Ellen Hussain: Today (Sunday, 2nd July 17) at 3:16PM, I called for my first pathao. I was at bashundhara (JFP) with my friends and I needed a ride home immediately because i wasn’t feeling well. I wanted to use an Uber but they were asking for a much higher amount which I wasn’t willing to spend and also i’ve had bad experiences with CNGs before so I didn’t want to risk it.
So later the driver contacted me and gave me a location to meet and when I did, i wasn’t offered any helmet for safety. I told him clearly that it was my first time using pathao and also my first time getting on a bike. Luckily my friends came along to drop me off and for fun they were taking pictures of me on a bike, but the guy strictly said that taking pictures weren’t allowed. Strange. The only reason I even considered using pathao was because I’ve heard from my other friends that it was safe and their service was great, hence I went for it.
As we took off, he kept on asking me to hold him tightly and to sit closer (for safety). But little did I know that he had a different intention everytime he was asking me to do so. When we reached the flyover he said he doesn’t know the location so he kept on roaming around the flyover area instead of taking the right path which I was directing him to from the beginning.
Finally when we were on the flyover I noticed that he has adjusting his rear view mirror towards my face and kept on opening the glass of his helmet to see my face in the mirror. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know what goes on when youre riding a bike and thought these were normal until he stopped near Regency and asked to take a picture with me as a memory and also for pathao.
I’ve seen a lot of people posting pictures on their page with their riders hence I thought it was normal so I allowed it. But instantly I started regretting it because he specifically asked me to put my hands on his shoulder when he was taking the picture.
When we reached Uttara, he started slowing down his bike and started communicating with me.
He said that it was his first time with pathao as well, and that he was dropping a friend off around bashundhara so luckily he had the opportunity to meet me. Then he asked me where I studied and if I live in uttara or bashundhara. He asked me how do I usually travel around and how come my car wasn’t around to pick me up. He also told me that he finished his graduation from UK (not that it was any of my business).
I kept on smiling and nodding to his ridicule questions because I was SHIT SCARED. I honestly thought that if I misbehaved, he’d take me someplace else without my will and do something i’d regret for the rest of my life. Then he asked me if he could come more often to uttara to pick me up from my place so that he could take me out on dates to 300ft. He asked me which time am I usually available and if it is okay to call me at night to talk over the phone.
I instantly diverted the topic because I didn’t want to reply to any of the shit he was asking me. Luckily I was closer to my destination so I started directing him a different way. I didn’t take him to my actual address and instead took him to this random place and claimed that this is where I live. When I asked him how much was the fare, he said he didn’t want to take any because we’ll be meeting more often anyway. I still forcefully gave him the money and left.
Later when I reached home I blocked his number and reported this incident on their app. He still had the audacity to call me from another number. So when I picked up, I instantly recognized his voice and hung up to block that number as well. Now tell me, is there any service in this country that girls can use when we have to travel because of emergency?