My First Experience of Sexual Harassment in a Public place
The bus that day, was swarming with people like honey bees huddled in a hive. My brother was accompanying me and we had to reach home on time. Else maybe we could have waited for the next bus to ferry us to our destination. He took the ticket while I was managing to breathe through the reeking sweat stinking humans all around me. Ok this was how we traveled in Delhi around five years ago. Things have gone for a transformation with the air-conditioned metro coaches and buses.
I somehow had to place myself in the front of the bus and was choking with the clutching and clamping. In the Delhi buses, men do not behave most of the times and the mannered ones are those who enter from the rear door and occupy the back seats.
There was needless pushing and pulling, and I felt that had the people behaved in a more disciplined way the ceaseless congestion could have been avoided. Now why I remember this journey is because of a pot-bellied man who was standing behind me, and all throughout the cruise, I could have only remembered him groping my body. He was foundling the lower half of me while trying to squeeze the upper half with his hands. It was an unnecessary act of gluttony I had been subjected to and had I not gathered all my force to push him back and shout at the top of my voice, he would have raped me surely. This being one of the first incidents that taught me the importance of retaliation. It also made me a fan of cabs and rickshaws, and until the metro wasn’t introduced in Delhi, public transport was a no-no, come what may.
While on my way to church on another day, a man halted his car next to me and offered a lift. As if I had sent him an SOS message to come and save me from the frustration of waiting for a bus. I kept walking away from him but it was important for the male entitlement he enjoyed to pester me. Finally I retorted to the idea of dialing the PCR’s number. Then there are many tens of instances that have made me feel like a cloistered clamped human trapped inside the body of a woman.