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‘He Grabbed My Breast In A Metro Full Of People, And All He Said Was, ‘What Did I Do?’

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By Anonymous:

All you need is a personal experience to realise why people say ‘Delhi is unsafe for women’.

It was just my second time in the Delhi metro (I’ve travelled alone – in buses, trains, Mumbai locals, taxis, autos, and then Delhi metro happened).

On 10th November, I was with two of my friends, one guy and one girl. Since I was not very familiar with the Delhi metro, they decided to drop me at the Chandni Chowk station and get down at a later station. I’ve travelled in Mumbai locals, and never hesitated to get into the general compartment. In Delhi, I used similar logic. We tried to get into the metro, but there was too much rush (it seemed to me like a packed Virar local). There was no place to stand, no place to breathe, so we decided to take the next one. This time, it was the same scenario, but we managed to get in.

Chandni Chowk was two stations away, and while we laughed and made jokes on how there is no place to stand, we also shared an uneasiness of being the only girls in that compartment. My guy friend tried to make sure that no one touched us, but we still felt some movement of hands here and there. But given the rush and the benefit of doubt we let it go. As my station was about to come, I moved towards the exit door.

Sandwiched between men (and I’m short in height) waiting for the doors to open, for a few seconds I felt two hands on either side of my hip, running up and down. I wasn’t sure of what just happened and showing my unease I tried to move these hands away. I tried my best to protect myself from being touched in a train where there was no place for me to even move my hands, or breathe, for that matter. There was a man behind me, breathing heavily, then there were his hands which, I was hoping deep down inside me, had touched me by accident. How I wish now that I had yelled at him right there.The station came, and because of the rush. you don’t have to move to go out, there’s just a wave of people. All you have to do is keep standing and you’ll be thrown out of the metro anyway. So while I was being pushed outside the metro, suddenly a hand that came from behind and grabbed my right breast. In that rush of trying to get out, my breast was held by some man. I was being felt.

I immediately yelled, cursed, and slapped the man who was behind me. I slapped him thrice, I felt violated, molested, and I can’t explain this feeling of helplessness that ran through me. “How the fuck can you grab me like that?!” I was screaming and beating that man, and the rest of the men just looked and stared at us, and the man himself looked at me with such innocence and asked, “Maine kya kiya? (What did I do?)”. Looking at his expression, momentarily, I doubted myself on whether I was even hitting the right man.

Someone from behind just grabbed my breast in a metro full of people – I can still feel that hand come from behind and haunt me a little. I feel shaken, I feel sick.

I’ve been looked at many times from what seem like ‘eyes of a rapist’s intention’ when I walk on the street, been touched here and there by men who can’t behave themselves. These are “common experiences” for a girl. But this…for a girl staying in a city like Delhi, is it common? How can it be common? How shameful it is that a word like “common” gets associated with an experience like this.

I asked the people around me to hit him; I was standing there and asking people to help me, and all they did was nothing. Just stood there and stared. Why did I think that they will help me? That someone will come to me and ask me what happened? No, I did not want sympathy, I just wanted that man to be taught a lesson never to do that to anyone ever again, and not to let him get away with that. I went for him again, held him by the ear and slapped him once more.

I had never seen this side of myself, didn’t know it existed. At that time I didn’t think of the repercussions, I was alone, my friends were still inside. I didn’t think about what would happen if he stalked me after this, what if this turned into a rape later. I simply retaliated and I’m glad I didn’t let fear stop me from doing what I did.

That man still kept asking, “Kya kiya maine? (What did I do?)”. And I felt short of words. I couldn’t say it. There was a lump in my throat. An old man came by his side and looked at me as if I’m mistaken and his son is too innocent to even look at me, let alone grope me.

My friends from inside saw something happened and rushed out before the gates could close. They quickly took me to a side and asked me what happened. I hugged them and cried, I closed my eyes. I wanted to take him to the police station. But he must have gone by now.

I didn’t want to open my eyes.

After this, I had to be accompanied by my friends outside the station where I had to meet my parents. Suddenly, nothing was safe. I wanted to beat the hell out of every man who’d even dare to look at me. The city was not safe anymore. All my life, I’ve travelled alone with such confidence, I still will. But something had changed.

All I can say is, welcome to the Capital of India – rape, molestation, groping are common here, don’t mind! Swallow it down as easily you’d swallow a pani puri.

You must be to comment.
  1. Batman

    So you just turn around and start slapping some random guy, without even knowing if he was the culprit. You are worse than the molester.

  2. B

    Today you slap an innocent brother, father, son, tomorrow some girl will slap your father, brother, son.

  3. Jigsaw

    Delhi is world capital of false rape cases. Even this story is fake.

  4. G.L.

    I have had numerous incidents of girls bumping into me, rubbing their breasts against my body, touching me, staring at me, etc. It is something girls do just the same.

    1. Sandra

      Oh how I understand you! I am a foreigner and I am touched, grabbed on different parts of my body or even photographed all the time in Delhi. Cp,Bus Station, metro,market… There is no end to it. My first reaction is yelling and slapping. But then it’s also dangerous, because u never know what the consequences of ur shouting will be. U never know who u r dealing with. Same person can hurt after it. But it doesn’t mean that I will let them touch me!!!

  5. Sanjay Rampal

    Guys, Respect & Help all girls.

    1. vaspri

      Why only girls? Would you not help a boy or a man? Or are men and boys not deserving of our collective sympathy? Or is it simply because you assume that all girls are innocent and can do no harm? This girl was not even sure if the guy was her molester, but seems to think she is justified in what she did. The only reason the guy probably did not slap her back is because there are too many idiots like you who always assume that the girl is right and the man / boy must have done something to deserve it. On top of that, she is bewildered that no one came to help her. Why should they? They are not even sure what happened or whether he even did anything wrong. This is female entitlement to the extreme, just because she is a woman, she is entitled to the presumption of innocence and entitled to judge another human being as guilty and entitled to physically abuse him with no consequences. This woman seems to have got confused between empowerment and entitlement. Mr. Rampal, just think how you would feel violated if a girl turns around and slaps you for no reason in a public space. I am sure you will then think twice before you jump into help every girl who cries foul.

  6. rati

    it seems like someone just wrote my experience !
    Last year,Our college went to participate at fest of IIT Delhi. For the first time, We were travelling by Delhi metro,Same situation – Jam Packed – Me stuck between Men .He was 50 years or something. He felt me up.
    As it was my first experience ,I just removed his hands from my body and went nearby my friends.
    Thanks Delhi for such a welcome.
    Will always avoid visiting delhi

  7. sk

    my suggestion to all the females..plz use women coach to b on the safer side and avoid such situations even if ur with your male friend,,!! don’t blame a place as women are not safe anywhere in this world even if you are in mumbai..!!

  8. Rahul

    I have no words to express how angry it makes me reading this, being a guy myself I can’t imagine what goes through the mind of such frustrated perverts. Only public beating/hanging is the way to make sure these incidents don’t happen again.

  9. Delhinewbie

    I can believe this because it happened to me when I was younger and in a different city. Ignore the comments below. These comments are typical of the rapist mentality. Definitely not from women who’ve had the same experience.

    I’m older and much more aggressive these days. Men like these go for targets who won’t fight back. Anyone who accidentally touches you apologizes. I haven’t been groped in a while. These molesters know who to target. And who to avoid.

    The first time a man touches you like this, grab the groping hand, pull up to your mouth and bite. Hard. Or break the little finger. Easy to identify the groper.

    Yes, I’m worse than the molester. He won’t try that again in a while. Especially if you drag him to the railway police.

    Learn some self defense, some karate or judo. It changes your body language. Wear sensible shoes to run away or stomp heavily on someone’s foot. I’ve done the latter.

    If my brother ever tried that, I hope the victim slapped him. That’s for the commenters below. No sisters, I see.

    And for you commenters, I hope you get assaulted or robbed at gunpoint and then have people blame you for it. After all, you flashed so much money, an expensi mobile. You were asking for it. Right?

    And of course he will act innocent. They believe they are. The Delhi bus rapists, the gropers. And this can happen on any public transportation in any city.

    The easier option is to travel by the women’s carriage or ladies’s coach. That doesn’t protect you on the platform, though. And sorry, don’t expect bystanders to help you.

    1. Anonymous

      It was good dat u slapped. For me any guy standing behind did it. If people standing there cant stop it then they too are equally responsible. These pervs deserve the same. I am sorry to say you had to experience the hell in delhi n my sincere apologies from men community.

    2. Batman

      The author says she was unsure if she had actually slapped the molester or someone else. Helps if you read closely.

    3. victor

      @delhinewbie u sucks u said brothers you r that typed seems you commented good literally madass aged, there is very helpful guys and girls out there in delhi there is so much good people always ready for help not type of sickass like you worst communication commenter

  10. Esha

    Dear writer,

    This is not just in Delhi, it is everywhere in India. Yes, get into any space full of men, like you explained barely any place to breathe even, these filthy creatures will make use of any anonymous moves to molest a women as it is hard to find them out. The reason why we have ladies compartments is because of this reason.

    I had faced such instances during the concert of Metallica, Bangalore, in the local trains of Kolkata and Mumbai too, but did nothing as I would not have gotten to know the bastard.

  11. Srinivas

    Sorry to hear what you had to go through.. But its possible the guy directly behind you was innocent and it could have
    been someone else in that crowd. You don’t randomly instigate a mob to “hit” a person, for all you know
    you could have ended up getting an innocent person killed, injured or scarred for life with public humiliation.

  12. Vid

    after being to so many countries, all I can say is that Indian men are one of the worst lot esp due to muslims. Here, every man thinks the woman walking on the street is his property and things are far worse in North esp Delhi, UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar. And after reading the comments here, I think India is never gonna change ever until women really start slapping such bastards. Education will not change anything, until mothers start slapping their sons for harassing women. No wonder, the west makes so much fun of India and its ‘culture’. Russia calls it a stupid country. By closing your eyes, truth won’t change.

  13. Rohit Gupta

    Im 19yo…frm kol …dnno wt to say bout dis… when I read d lines where d grl strtd crying holding her frnds ..evn I had tears in mah eyes bt m so confused bout evrythng wt if d guy was innocent…?? bt again at dt point of time neither the girl was supposed to do all those judgement. ..jst feeling terrible ri8 nw

  14. Sandra

    Oh how I understand you! I am a foreigner and I am touched, grabbed on different parts of my body or even photographed all the time in Delhi. Cp,Bus Station, metro,market… There is no end to it. My first reaction is yelling and slapping. But then it’s also dangerous, because u never know what the consequences of ur shouting will be. U never know who u r dealing with. Same person can hurt after it. But it doesn’t mean that I will let them touch me!!!

    1. rishi

      dear sandra next time anyone doing it to you like that feel free to contact other friends or ppl like me .. we will beat the shit out of thse pigs who do this to you …… there other good people too in this nation .. and i am sorry you had that experience ….

    2. vaspri

      Which country are you from? Is it illegal in your country of origin to photograph women in public spaces? If not, then do you feel privileged in India because there is a law against it? What about the rights of the photographer? What if she is a woman?

    3. Sandra

      Yes, rights of the photographer…it seems Delhi is full of photographers without professional cameras.I would understand if it were a single case, but when it’s tens of them I will not accept it. Some ppl come and ask for a picture. I usually say no. And it’s my right. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in my country. It does, but in much much rarer cases. However due to the number of people here, it seems to be more intense when the percentage may be just same.

  15. victor

    Its same about all cities not the particular capital delhi, u form Mumbai , in Mumbai group of people kidnapping a girl in front of public that sucks, open gundagardi In Mumbai, Still Im saying delhi is safe for girls and for all , and u sucks cuz u slapped a random guy without knowing that he is a culprit or not.

  16. victor

    @Delhivibe u r an culprit,

  17. Arati

    This article is a reflection of bad experiences faced by women everyday while commuting. No matter what city/town you belong to such incidents are a reality. While slapping the pervert was a fitting reply, you should have been sure that he was indeed the real culprit. However, you are hardly to blame, as such men are sly enough to pass off their shameful behaviour as an accident or worse, misunderstanding (on the girl’s part). During my college days, I used to travel by bus quite frequently. I dreaded coming back home from the hostel on weekends, all thanks to horrible experiences of travelling alone after 6. The jam-packed Friday evening buses of 7.00 pm still give me the creeps, because I remember stomping, pinching and hitting perverts who had the gall to take advantage of the crowd to grope me. They did not spare school girls either, and I have witnessed men being tossed out of buses for feeling up young, unsuspecting girls. I have seen women of all ages carrying safety pins in their hands before boarding buses to ward off molesters. Most females would grapple for a window seat as it is relatively safer compared to sitting at the other end, where anyone could lean and rub parts of their anatomy on your shoulder, back etc. Standing in peace is out of question as there are so many men who suffer from some spinal or orthopedic disorder, where they cannot stand straight and have to rest their weight on the body of a woman. You cannot stand facing them or turn away from them, because their hands are quite agile and can counter any manoeuvre you may adapt to stay away from their wandering limbs. If you are a regular commuter, you develop a kinship with the ladies who have had to suffer a similar plight. Some had even given me tips to handle men who would try to take advantage. It saddens me now to think that we had all laughed off such disgusting episodes as a regular norm of our daily lives.

    Basically, no society can act as a shield for you. Waiting for others to take note and raise their voice is futile. You are your own saviour. Such perverted individuals thrive on the helplessness or silence of the victim. Raise your voice and overcome your weakness. That is the only way to survive in this country. If you don’t speak up for yourself, nobody else will. You cannot reform such elements, only fight them.

  18. Rashika Gururani

    I would say,that you did a correct thing,cause if i would have been there in your side then i would have beaten up that man to death. PROUD OF YOU MISS DARING. Together we need to change this thinking of the people that this is not a common experience.

  19. beachjustice

    This is sick and reading the comments by our men are even more sick and disgusting. It makes me feel dirty.

    I would rather be slapped or have a father or brother accidentally slapped by a girl panicked because she is sexually handled in public, than live in a society where my mother or sister or daughter is at risk of some dirty man doing the same to her and her having to be quiet about it.

    It’s not the same if you are a man because men aren’t brutally raped nearly as often, so of course women fear more. And as a man, don’t you have any sense of chivalry? Where is our nation that one man will not even sacrifice for the safety and happiness of our women folk?

    So disgusting, we Indians really are savages. Even the modern generation has trouble understanding why girls do not wish to be groped.

    No wonder we’re so despised by modern nations with civilized culture and high standards of living and behavior. We really are uncivilized.

  20. LucifeLMartelL

    One piece of advice to women in such situations in future… Instead of pondering
    ” how could this be happening to men..?” when someone is touching you
    inappropriately next time, and then slapping the guy behind you, please use common sense.
    I know patriarchy conditions you to act like “CHUI MUI” (touch me not) when someone puts
    their hand on you, i'm not saying its normal or get used to it or get over it… Its a highly
    vulnerable feeling of one's self being violated, But please next time use your presence of mind and
    When a random hand touches you, instinctively grab the hand till you make the confirmation of whom it belongs to.
    Most probably it will be the guy behind you but if you can't confirm it and cannot be sure then then the whole exercise
    of slapping and howling can be pretty pointless.
    When something similar happened to me getting into a bus in chennai, i caught the hand even before it touched
    my right breast when it was bee lining towards it. The moment i was sure it was going for my breast, i caught it
    and held it by the middle finger and almost twisted it backwards while slowly turning to the face howling in pain.
    I knew i had the right guy. Later in the bus when in the bus he tried to pick a fight with me i even ended up punching
    him in his eye, if he wanted he could have pummeled me after that , but i was lucky he was shaken. No one came to
    my support or defense, never expect people to do so, no one owes you anything and when you throw a punch be
    prepared to be hit back. It would help women of today to be physically fit instead of soft cushiony comfort
    women they mostly are. It helps to be trained to throw a proper punch.
    One of my cousins in a similar situation in a fest, instead of pushing the hand away from her breast, she pulled it to her
    mouth and bit one finger nicely, just to confirm her assailant.
    Common sense can work wonders …

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