I was harassed at the hostel of a university and I want this repeated behavior to end
A basketball inter-varsity tournament took place at the end of January this year. Our whole team was totally ready for all the matches, but we weren’t prepared for what was going to happen to us the last night of the tournament at a hostel in one of the most renowned universities in Karachi.
The campus was huge – there were roads inside, and it seemed like almost anyone could just come and go. There were no other buildings around the hostel where all the teams, including ours, were staying.
Fast forward to the last night of the stay in the hostel. All the teams had left, it was just our university, and 3 more girls from another university staying in another room. Other than that, there was no one else in the building. Our team had two rooms on the third floor at the corner of the building.
When I was harassed at the hostel I was staying at, that night we were all ready for bed at around 2 am, and we had been fast asleep for a while when I heard some tapping on our window
I ignored it at first, but then I heard it again and sat up. My friend next to me, let’s call her Sara for the purpose of this piece, woke up too. She went to the window and looked outside. We had no net on our window, nor a grill, it was just glass, and because it was warm, our window was open.
When Sara couldn’t see anything outside in the dark, she turned on her flash and all of a sudden she sees two heads peering down at her from the ledge above.
One of them said “Flash off karo, uper aao chat par, maza krtay hain.”
She immediately closed the window and told me what she saw. I turned the light on, and called the manager of our team. Because it was about 4 in the morning, she didn’t pick up. Sara went to the other room where the rest of the players were and turned on the light, so whoever these men were would know that we were awake and alert.
When I was harassed in that hostel I still remember that night, Sara again heard the men talking to her in the hallway, as if they can see her, and they gave instructions like, “We are up here, use the stairs on the side of the building to come up.”
Because our room had no grill, just a plain glass, we shifted everyone from our room to the other room because that one did have a grill. The jaali ka darwaza, leading to the stairs of the hostel wasn’t usually closed, but at that time it was. I called my manager again, and thank God, she finally picked up. I informed her about everything that was going on, and she said that she was on her way.
Our manager was staying in Karachi University, but in another building, so it took her another 10 minutes to get to us. Meanwhile, we were trapped in this room, and had no one to call for help – we looked around for something to use just in case someone tried to come in.
Now, when I think about it, I laugh, but at that time, all I had was a mug in my hand to use as a weapon, and I was holding on to it as if my life depended on it.
Our manager came with the a few men, and they went on the roof to check out the place. They came back and said that no one was there. They told us the only people in the building were us and the staff of that hostel. Maybe it was the actual staff doing this, maybe not, we still don’t know.
In the morning, right at the edge of the window was a card. One of the teammates picked it up and was shocked.
It read “please chat pay ajao, milkay enjoy kartay hain. Kal say chat pay intezar kar rahay hain.“
The card was placed so perfectly near the window that it couldn’t have been thrown there. Someone has to have climbed down right to our window and placed it, meaning they had direct access and could’ve easily come in. This whole scene was explained to the respective heads of the university and departments. Hopefully, action will be taken against this, for the protection of any future teams that will come and participate.
We are glad that none of us were seriously harmed, but because of the almost non-existent safety precautions, we could have been easily. It’s still terrifying to think about and I hope no one has to go through anything similar.
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