I was walking home from office this evening, at some time past nine. A man ahead of me was acting a bit weird. He shouted to a boy on a cycle, calling him idiot and telling him to stop. I assumed he must have his reasons, and walked on. I tried to pass him once or twice, but he would suddenly move to the side, so I stepped back. Then he bumped into another man walking in the opposite direction, and while they both got their bearings I took the chance to move past him.
He began to apologise loudly. "Sorry, madam. Madam, it was not my intention..." and so on. I walked on, not bothering to look back, as he hadn't anything to apologize for and I suspected he was intoxicated.
But he kept on. Soon enough, he changed his tune, offering to accompany me home. All this was quite loud, because I was walking at least a few paces ahead of him. I walked on steadily, not wanting to risk a confrontation right there where the road wasn't well lit.
Then he said something to do with "moti" (fatty) - probably something like come here, though I don't really remember. He said it again.
By then we were near some shops and there were quite a few people around, including young people (which makes me feel much safer somehow). I suddenly stopped, turned around, and said roughly, "Kisse baat kar rahe ho tum?" (Who are you talking to?)
He looked frightened, shook his head and kept walking. I said it again, and swung the bag I was holding - it contained my lunchbox, and would have caused satisfactory damage if I had needed to make contact.
I walked on. I saw him turn inside a gate nearby, and kept my eye on him while I walked. He didn't look back, and I walked on in peace.
For some time, I debated whether I should have hit him. Rather a moot point, for I doubt if I could have brought myself to do it. But after the first flush of anger subsided, I decided I had done enough for now.
And the over-a-kilometre-long walk didn't even tire me (as it usually does)! Maybe it was the excitement?