So, after having lots of second thoughts about it, I finally decided to make it public. Because this needs to be said out loud, and people need to know this. Harassment is real, any girl who’s born and raised in Pakistan experiences it everyday, so much that it starts feeling normal, something that you’re conditioned to live with, and accept it as it is. But yesterday I experienced the worst form of it.
It was just a regular Sunday morning, that has been starting with an early morning bike ride for me the since the past 4 years or so now. I hopped on my bike as usual around 6 am and started cycling to reach the meeting point where the other members of my cycling group Critical Mass Lahore meetup on every weekend to explore different parts of the city.
The thing that I love most about these early morning rides is the fresh air and traffic-less roads, free from all the pollutants and noise. So, I was just enjoying the chilly morning breeze and empty roads of DHA, when some guys on a white Cultus started following me. I did not take it very seriously initially, because it is a common practice, people tend to get very excited when they see women cycling here. But it started bothering me when it kept going on for 5-10 minutes. Eventually I decided to turn in the service lane, hoping that this might stop them, but they followed me there too. I was trying to look for a guard or some other help, where I could stop and get rid of these jerks, but sadly the roads were completely empty at that hour. So when they could not get successful in getting my attention after screaming at the top of their lungs and honking at me non-stop, they eventually decided to hit my bike from the back and run away. I fell on the road on my face, the helmet saved my head thankfully.
I am still extremely disgusted and grossed out because of this incident. I’m not posting it here to discourage females from cycling. We have a right on this city, and these roads. If anything, this is another reason to fight even more fiercely to claim that right. So girls! keep fighting, but try to be a bit cautious, and try not to get hurt!