In Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, a knock roused a woman in her Indian hotel in the early hours of the morning. At the door, the manager and a guard pushed their way into the room with promises of an oil rub. Jessica Davies managed to repel them and close the door, but they remained outside trying to penetrate the barrier she'd erected. Nobody responded to her continual shouts for help and pounding. Desperate, she jumped out of her window, injuring both legs.
With the safety of women in India still a simmering issue since the brutal assault of a Delhi student before Christmas and the recent gang-rape of a Swiss tourist, Jessica's plight got instant headlines in India and abroad. She remains adamant that she will return to India, but never alone.
Have you ever wondered how you would react when threatened this way? And, more importantly, should we test ourselves to danger?
I don't think I need testing at my time of life and circumstances. I'd surely fail to repel anyone intent on doing me harm. Yet, I've faced up to an anticipated risk. In 1987, after a traumatic marriage, I left my protected life in Australia and arrived in London alone. Before planning the venture, I'd heard about roaming gangs of thugs and stabbings on the underground and knew I'd need to use that form of travel when I arrived. However, a cloud of protection hovered over me while I rode on the trains and arranged a live-in job as a nanny. I've never felt unsafe in my whole life.
The pigeon outside my window eventually flew away to face cold and hunger. Should we push ourselves more in life?