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Be a part of the contest Navratri Diaries, a contest to celebrate Navratri through stories and poems and win exciting prizes!

Pragya Gaur



Pragya Gaur


A Girl In The Street

A Girl In The Street

5 mins 330 5 mins 330

It was a late night that day. Nitesh was taking a stroll down the empty street after office, thinking about the towering stress due to deadlines and added responsibility at home. He was looking to change in another aspirational role but feared if he is ready for the unpredictability at this point and the possibility of failure. His father had just passed away and his younger brother still needed financial support. Since he has been the most diligent and dependable person in his family, they always counted on him during tough times. He had to support them come what may, he thought.

Immersed in his thoughts, Nitesh didn't realize that he had come quite far off his colony and was not familiar with this place away from his neighborhood. He just sat down on a small bench placed near the footpath. Suddenly he heard a slight humming sound a little away from him. He got curious to know more and looked around. He saw a relatively young girl who was just passing through another adjacent street. She had light wavy long hair, wearing a light pink churidar suit, humming an old Indian song tune. She was carrying a small bag and walking comfortably almost unaware of her deserted surroundings.

"Hello, do you know this place? I have actually lost my way, so need help if you are aware.", Nitesh asked tentatively.

The girl looked around with inquisitive hazel eyes full of innocence. She saw him and a bit amused at his request, casually said, " Oh yes, This is my daily route. I am walking towards the east. Where do you need to go? "

"To my office at the Nehru road. if you just tell me a way to reach till the Domino's nearby, I can find my way back." Nitesh appealed to her politely.

"Yeah, I am going that way myself. You can come along with me." She said confidently.

"Thanks! Let's go... After you."

They walked for a while where she told him about herself. Her name was Divya Pal, studying in her graduation B. Tech, applying for Civil services examination. She was currently coming back from her coaching classes, which were pretty far from her place, but the best in the town.

"You go so far every day this time! It's not so safe to travel alone, that too using public transport. Aren't you scared? " Nitesh asked in a concerned voice.

"Not anymore, Moreover, there are little options here. Honestly, it's not so bad. At least I haven't seen it. "

"Oh, I avoid traveling in public buses. Anyways, how much time does it take you to reach home every day?"

"About 1 hour, 15 minutes"

"Oh my! That's really far. Why do you need to do so much? Your parents must be so concerned about your safety."

"My parents are no more, they died in a crash. I just have a young sister", she said almost nonchalantly.

Nitesh was a bit taken aback by her calm attitude, and embarrassingly apologized "So sorry to hear that, I should have avoided this topic"

"It's okay, they died long ago in a car accident. I was about 10 years old then." She said calmly, but her voice shook this time.

Suddenly Nitesh noticed a shadow behind him. This looked like a tall man with a heavy build. He was fast approaching them which got Nitesh a bit scared, more so to keep her safe. He wanted to avoid any quarrel at this point and just wanted to lead the girl to safety. However the man was really behind them, hence Nitesh decided to counter him. However, just before he could do something, Divya turned around swiftly and with one hand, attacked on his neck. The man screamed with pain, terrified at this unexpected and sharp counter. Nitesh was stunned and helped her pin him down. She threw her bag on his face and pressed it such that he choked with breathlessness. Nitesh pulled her back cautioning her that he must not die. The man had got unconscious by then. Nitesh could not believe his eyes as to what just transpired.

" How did you... I mean.. "He wasn't sure what to ask.

" Let's run away from here first before he regains consciousness "

As they reached near Dominoes, they entered inside.

Once they took a seat, she started talking, although sweating from head to toe.

"I know him. He stalked me a few times while I was alone. After today, he would never try so. I have taught him a lesson. Thanks for helping me."

"I barely helped you, have you learned martial arts? You were so quick." He said with genuine amazement.

"I just know a few tricks, haven't got much chance to learn, though I'd love to. I did what I need to survive without fear."

"Divya, why are you taking so much trouble going for the civil examination. You can just pick up a job after engineering and sustain your life. You have so much to look after"

"There will always be risks, but I would like to find solutions instead of sitting back with fear. This is my dream and I cannot leave pursuing it without trying. If I do well, I can fulfill my responsibility in a better way without regrets and blaming God. I have taken a calculated risk and it will surely pay off. " Her voice was full of conviction.

After a while, they left the place bidding each other goodbye and thanked for helping in need.

Nitesh was overwhelmed with the events he just saw along with her conviction to realize that it is actually internal strength that matters the most. He again reflected on his situation and got determined to build a future that he is proud of. The day was coming to an end and so was the hopelessness in his heart, all due to a girl in the street.

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