It has been over an hour now and I simply can’t stop thinking. I cannot quit cursing myself and wondering that why did it happen. Today morning I went for a swim just like every other day; to refresh body and mind. Last night’s dust storm and rain left the water quite muddy leading to zero visibility, but it was not to deter me from going ahead with my workout. I was wrong because the more than dirty water and also, a few issues weighing on my mind had me leaving the pool earlier than my usual time. After changing and a quick word with the coach, I left the pool side while trying to gather my scattered thoughts.
I had walked only a few steps when I was stopped by a short-height man with a pudgy face asking me whether the daily swim was happening or not. If only I had known that it wasn’t just a casual query and that I would be bumping into my newly-found stalker, I would have for sure never left the pool early or just wouldn’t have stopped to answer his question.
The moment I decided to go my way, he started a conversation, which had me rooted to the spot. I should have walked away or given him a piece of mind, but I am putting it down to one of those moments where you are amused, irked, annoyed, and finally clueless. He had been watching me in the pool: it was his bold declaration said with a smile, which I believe he thought to be a friendly one. This statement alone should have had me running, but I was quite curious to know what more he had to say. I was given uninvited advice about my swimming style, pattern, and stamina. I watched him throughout without a word or a smile. After a few seconds I managed an annoyed thank you and turned my back on him. He wasn’t the one to back off and decided to start a new conversation for which I didn’t stop.
It might not sound like a big deal, but what made it creepy was when I realized that he had waited for me there, waited till I was at a distance from other people , and then sought the moment to accost me. It rattled me to no end and I traced back my steps to the pool and the coach in order to to sought out that man and question him. Once there I did not know what to tell the coach with 10 pairs of eyes on me of those who were waiting for their kids. I couldn’t find that man and ended up walking away after talking to the coach about the next month’s schedule.
Back home I am still thinking and berating myself over the course of events. All this kept dragging my mind to endless questions: Am I a coward or plain indifferent? How could I let someone speak to me like that and walk away? Shouldn’t I have stood for myself and abused the man? Shouldn’t I have called him a creep, stalker, or a pervert who had the balls to leer at me when he was there with his child?
I am done beating myself over it, but it is hard to shirk off this feeling that your every move was being watched or has been for days at end. An activity meant to rejuvenate you has turned into a task. Hold on! Should I really let go of this incident so easily and put it down to the cliche that this is India and such things are meant to happen? No way! It is better late than never and I intend to find that lecherous bastard and humiliate him right there. How will I manage it is something I haven’t figured, but I know this that I am not going to let him push me in a corner or give up on something I enjoy.
The story doesn’t end here and there is more to come… soon.