8:30 AM, Yellow Line Metro @ Saket Metro Station in New Delhi.
This week I had to rush to Gurgaon, to attend a seminar. It was a week-long series and I was nominated by my senior manager to participate in it.
Soon, after I entered the metro station, I realized it was not a good choice after seeing the crowd. But there were not much options available either. As soon as I reached the platform, the announcement alerted the Passengers for an incoming train terminating on next station (Qutub Metro Station). There was again a huge crowd that un-boarded that train to catch the next train to Gurgaon. This extra load of passengers was suffocating and worrying me. I decided to move towards last coaches as there were relatively lesser people towards end.
The train came in and halted, and the crowd struggled hard to fit in the already over-crowded metro coaches. I was already running late, and could not afford any more delays so I was mentally prepared for this kind of struggle. Somehow, I was able to step inside (actually the people standing behind me pushed me in so it was not my effort at all). Since I was standing on the front row, I was lucky to get inside the coach but the people behind me had no option except to wait for next train.
The train started moving with a jerk, but the inside, it was so densely packed that even a powerful earthquake would not make anyone fall. There was no space at all. It took me 5 minutes to adjust and make space for myself so that I could stand in a civilized, human-like pose and balance myself.
To my left, there was this another guy, with a lean body built. We were facing opposite sides of coach (so basically could see each other face to face). He asked me to put my backpack down to make it easier for him and more room for fellow passengers. I was hanging my back on same side where he was standing so it might be causing a problem to him. I accepted his suggestion. Now I was holding my bag in left hand and was holding the handle on the roof of the coach from second hand.
The train was jam-packed, no doubt. There was no room, no doubt. People were standing very close to each other almost embracing the person opposite to them, and the distance between them was so negligible that you could not tell if they were just about to kiss each other or was it a result of jerks due to metro movements that was making it happen. So everyone was standing in a pose to avoid a face to face position with next person to avoid further embarrassments.
After a few people behind me exchanged their positions, to let the person reach the front door of coach who wanted to get down at next station, I felt that the new person behind me was in extreme proximity to my body. His whole body (his front side) was directly touching almost every inch of my whole body (my backside). Initially I though, it was because of my fears and reservations that made me think this way. I tried to make myself understand the lack of availability of room and over-crowded coach the reason for this thing and assumed it is normal under these circumstances. But I was wrong. There was no room available to me to move. Initially, the person had relatively lesser contacts with my body, but he did make sure that whenever there was an opportunity (breaks applied) his body was completely touching mine.
Feeling uncomfortable with this, I tried to incline forward so that I can avoid his body touching mine but it was not practically possible. Slowly, in a couple of minutes, the incidents of his body touching mine was increasing. I felt that his body was now in constant touch with my body all the time. There were only times when the train caught speed and that force was trying to create some space between our bodies, when our bodies were separated. He even did not allow it to break apart completely.
My doubts about this turned into a reality when I started feeling frequent thrusts on my hips after a short time. His upper half of the body was now constantly in touch with mine and the only gap that was intermittent, was between his body and my hips. Soon, this gap was also eliminated as I now felt more frequent thrusts on my hips from his body every few seconds. But whenever there was any opportunity in the form of breaks or slow-downs in metro speed, he pushed himself harder on me. I could feel that he was standing right behind me exactly covering me in the center of his body. It was very embarrassing, frustrating and frightening situation for me.
After approximately, 10 minutes, when a huge chunk of crowd un-boarded the train, and there was plenty of room, the first thing I did was to move a few steps away to a different position to make a comfortable distance from him. And when I turned back to see who he was, I saw the same lean, young guy who had asked me to take off my bag from my back moving from the position behind me to opposite end of the coach.
I may be wrong in assuming things here, which is highly unlikely. All the logic and arguments fail miserably to explain it to me that he did not do it deliberately. Also, I am unable to understand why he then suddenly moved away if he was not guilty?
I am also disappointed. Is it somewhere written on my face that I am such an stupid easy target? Why me? Do I look abnormal? How did he took such a daring step, in such a crowd, to a 6 feet man? I mean, I was stronger and taller to him physically and he should feel some sort of fear to face dire consequences for his ill doings. It is not just first incident of this type. How could people be so insensitive to others feelings?
It is breaking me down and I am catching a kind of inferiority complex. Do I not look or behave manly? How dare a stranger behave so wrong with me, especially with someone who is physically stronger to him?
I talked to my roomie and told him the incident when he came back from his office in the evening. He first got irritated and abused him furiously. I had hardly seen him ever in such angry mood but this time, I was feeling good on his wrath on that stupid metro guy. It made me feel secured once again.
After a few moments, he smiled and kissed me on cheek and said, “What could he do my dear, it was not his fault either. You are a master-piece. Please forgive him.”
Now I am thinking what exactly did he mean !… Was it a Sarcastic compliment?