So today I decided to travel by Delhi metro once again after almost two years now. The thought of reliving the college days excited me immediately which was enough for me to let go off the comfortable Ola ride. So, as I was waiting for my metro to arrive, I suddenly saw a phone flashing at me.
At once I thought that the man holding the phone was clicking my picture, but then he immediately put the mobile phone on his right ear which ensured me that he was on a call. “Phew! You are ok, woman! Just go ahead” was the thought that helped the ‘silly’ me to get inside the metro.
No sooner did this momentary relief turn into an absolutely uncomfortable situation. I saw this same man sitting across me, still on the phone. He tried to pass a smile at me, and I ignored. Accidentally I happened to look at him again after two minutes and this time to my utter shock, he was not just smiling at me; there was more. He had his tongue stuck out of his mouth, and he made some vulgar gestures to convey his lust towards me. I wasn’t sure of what I just saw so I looked at him the second time and trust me this time it increased.
Helplessly, I looked at other passengers around me who were merrily looking inside their phones. I struggled to look for a constable, but there wasn’t any present at that moment. By this time we had crossed four stations. Gathering some courage, I informed the girl sitting next to me about this situation. We both started staring back at him together, and he seemed to have noticed that. Thinking of that as the right moment to escape, he got down at the next station, and I could just manage to shoot a video clip behind the closed metro doors.
Once this was over and I was again relieved that the man is no more around me, however, I saw another man staring at me. Unable to catch a breath, I decided to get down at the next station, and I did. The moment I stepped out, I called up a friend (who I had met the same morning) and started sharing the incident in a teary voice. I still remember the first question that I asked him, “am I wearing something provocative that everyone is looking at me?” I also felt a lot disappointed with myself that I could not utter a word to him. Why was I seeking help? Why couldn’t I raise my voice? Why do I still see myself as a coward, silly, voiceless and helpless woman, while that man would be standing there, laughing and repeating the same thing with other women?