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27 days continuously, I have been carrying an umbrella. Just this one day when I had to go for a meeting in which I was supposed to be a presenter, I forgot the umbrella and guess what even the weather forecast guys assured me of the SUNSHINE!

Yes, that is what they said in the news so I was relaxed but the moment I stepped out of the crowded local train at Bandra station, it started pouring really heavy, even heavier than cats and dogs. That is how Mumbai rains are. It either doesn't rain for days or it rains like a predictable flood and then all the roads are jammed, cramped, and filled with water.

How fortunate I was to live in a city that had shops everywhere and definitely at the station. So, I rushed to the nearest shop and looked for a blue umbrella with double layers, with silver inside and plain blue outside. Yes, I always buy the same brand and the same style except that I keep changing colors. Last time, I was using green so I would not buy the same color again. I picked up the blue umbrella that did not take me much time to ferret out. "How much?" I asked

"650 Rupees Madam" the shopkeeper said. Normally, I would have bargained on that price but today was not the time so I took it and opened it. Yes, it was a good quality one, no holes, and no loopholes. I liked it. The blue color shined with water and it was looking so soothing and fresh to my eyes that I could not stop staring at it and admiring it.

I reached out for my purse and opened it. Bloody! Not a single paisa I had in it. I was supposed to get the money from the ATM. Again fortunate I was because every station has an ATM so I gave the umbrella to the guy and said, "Don't give it to anyone. I will take it. I will just get the cash from the ATM".

Another fortunate thing that no one was in the ATM but unfortunately, when I went inside, the ATM said "The ATM does not have cash. Sorry for the inconvenience".

Oh No! I was getting late. Fortunately, Bandra station has two ATMs so I went to the second one and that had like 100 people in the line. If I followed them then I would definitely be late and not just late but also wet. But what was my other choice? I did not even have the cash for auto or taxi.

Living in a big city has its perks. If you have a mobile, you do not need the money and can order an Ola. So, I reached out to my bag again and took out my phone. "Battery Dead" and that was more than enough to handle.

"How can so many things go wrong all at the same time. Shit! Shit Shit! what do I do now" I shouted, not realizing that at least 100 people were watching my display of frustration?

I stood inside for a while wondering what to do. I could not afford to go late and I could not even go all wet. I wished if the rain could subside at least a bit, I would go but it was fighting me instead.

"Hello! Need help?" came a voice from behind. I ignored it at first but the man said it again, "Excuse me! Need help?"

I turned to look at the man, thinking what a creepy guy he would be who is trying to take advantage of the situation but when I saw him, I was taken aback. He was quite handsome, hero kind handsome, in fact, prince kind handsome. Why would he help me? I wondered.

"Need an umbrella?" He said, smiling. Oh Gosh! his smile was so sensuous and I was lost

"yes, only till the auto," I said. The guy smiled and made a positive gesture asking me to follow and I bluntly followed him.

Outside the station was a taxi standing. The taxi man asked, "BKC?" and I nodded and got inside. The guy followed me too

"I am also going to BKC"

"Oh ya, wonderful," I said nervously smiling.

He closed the cab and then off we went. I was in seventh heaven. Sitting with the most handsome guy I have ever met. Who would not want that? Every girl imagines that and I was so fortunate to experience that. Wow! This was amazing. I kept smiling and blushing, which was not in my control.

It took me long before I realized that the taxi driver had taken a wrong turn and was not going to BKC.

"What are you doing bhaiya? I have to go to BKC" He did not reply. I looked at the handsome guy who was smiling at me mischievously.

Oh No! Not so fortunate. Today was rather the most unlucky day. I forgot the umbrella, I could not get cash, my mobile went off and now, I so foolishly entered the cab with this stranger just because he looked handsome. Where was he going to take me? Was he a trafficker? Was he going to sell me? I was in deep trouble. Probably dead if I did not act soon. Why would this guy kidnap me? I was not even rich. Was he from the competition? Of course not, it was an internal meeting and still, was he? My head started spinning and I thought it would explode.

For a while, I was stunned and in silence but then I started acting pukish as if I was to vomit over him. He became uncomfortable and was trying to save himself from the dirt that I was about to spill. He even twisted his handsome face so now I could look at the monster inside. It was only a few seconds time in which I almost planning to puke but at the same time, with my left hand, I lifted the lock of the door and then jumped, pushed the door to open, and turned towards the door. Before he could realize and stop me, I flew in the air and fell flat on the rusty road with a thud.

Mumbai is a crowded city. Even in a supposedly empty lane, there were two people walking who looked at me. If the monstrously handsome guy had tried to pull me, they would know something was wrong so he did not try. Before he could change his mind, I made up mine and without worrying about the scratches, blood that was flowing from my leg, and the bone of my ankle that appeared twisted or rather fractured, I gobbled some courage from inside and pushed myself up with full force. It was painful but it was a matter of life and death. The adrenaline kicked in and I ran on the top of my speed. I did not stop to look back to check if they were following me but ran as fast as I could till I reached my office.

"Shit!" I panted my breath, "I will never ever come to an evening presentation ever again." and I rushed inside the building through the gate. The watchman who was sitting peacefully with his mobile on his ears, talking to someone, saw me and got worried.

"Madam, what happened? Did you meet with an accident?"

"Sort of," I said, breathing heavy.

"Come mam, I will take you to the medical room" and he helped me as a gentleman and took me inside. Other people who around also saw me and all of them came to me at once and asked about what had happened. I wasn't in the condition to reply but I was so fortunate for so many people cared for me. I said Thank You to God inside my heart and was grateful for I was saved from a monster.

I also learned that one should not go by looks of a person and it is since that day, I stopped trusting good looking men. In fact, I only want bad looking men in my life. The moment I see a good looking guy, I start doubting. Good looks can be deceptive but how else a person could judge another person. Will not, at first sight, only looks would be visible? If you do not judge strangers by looks then how do you judge them? He spoke nicely and appeared helpful. How could a person ever think that he was a criminal? So many girls and women suffer every day in India because of their misjudgment. Was it really my fault? Even if I did not trust the handsome guy, would I still not trust the cab guy? We all travel by cabs every day and what if one cab guy out thousands who drive in Mumbai turn out to be a criminal wanting to sell you?

I felt like I was unlucky to have experienced such a thing in a safe city like Mumbai but I was also fortunate to be living in Mumbai where people were present and they cared. What if It was not Mumbai but Delhi? What could have happened to me? The trauma still scares me whenever I think about it but that incident did give me a few good lessons that I should never forget. I should never trust strangers, never judge a person based on looks, and never assume things.

June 19, 2020 16:24

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1 comment

Elle Clark
08:12 Jun 27, 2020

Oh wow, this is a scary story. Is this fiction or something that really happened to you? There’s a good lesson to be learned here. Thank you for sharing.

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