Help from unexpected quarters: yes, She lit a flame | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Help from unexpected quarters: yes, She lit a flame

As I walked into Saket’s Select Citywalk for a movie on Saturday, I couldn’t help but reflect on the plight of the December 16 rape victim. She and her friend had gone to this mall the evening leading up to that unforgettable night. Rahul Fernandes reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 14, 2013 00:11 IST
Rahul Fernandes

As I walked into Saket’s Select Citywalk for a movie on Saturday, I couldn’t help but reflect on the plight of the December 16 rape victim. She and her friend had gone to this mall the evening leading up to that unforgettable night.

Three hours later, after the film, I was a tad worried. My septuagenarian father was with me and getting to Mayur Vihar in east Delhi (Jamuna paar, as the auto-rickshaw drivers call it) after sunset can be a bit of a nightmare.

We hailed a few auto-rickshaws, but they turned us down straightaway. When one of them finally agreed, he, as usual, refused to ply by the fare meter and demanded Rs 170.

Before I could even react, a cop in blue and white came up, asked us to board the auto-rickshaw and politely told the driver to switch on the fare meter and take us to our destination. He noted the vehicle number, while the driver went about grumbling.

Then, the cop pulled my right hand — those were the most bizarre five seconds of my life — and scribbled something on my palm. I’d already made a mental note of his name — his badge read Etwa Oraon. He let go of my hand and said, “Yeh mere number hai. Agar koi samasya hui, toh mujhe call keejiye.”

Calling this encounter a pleasant surprise would be an understatement. I shared the experience on Facebook and found that my friends were just as overwhelmed. I found the answer in a comment: “There is hope.”

It’s true. She lit a flame.