I don't know you. But I've met you before. I recognised you the minute your ugly desi eyes clapped on to my body this morning when I stepped into the swimming pool. You kept staring at me as I showered and slipped into the tepid waters of the swimming pool. I felt a shiver going up my spine. No, the water was fine. But it was the thought of you still watching me unblinking half-a-pool away. As I continued doing my laps, I sensed your eyes boring into me - stripping away every last shred of confidence I had. Reducing me to the traumatised 12-year old who had been felt up on a PTC bus. The bewildered 10-year old who watched as a familiar stranger put his hand up her skirt. The terrified 17-year old who had her breasts pinched by an auto rickshaw driver. I was no longer the 30-something mother of two who somehow had deluded herself that her child-bearing hips and layers of fat would immunise her against lecherous stares and ugly gropes. How wrong I was!
Each time I came up for air, I caught sight of you. Your eyes still fixated on me. To my horror, I saw you move a lane closer to me. I swam a lane away. You moved into the bubble pool looking down on the larger pool. I had no where to go. I wanted to yell and shout. I didn't even manage to confront you. Instead I swam and swam. Raging and whimpering silently. Wishing you a hundred misfortunes on your way out. I waited until you were well gone before I emerged from the pool. I showered, changed and rushed home. Where I knew I would be safe.