Skip to main content

My Protector!

One day last winter, I had to go to the bank.  I had no cash left in my purse and my husband was spending his days and nights in the hospital, attending to his terminally ill father.  I told my nephew I was going to the bank.  I asked him to tell my children I would be home shortly and that they should change their clothes on returning from school and take their lunch which was ready.  I didn't expect to be gone for more than forty five minutes.  It takes twenty minutes to walk there.  Twenty minutes back.  Only five minutes to do the work.  I was going to use the ATM machine, not go to the counter.

I walked as quickly as I could.  I keep a fair distance from other walkers on the road.  I don't walk too close to anyone unless I know them.  If someone, particularly a mail pedestrian comes too close, I put as much space between myself and that person as soon as possible.  A young man passed by.  I slackened my pace to allow him to move ahead.  He slackened his pace too.  I crossed the street without making it too obvious.  He moved ahead.  I was pleased.  I had shaken him off.

The bank is down a very lonely lane.  It's more a meeting place for pensioners and not a thriving commercial centre.  I noted the young man standing outside the bank.  Looking at me.  Standing in a manner that could only be described as 'not respectable'.  I dropped my eyes and saw nothing.  I went into the bank and entered the ATM booth.  No one else was there.  I looked out discreetly.  That fellow was staring at me through the glass.  "Go away," I pleaded inwardly.  He didn't.  I did not want to leave the safety of the booth. I fumbled in my handbag for my ATM card.  My hand was shaking.  I gripped my mobile and dialled my nephew Praveen's number.

"Praveen, please come and take me home.  I'm at the bank.  There's a fellow hanging around and I'm afraid of him," I stammered, dissolving in tears.

"I'm coming," replied Praveen.

The young man was standing outside the booth as I left.  He tried to speak to me.  I brushed him off and went inside the bank.  The young man did some work in the ATM booth and moved away.

Praveen arrived on the scooter in what seemed like seconds.  Twenty two years old and  six feet tall.

"What happened?" he asked.  I told him.  He roared away on the scooter before I could think.  He was back in two minutes.  I climbed on the back of the scooter.  I reached home in minutes.  My son Neil, taller than me,  was reaching home from school.  It felt amazing to be home and safe again.

"What happened?" I asked Praveen

He had stopped the young man on the road.  Asked him "why were you  bothering my taiji(uncle's wife)".  The young man apologized immediately and promised never to do it again.  Praveen told him to make sure that he didn't.

Sometimes it feels so safe to live in a combined family.


  1. How wonderful to be protected in such a way. I'm glad everything turned out all right for you.

  2. WOW! That scary! So glad you had someone to call.

    Yes! Gaelikaa! It has been a long time. So glad you stopped bye! :)

  3. So, you've commented several times about not liking to have the children out, about feeling unsafe when you are out in public. Is it really that dangerous? Are you afraid of being mugged or attacked? what if you had given him a challenging stare, asked him loudly if he was following you? Or told him yourself to leave you alone? I'm not judging you or your actions but I am curious about the fact that you don't feel safe.

  4. It must be brilliant to belong to such a family and feel protected.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  5. I think that you should take lessons in some form of martial arts. I also think that you should start carrying a can of pepper spray with you wherever you go. Your protector may not be available all the time.


Post a comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …