I don’t think the administration is doing enough; it is turning a blind eye. Administration always wakes up when the situation has gone beyond repair. How does one believe that under such strict rules laid down, a restaurant be open way beyond the normal hours. Such, small lapses in administration can lead to several other complications.

The government talks about abolishing child labour, and the talk is ever so passionate. But, the passion is strictly restricted on paper. They always shy away from putting money where their mouth is. How can one explain children hawking stuff on the street?  These kids sell stuff past 12A.M. and this is a first person account. How safe are these kids on the street, so late in the night? There are beggars roaming the street in the middle of the night, women, alone, how safe are they?  How do we wake up to such situations? What do we do about it?    

Author: Rashmi Diana- India

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