A Man Pinched My Butt In The Metro And My Mom Said, ‘Ladki Ko Aadat Daalni Padti Hai’

It’s June 6, 2015. I have just given my exam sheet to the examiner. The English exam of B.Com IIIrd Year was quite easy. My two best friends and I are quite happy and taking selfies outside the examination hall while waiting for an e-rickshaw as we have to reach the Jahangirpuri metro station. I am wearing black top and black and white palazzo pants. I feel a little awkward as it’s the first time I am wearing a palazzo but I also like it.

The e-rickshaw arrives and the three of us head to the metro station. There is nothing new, the same metro and same crowd and the centre place connecting the metro where college students usually sit. My brother is waiting for me at Kashmiri Gate as my friends are going for an outing with their male friends from there. He will accompany me. It’s all fine till now.

My brother is standing in a queue a little away from me as there are uncountable men waiting for the next packed metro. Finally, the metro arrives, and with that arrives the incident which will haunt me for the rest of my life.

As I enter the metro, I feel a touch on the right side of my butt, a hand is pinching me. That’s not just it, a man is trying to press his dick against my butt. I want to yell. I want to turn and push him par itna zyada crowd hai that I am unable to move even my hand. I am searching for my brother. Where is he when I need him the most? I am crying and all this happened within the few seconds when we entered the metro. As soon as I get some place to move, I turn back and give a tight slap to the man right behind me. I am not sure whether he is the same person.

Thank God, I find my brother. I tell him, “Bhai someone touched me inappropriately. I want to throw him out, I want to beat him up but I don’t know who he was. There was an uncle standing beside me and my intuition says that it is him.”

My brother replies, “I am alone. Main akele kaise maarunga, tu hi bata (How will I beat him up myself)?”

We reach home and I hug my mom and tell her everything that happened to me in the metro. I get an unexpected reply from her, “Beta bhool ja, ladkiyon ko aadat daalni padti hai. Hum kuch nahi kar sakte. Bhai bhi kya karta vo akela tha, use koi maar deta toh hum kahan jaate? Shukar hai kuch nahi hua (Child, forget about it, girls need to get used to this. We can’t do anything. What would your brother have done too? He was alone, what if someone had beaten him up? Where would we have gone? Thank god nothing more happened).”

These words hit me like an arrow directly into my heart. I think, “Is se zyada or kya hoga, bhai ko bhejte kyun ho mere saath, ek formality ke liye jab mujhe apni raksha khud he karni hai toh? (What more should have happened? Do you send my brother with me as a formality? What’s the point if I have to protect myself anyway?)” I know that my brother is a very nice person. He is one and a half month younger to me but has a strong built and is a 6 feet 3 inches tall boy who could not stand up for me when I was in need.

This is the first time that I am sharing this incident which has given me a lesson that your life – your safety is only yours, only you can save it and stand by it.

Featured image for representation only. Source: Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images
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