Words - mainly created to help us understand this world better. Every word has a designated meaning, which authenticates its own existence. Some words as uttered, also evoke emotions, we are conditioned to react in a particular way, the moment we hear them. For instance the word SAFE – we feel protected, secure. It soothes our senses, as we hear “you are safe now!” wow! What feeling!
Once I accompanied a friend of mine, to a button shop. As she chose different laces, buttons, borders, I couldn’t resist my temptation and bought a few, without knowing what I will do with them. Since I had some change in my pocket which sufficed the amount I had to pay, I cleared my bill and looked at her. She was busy in her treasure hunt, looking for the change in her wallet, which was open wide on the counter of the shop and a thick bundle of green notes peeking out from the opposite side of the wallet. It was the attention grabber and as I looked up, an odd bunch of people were looking at it as well, including the shopkeeper. The moment froze for the moment, while I felt the chill. Now damage was done, and pin pointing her mistake there would not only made it embarrassing for her, but could highlight it even more and create more problems. So without reacting, I waited for her to clear her bill. Although we were supposed to buy few more things, I insisted to go back home.
It was odd one km walk from that button shop to home, but I can say the longest distance I had ever felt. I wanted to sprint away from her, declaring she is not with me, but friends don’t do that. I just insisted her to walk a bit fast down the deserted alley. My anxiety was clearly reflecting on my face, she noticed and asked “stomach problem?” I looked at her, thinking of a very good reply, but just nodded so she could cope up with my speed. Every bike or walking shadow, as passed by, made me skip a beat. I was so scared that day that if any stranger had stopped me to ask the time even, I would have given him all my valuables and begged him for mercy of my life. The last thing I wanted to do was to die because of someone else’s stupidity!
Finally we reached home, and I started breathing again. After cooling down my nerves I calmly explained the situation to my friend, and she realized her mistake. May be it will help her in future, but yes, I was safe now. I was in my home. A place I have secured and I am comfortable and not scared of anyone or anything. Whether it is irregular maid, or non satisfactory service by electrician, plumber or carpenter, I can grab the collar and make him understand his mistake fearlessly, as it is my area, my home, my authority. Don’t mess with me here. Yes, I hear and read all the time, how someone was brutally murdered in their own home while they were sleeping. I have even shared the grief of a family friend who was in Dubai for his job assignment and his two toddler kids were waiting outside the play school, waiting for their mother to pick them up, while she was brutally murdered in her own house in daylight by a computer service man over a dispute of non satisfactory service. Which brings me to question “Is home really a safe place?” or is it a blind eye optimism we are living with. With time, I have realized that few things can help you avoid some unpleasant incidents, and I am practicing those. A lady alone at home is not at times safe. I am sharing it here, in a hope it might help someone:
- If a serviceman is entering your house – do not hesitate to check the ID card. Don’t bolt or close the main door. If possible inform your neighbor about his presence.
- Keep a kitchen knife or something similar handy or in your range.
- If more than one serviceman are there, request and permit only one to enter. If they are logical, they will completely understand and co-operate with your request.
- For maids, many things are suggested by police, depends on you how you judge and comply.
A few might laugh reading above. Yes most of us don’t give a sh*t till we become one. We cannot change the destiny. Anything can happen to anyone anywhere, but surely it should not be because of our carelessness or stupidity. We are safe wherever and whenever we feel we are. It is a feeling we sometimes create for ourselves and for those we love.