“You do realize how dangerous it is to travel alone in a taxi?”

“Oh come on! Lots of girls travel alone.”

“Yes, and lots of girls become daily news in your paper too.”

On my way to the Dateline that day, I remembered all those times dad warned me against travelling alone in taxis. And boy was I scared. There was something strange about the taxi guy. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I could sense there was something.

Call it a woman’s sixth sense, but I was sure I should get off instead of continue travelling all the way to Blue Area.

But I didn’t.

Why? First, getting a taxi isn’t easy these days, especially on CNG load shedding days. You not only have to wait for hours before a taxi comes along to end your misery, you also have to spend another half hour arguing and haggling with him over the fare.

I also thought he would make a scene if I told him to stop the car and let me off. The usual fear of society’s judging habit got the better of my own judgment.

Besides, I told myself, we are on the highway, and there is lots of police here. I can always call out for help.

This guy didn’t haggle. He agreed to what I offered him. That was the first warning sign.

Throughout the journey, he kept looking in the rear-view mirror and I caught him staring at me multiple times. Although that is not unusual, it was still creepy.

Then he started talking.

“Do you work in Blue Area?” he asked.

I thought about what to say and whether to say anything or just stay silent. Then I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he wasn’t as bad as I thought he was. Maybe he was just a harmless old man.

“Yes,” I said.

We were at least 30 minutes away from my office and on the Islamabad Expressway. What could he possibly do?

“I work there too,” he said. “I also run my own company of cosmetics.”

Aah, I thought. He’s going to try and sell me cosmetics from his shop. Pretty harmless, and here I was getting all worried.

“We make special products for all kinds of skin problems and for the khoobsurti of the skin,” he went on. “If you like, I can give you some samples to try.”

“No, thank you. I don’t use unknown skin products,” I told him curtly, trying to end the conversation.

“Oh but Bibi Jee, these are tried and tested products,” he went on. “You know in winter, our special product for the feet sells the most.” He opened the dashboard of his taxi and took out a small bottle.

Oh man! I don’t want your sample, I thought. In retrospect, I should have said it out loud, stopped the taxi, spat in his face and handed him over to the police right then.

But, I didn’t.

His next step horrified me. Without stopping the taxi, holding the steering wheel with one hand, he turned around and said, “Here, let me put it on your feet and you can see it really works.”

I stared at his hand, holding the bottle and stretched out towards my feet, and was mute with fear. For a minute, I felt paralyzed. After a pause, while we passed a couple of police officers standing by the roadside and I considered jumping out of the car, he said in a hoarse whisper, “Let me apply it.”

That was it.

I shouted at him to stop the car and he instantly stopped it. Perhaps, because he could see four policemen standing a little distance ahead.

I quickly got off and before I had even shut the door, he sped off and there was nothing I could do.

I haven’t told my dad, yet.

8 comments
sushichronicles
sushichronicles

Whoa. Thats one of the reasons why I am glad we have rickshaws in Karachi along with traffic jams. Easier to jump out and shout for help! But this is pretty scary, I just wish you had taken the taxi number down and reported him. What a creep, glad you're safe though! 

Rai_Azlan
Rai_Azlan

now that is scary. is there anything, anyone safe?

i mean i am not saying this because i am living in a place where i think i am safe but i want this security for everyone. there are many "men on mission" hunting for easy target and every day they make it to the news. still there is no action against them... indeed silence of the good people is the biggest harm

Xurmat
Xurmat

LoL, first of all my english is so Poor :P Well this one is the first "Blog Post" jo mai ne complete parha... and I really enjoyed :D 2nd last Lines samaj mai nahe aaye :O in shortcut aik baar mai Pak Afg border se by tribal areas Peshawar aaraha tha by Private Texi [Brand New Honda 2D] aur Border se Peshawar tak unho ne mujse 250Rs karaya ka kaha... ufff mai samaj giya k bhai aaj tu tu giya aur kidnap hone waly ho... well Allah pe bharosa kar k i agree with them... poore raaste pe mai taxi seat mai seeda ullo ki tarah beta raha aur jitne b kalmy yaad thy sab k sab parhy... aur friends ko sms b kiye k agar mai aaj ghar nahe puhuncha tu samaj lena sab k mai kidnap hogiya hun :D darne wali baat ye k jis driver ne mujhe border se pick kia tha osne Car aady raaste mai kisi aur shakhs k hawaly ki jo oska wait karraha tha aur wo khud otar giya... tab mai samaj giya k tum 100% kidnap hone waly ho ;) bhagne ki koshish b nahe kar sakta tha aur na himmat thi... lekin kia tha k aakhir kar Peshawer k qareeb puhuncha ... qareeb kia k kuch lamhe baad apne ghar puhuncha... :D aur girls ka akele taxi mai travelling uff buhut dangerous... q k har texi wala aur har insan honest nahe hotha... mard kisi b waqt apne khayalaat change kar sakte hai... even jab mai khud Isb mai kahe jata hun by texi tu buhut dar lagta hai :)

RababKhan
RababKhan moderator

@sushichronicles Yeah I wish I had too. But the situation had been so scary that I quite forgot about it and he rushed off so quickly. 

RababKhan
RababKhan moderator

@Rai_Azlan The silence of the victims, more importantly. And their families and the fear of what society will say. The same society that harbors and nurtures these sort of people. Hypocrisy.

Thanks for your comment, again, My most pukka reader. :)

RababKhan
RababKhan moderator

@Xurmat That's scary! Aur aap ki Urdu parhney mein khasa time laga mujhey. :)

But thank you so much for your comment. :)

Xurmat
Xurmat

@RababKhan Tit for tat - Mujhe b english samajne mai khasa time laga... Anyway is article ko mai ne is liye read nahe kia k ye kisi Girl ne share kia / or / is story mai koi mazy ki cheez hogi [Taxi Driver Vs Isb's Girl] bal k is sentence ki waja se >---> [“Yes, and lots of girls become daily news in your paper too.”] mujhe majboran ye post read karne parha... aur mai os News Paper k bary mai b sochne laga k is larhki [RabaKhan] k news konsy Paper mai aane wali hai ;) lekin yaha tu Allah ne khair se mamla rafa dafa kardia... aur ye comment mai ne is liye share kia k [Border wali story share karun, aur ye credit dun k ye mera pehle koi post hai kisi blog or website ka k jesy mai ne a2z shoq se read kia... warna i have also 15 active blogs :D comment k liye livefyre pe account banane ka zehmat karna parha ... & sorry for waste your time by my poor Urdu+English. i am perfect in Arabic

RababKhan
RababKhan moderator

@Xurmat Bohot bohot shukriya. Really. Thank you very much key aap ney itna kuch kiya aur comment bhi kiya. Appreciated.