I have been used to living alone, since quite young. "No horror movies or serials allowed", was one of the more significant rules that could not be broken in our childhood. This along with our parent's absolute indifference to our cries on being sent to a dark room, ensured we weren't scared of dark either. Till we were in their custody, we were brave kids. Few horror movies watched away from their eyes and few nights spent with the lights on. But, then a bad memory helped and peace was restored soon.
So, unlike a lot of my friends, I am not really afraid of ghosts.
But, then recently there has been another bigger kind of fear... fear of humans. A fear that was unheard of in my childhood. A fear exaggerated by news of rapes and murders of unsuspecting females, shows like 'Crime Patrol' and 'Savdhaan India'. Shows that are designed to beware you of what all is possible, how low we humans can fall and how you need to keep your eyes and ears open. Somehow, the way it affects me is quite negative, especially when I am alone:
A stranger comes over to deliver a courier and I don't like it. I am not courteous enough to ask for water to drink, even if the temperature is 50 degrees outside. If he demands himself, I wonder if he will get inside as soon as I turn my back. Does he have an accomplice too? I should have looked around...
My new maid takes longer than usual to make a cup of tea and I suspect she may add something lethal. I used to be fast asleep, while the maids worked, now I am wide awake.
A stranger soothes a crying child in a TV show or book, and I wonder if the child is going to get sodomized or raped or sold to traffickers.
I agree that we are living in quite bad times. Crime against women and children in India is at an alarmingly high rate and increasing. You need to protect yourself and be safe rather than sorry.
But, does that mean so much of distrust on each other. Does that need to take away your humanity. So, much so that you are afraid to help anyone. It may be a plot for you to get into. Isn't it turning us all into utterly selfish people. Are we not getting reduced to a society of cowards?