Friday, October 28, 2011

Fear is the Key

It was a cold January evening as I strolled in the Queens district of New York. The crowds were thinning as the night fell. I had packages of items just purchased, tucked under my arms as I stepped out of the store. My shoes slipped in the fresh snow as I made my way towards the Queen's village metro station.A recent light shower made walking difficult, due to the load of packages . A cold wind blew and swayed the trees making a rustling noise. I reached the station and purchased the ticket to the Grand  Penn station. The train arrived in and I boarded it quickly. There were just two or three passengers. At the next station, Hollis, two of them got down and two tall dark men entered the coach. They were drunk, and I could make out that these guys were not good! They looked like muggers about whom I had read.They were probably armed and one stupid move from my end could spell disaster! One of them who had curly hair and big white teeth looked at me and asked... 'where are you from' as they both occupied the seats facing mine. I  pretended, that I did not understand what they said. He got a little impatient while his colleague hurled a few abuses. My throat went dry, as I tried to speak. I made sign gestures by waving my hand and nodding my head that I did not understand them.A shroud of darkness and a few distant tinkling lights, which I could see, from the window were not very comforting. I wished that the train had more crowd as a Mumbai local!I  prayed silently for the ordeal to end, as the train entered Jamaica station and to my good luck a few more passengers got into the compartment. It was such a relief to find company! The two men realized the futility of talking further and I lowered my eyes to avoid eye contact with them. Every passing moment was like ages..In ten more minutes the train entered the Grand Central( Penn) station. I quickly disembarked and got lost in the crowd. I had never felt more insecure during my  visit and thanked god that I came out unharmed.


  1. WoW ~ Thank God you did come out alive (I'm presuming this is a true story?) and you were VERY smart to play 'dumb' about not understanding the language :)

    "Every passing moment was like ages."

    Isn't it amazing how slow time ticks by when we are in a situation of great fear such as this?!

    Great writing, Rahul! Enjoy your day :)

  2. Such moments remain etched in the memory for years....Hope u had a great Diwali.

  3. I could feel the ordeal you went through while reading your post.. Am glad that everything turned out good in the end..
    Festival greetings to you and your family.. :-)

  4. i too felt in such a scary way, after reading ur post...
    thank God, u pretended smartly...
    Happy Diwali...

  5. You did have a tensed and scary time, Rahul. But, you outsmarted them by pretending to not understanding them. Hope you had a great Diwali.

  6. I'm moving to NYC next week and this post scared me. I travel alone in Boston and it's pretty safe here...And, Queens is off my list now...

  7. I could feel that!
    Well written:-)

  8. If it is a true story, Rahul Ji, I wouldn't want to be in such a situation...scary indeed...

  9. true.. fear is the key
    your title speaks a lot in itself.

  10. @ Lady Fiona- I thank god for coming out unscathed!
    @Alka- True, as despite time elapsed, this incident came back as a reminder! Hope you too had an enjoyable Diwali!
    @Arti-Thanks! Happy Diwali to you as well!
    @Kalaiselvi-Sometimes the luck favors you! Happy Diwali...
    @Rachna- Acting dumb can be rewarding sometimes!Hope you too had an enjoyable time at Diwali..
    @ Saru- Boston is definitely friendlier compared to NYC!Probably my timing was wrong!Hope you have a wonderful stay in NYC.
    @Spiderdama- Thanks for your kind comments!
    @ Chintan- The BB- Yes true! I wish no one ever has a similar experience!
    @ Jyoti- Sometimes fear takes over and one seeks providential help!

  11. great experience of fear...
    nice post

  12. It was the playing dumb thing that worked I guess. Such memories leave you fazed for a while.

  13. Fear makes us do strange things...
    Playing Dumb played well....but sometimes we are in a situation..when we have to act differently...

    You have much greater life experience, are a good judge of situations.. :)

    Best Wishes!

  14. @Yaadein- Thanks for liking and following!!
    @Insignia- Thanks for your nice comments!
    @Kunal- In some situations one takes decision on spur of the moment! This was one of them..
    @PhilO- Thanks for liking!

  15. The best you could do in such a situation!

  16. @Purba- So true!
    @Ruchi- Thanks for liking and your visit to my blog!

  17. I have had those moments and they are times for much prayer! Glad you were unharmed.

  18. Thank You Terri for visiting my blog! Prayers do get answered!