Another woman takes back her allegation of sexual harassment against MJ Akbar saying that he did not do anything and that she might be imagining it. The woman who had given brief description of the experience she had with MJ Akbar when he was with The Asian Age. In her account, she shares with The Quint, she says –
“That was the run up to the then annual Father Jorris Memorial Nihil Ultra Debate, at St Xavier’s College (Calcutta) Alumni Association, of which I was a young, almost naïve convenor. MJ had moved on from The Telegraph to The Asian Age but the lure of having him as a speaker at St Xavier’s College made me invite him as a speaker.
Akbar asked me to meet him at the Calcutta airport. As he strode down with ‘The Stare’ and a small handbag, he said we would talk in the car. Fair enough. Our conversation in the car was about everything but the debate.
One more woman calls out M J Akbar. Keep counting.
— Nishtha Gautam (@TedhiLakeer) October 15, 2018
Patiently I thought he was trying to measure me up and my event to his wonderful standards and that I must present myself in a manner that would lead him to accept my invitation to the college event. At The Taj hotel, he went up to his room saying that he would freshen up and then talk. A while later, I was requested to come upstairs to discuss the event his potential participation.
The door opened and the Bathrobe welcomed me. Mr Bathrobe was on the bed while I was kind of squirming on the single sofa in the room, unable to exactly fathom what in hell was the matter with the world which seemed perfectly normal sometime back.
Bending down, he rolled the glass in his hand towards me. And I kept looking at it near my feet, petrified and totally lost.
He verbally prompted me to make that drink. I silently and dumbly stared at the glass. When my initial shock wore off, I too bent down and rolled it back at him. That buoyed me up. Giving him a hard stare, I got up and walked out of that dratted room and as far away as I could from The Bathrobe, thankful that he didn’t ‘do’ anything.”