Soldier – A person who serves an Army.
Well, that is what the dictionary says. But this initiative ” #Soldierforwomen ” has redefined our thought about it. Everytime this advertisement goes up on Television asking “Soldiers Wanted” , a sort of feel gushes my body. And everytime I hear it being aired on Radio, I ask others around me to keep quiet to listen to the incident that they share on radio.
So Who comes to your mind when you think of #SoldierForWoman ? You don’t have to think hard because there are so many out there around your living world. And before I tell all about them, here is one incident that took place a week before the day I’m writing this post.
It was around 8:30 pm when I was wandering the CMBT bus terminus looking for a bus to my place. I was returning home after doing my project work. I found a bus that was almost filled and got into it and by a bit of luck, got a seat too. I was sitting next to a guy who was talking on his mobile phone and by his talks I could see that he was a college student. This bus which I got into was a trailer bus. A trailer bus is something that is double the size of the normal bus and so there were two bus conductors to give away the tickets. I was sitting in the back side of the bus. After crossing two bus stops, a woman probably around 23 to 25 yrs old boarded the bus.
Now before I tell where she sat in the bus, I have to explain about the seating arrangement of the buses in Tamil Nadu. The left sides seats are meant for “Women” and the right side seats are for “Handicapped and Elderly people”. So practically there aren’t any seats for “Men”. But men usually use the right side seats of the bus.
So this woman got into the bus ( back side of the trailer bus ) and took an empty seat on the left side. I was sitting exactly to the right side of her. There were already many men standing inside the bus but none sat in the empty seats which were meant for “Women”. In the next bus stop, two men got into the bus( front side of the bus). They were talking so weird and loud that the whole bus could hear them. These men walked from the front side to the back side of the bus where I was sitting. And by the way they walked and talked, the whole bus realized that they were drunk. They were so high and boozed up that they didn’t even know what they were doing. One among them walked by holding the bars of the bus and came towards that woman and sat right next to her in her seat. The moment that man sat next to her, she closed her nose with her dupatta not being able to bear the smell of the alcohol. She did that so fast and turned her head out towards the window trying to avoid that foul smell. We all could see that she was feeling uncomfortable in that seat. There were more than 10 men standing by the side of that seat but no one cared to raise a question against that drunkard. The whole lot of men in the back side of the bus was watching this act going on (including me). Finally the bus conductor came near that seat and the man pulled a Rs.50 note from his shirt pocket and asked for a ticket. The conductor decided to shake him off that seat somehow and so told him that he didn’t have change for Rs.50 and asked him to go and get the ticket from the other conductor in the front of the bus. The drunkard stared at the bus conductor for a few seconds and then stood up and walked to the front to get a ticket. We thought that the problem now was solved. But before we could realize this, the drunkard was coming back again after getting the ticket. He was coming towards the seat where the woman was sitting. And before we could think of what is going to happen next, the guy who was sitting next to me in my seat got up and pushed the men who were standing in between and went and sat next to that woman before that drunkard did ! The woman didn’t say a word against it. There was silence for a moment in the bus. The drunkard came near the seat and kept starring at the guy but couldn’t do anything. The guy tried not to make any eye contact with the drunkard and was sitting there protecting this unknown woman. The drunk man got off the bus after a few stops. The guy was sitting near that woman until this drunk man got off the bus and then got up from her seat and kept standing.
There were no hard words exchanged and there was no fight between the drunkard and the guy. But that little act made by him, made me feel something and increased respect for him. One big salute to him ! The guy was a complete stranger but still he felt that this unknown woman was in some sort of danger. He didn’t care what the woman would think or the others would say if he sat next to her. He did what he thought was right at that moment to save the woman. I see him as a soldier.
Soldiers like him are everywhere around you. It may be a taxi driver or an auto driver, a bus conductor, a college student or a complete stranger. According to me, every man who stands in support for a woman at her difficulties and respects her, is a SOLDIER.