Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Living Alone in Koramangala - Part 2

Since last Friday, I have had to sleep during the daytime and work on editing and translations at night-time. All this due to security concerns brought on by a rather inconsiderate neighbour of mine, one Mr. P. When I brought the matter to the attention of my houseowner, who is currently in Singapore, all she said was to talk to one of the other neighbours, who would be able to help. I woke up at lunchtime on Saturday, hearing an awful amount of noise. When I drew back the curtain slightly, saw the same labourer wearing the same red shirt, working outside and glancing at my ground floor window often. I flared up. Called Mrs. S; her child picks up the phone and says "Mummy has gone out". I said Fine. Went out to see she wasn't around. Called again and got Mr. P on the phone...He said the wife was sleeping. He then started off aggressively and told me "It is not one of my people. Do not start talking rubbish". I then started shaking with anger, opened the door and screamed, "You b*****d, it IS one of your b****y labourers"...I was FURIOUS and will NOT apologise for using such abusive language, he fully well deserves it for putting my life (and that of my upstairs neighbour) at risk permanently. It was not right of him to falsely accuse me of "imagining things" and lying through his teeth. The red-shirted man was right outside this house, on the street, working on wooden planks for their construction. Whom was P trying to kid/intimidate? By raising one's voice, do Indian men think they can outshout or subdue Indian women when they are in the wrong themselves? Well, that won't always be the case:-) I also went and asked the labourers who their supervisor was, they said there was none? I told them that I will then call the Police and came in. So, what exactly is going on?

I called up Mr. R, as suggested by my houseowner, and he was a patient listener. I explained everything to him, and added that after paying INR 1,30,000 as deposit, I don't want to be found with my throat slit and the house ransacked. There has been a series of murders since the start of August in Bangalore, with criminals targeting the elderly and lone women staying on their own. He said he will talk to P the same day and get back to me. He said this matter shouldn't go to the Police stage. Just then, I drew back the curtain again and P was there with his daughter, talking to the labourers...There has been no action since, on the part of Mr. R...P's chat with the labourers too has not changed anything.

I then had a detailed discussion with one of the guys living on the ground floor in the next house. We got talking about P and his labourers. The slum dwellers had once tied some wire around their gate to prevent the pet dog from venturing out, he informed me? This guy also said (and I was shocked) that P's borewell people broke their main water line and refused to shell out money. These guys next door had to spend INR 24,000  - 20K for replacement and 4K bribes...And there have been innumerable instances of construction material being dumped everywhere, including on the street itself, preventing traffic from flowing freely. I informed this neighbour about the security scare and how P refused to acknowledge that it was his labourer. This neighbour said that the guys in the house next door would fully support me if I approach any Forum etc. I admitted that we may have to go to the Police or the Press.

I wanted P to get all his labourers registered with the local police, especially the man in the red shirt. I wanted their antecedents to be checked. This is a serious matter. With construction tools easily available, it won't take these migrant labourers/floating population long to find some means to break into the house...P does not OWN this street. All he owns is a tiny plot. Its time Indian women stood up to worthless lying crooks like Mr. P.

I do believe the following online articles would give one a sense of perspective about such happenings in Bangalore:
I would like to draw your (the reader's) attention to the part, towards the end, about special efforts made to protect the vulnerable like the elderly and women living alone.
("The house is fully protected with iron grills and gates".)

Need I say more about the kind of anti-social activities carried on by Mr. P?

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