This decision of DMRC to designate ladies only coach sounded a bad idea to me as after commuting in DTC buses, I hell knew women get to sit only on those three seats, rest of them remained men’s fiefdom! This turned out to be true as in a metro of five coaches or even six; women are relegated to just one coach while men rule rest of the coaches! If government has such love for ladies, why not give three to them and three to men! So this blog post by ‘nm’ a blogger, about her friend who was ‘mentally harassed’ by people in a General coach of Delhi Metro finally made me write this piece, reading which you would know why is it a bad idea.

Now this girl had a horrible experience and we know about it now as blogging helped her narrate her experience however through a friend but most of us would agree that this is not a once in a while incident and this is not something which does not happen everyday whenever ‘women’ go ‘out there’ to interact with the real world. All points of intersection in life outside home, including that call to the rickshaw wala to that seat in the ladies coach where general coach is the adjacent coach, involve harassment. By the time you get a rickshaw in the scorching heat, you are done with your share of being ‘checked out’ and as of the ladies coach, which you thought is safe, also think about those horny men who occupy the partition between the two coaches and stand with their eyes in the direction of ladies coach. I overheard one of them saying to another, “Yaar mein toh yehi khada hota hoon, saari ek hi jagah mil jati hain”.

So with this as the vantage point, I will first narrate my own experience- every girl can tell you atleast one experience where she was at the receiving end of a lot of humiliation, only because she was a girl.

It so happened that to reach my college for the first class at nine, I could not afford to miss this 8:13 Metro which was about to leave at any moment. I was still at the last step of the escalator and ladies coach was pretty far from where I was. Generally I travel in ladies coach- here generally means 90% of the total times that I use metro. It is not about my safety as I am confident enough to slap back any stranger who tries to be touchy-feely but what do I do with preying eyes, which check out every female anatomy as if they are lying in their bedrooms watching porn! Every woman out on street looks like ‘on sale’ to such people who lack character. To fix them with my staunch look or murmuring of abuses (at times murmuring abuses- chaste Hindi ones help as these scumbags get the message that they are not being welcomed with warmth!) is not what I would want to do first thing in the morning. So I finally settled for a seat in the general coach. Now it sure is a general coach as besides ladies coach, all the coaches are for people of all the sexes. Still men take general coach to be ‘men’s coach’. Maybe after all the female feticides and lack of opportunities for education and employment, males actually outnumber women on streets (and metro coaches). Thus seeing that their ‘tribe’ has more members, men get under false impression that a non-ladies coach is a coach for men by default!

The seat that I had occupied in the general coach was the one, which has space for seven people, and I was the only girl sitting there (for reasons explained above). To begin with, all the people (read men) who boarded the crowded metro (morning rush), stood with their faces towards me and I so know the feeling the girl in this blog post must have had, as literally you feel surrounded by men, toppling over each other to fall over you. I could not have helped my situation practically as I could not afford miss the metro and neither could I reach the ladies coach with the entire crowd pouring from nowhere. Also, convincing all these guys to stand straight and excuse themselves from leaning towards me was impossible. The kind of look they give you when you say something never heard before!

The only option I was left with was to read the newspaper I had in my bag. It was an Economic Times, which I guess must have hurt the male chauvinist in the coach as women according to them, don’t talk business! I was just about to successfully take my mind away from this when a man, around 55 in age, came to seat himself on the vacant space besides me. Now do you know that angle at which someone is sitting such that his body can push yours anytime if you are not careful? Well this ‘old man’ was sitting in such fashion and was trying to keep his stuff below the seat. I immediately folded the newspaper back and waited for him to mind his posture and his ways! After getting such reaction from an ‘alert’ me, this person asked me in a sarcastic tone, “Mam you have a problem?” to which I replied firmly, “yes indeed, can you please bring yourself to settle in the seat a little more sooner because you may push me and this is making me uncomfortable!”. And now happened what always does, suddenly it was Men United! This guy addressed them all, looking for acceptance, “dekhiye in mohtarma ko lagta hai mein inhe touch karne aaya hoon!” (See this lady thinks I am here to touch her) sensing his ulterior motives to insult me, I snapped back at him, “It is between us, settle it with me or if I will involve my side of support, you would end up in a miserable position!” Such a warning was enough for him to lose his mind as maybe no girl/woman till date had given him the dose I gave and he so invited! He started murmuring and the entire coach tried to offer me a good 10 minutes of humiliation as my station was still away. To fight back the questioning eyes, I shouted at them for being such losers who think general coach is not for ‘ladies’ and thus aim to make us feel so bad that we remain in the corner, which is now officially designated for us! Somewhere in my mind, I was resolute to not escape the truth that men think the world is only for them and but they hell have to wake to a new truth now-The world is as much mine as theirs!

To be Continued

Thoughts expressed are personal.

Comments

the author

Author is a media graduate and holds a Masters degree in International Relations from South Asian University (SAARC), New Delhi. Monica is on Google Plus. You can also follow her on Twitter- @trulymonica

7 Readers Commented

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  1. Akhil Pulotil on July 5, 2012

    what they call equality of gender!

  2. Hoorayforpeepee on July 6, 2012

    Monica, I sympathize with your situation and I have no choice but to say a lot of Indian men have zero sense of shame and the tendency to experience extreme amounts of blood rush into their penises on the sight of a woman. That’s just a combination of animal instincts and lack of education. But that’s a completely different story altogether.
    What my question is, after seeing this happen to you and to a million other girls, what have you done about it? You don’t plan on coming home every night. making a blog post about your daily life experiences and assuring yourself that you’ve made a change in this world, do you?

    • Monica Verma Author on July 8, 2012

      Its just to motivate those who read it to put up a fight

  3. Priyanka on August 17, 2012

    Reading your story first of all only one thing came to my mind that you are sick and go to the psychiatrist as you believe every men out there (may be you include your father and brother and other male relative of your family) sees women in the same way. the way you described the incident make me feels sorry for you.
    I am myself a girl but felt ashamed to even discuss it with others.
    if you dont feels safe in male company you could walk a bit to women coach as all cars are attached

  4. Rajneesh on September 4, 2012

    Well just by chance stumbled on this write up of yours while on way back on metro after missing my office cab back and desperately trying to kill te time whilesurrounded by hoardes of people ( one thing which cones to my notice that out elite and to an extent middle class has simply abandoned travelling in metro preferring cars spending 10 times and scoffing every inch of roads).
    And I can understand the discomfort of girls ( and lots of “elite” class).

    But I would beg to differ( with due acknowledgement to your unpleasantness females face) to the inflammatory way it hasbeen written. It gives an impression that all the males are prying on women with their explorin eyes. I mean I do accept that there are such lunatics and females need I be careful of. Bit at the same time there is substantial large population who give required space, rather there would be many who keep a large distance.

    So pls don’t paint all in black. Black sheep are black sheep. No case of defending them. But pls don’t paint as if the men’s coaches are molesting grounds.
    I have come across many instances of unreasonable females in public transports which leaving bad taste wondering what makes them behave they do.
    And in fact I am saddened by total absence of colour from such dry men chambers because of this stupid idea of segregating the sexes. Who in he world will glorify such inititatives. Not me. (no pun intended. ) metros were full of life few years back. :-)

    Well. I didn’t intend to trivialise ur points. And I accept that such people exist and women need to keep a distance hearing the horrific stories.

    What I differ is the load that u have addedto your incident.

    And I would always be a champion of spread of colour from first to last coach :-)

    Well don’t mind my mindless blabber as I have been able to kill this agonising free travel from noida to Dwarka. And since I am 2statjon before my stop, I stop.
    It wad good to read ur blog though. ;)

    BR

    Well I didn’t intend to trivialise female agony of few psychopaths.

  5. parveen kr on February 21, 2013

    in every situation , girls want more. what is harm if my face is in front of a girl ? am i looking at her ? who decide. in morning time,metro and all public transport have heavy rush. we have to push people to enter in a coach. you need to tell government for special services in Delhi like railway or dtc buses also in metro. remember gurgaon incident, how can you said to all men are trying to rape you by eyes. we have all type of people in our society. till today, i don’t ever see a young girl who offer her seat to a elder even handicap male. but men regularly did this gesture. n

    i think you are sick and need a proper medical care for corrections.

    sorry for my harsh words but only female wants equal status and also reservation for them
    very funny.

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