Monday, October 18, 2010

Twisted Justice?

We all know about the "stick-your-tongue-out" routine kids pull off, right? It symbolizes rude defiance, a salvaged ego sometimes, or even a much enjoyed revenge. Innocent though it may seem, we all have our tongue-out moments ......

I was in the metro yesterday - yes, the very same mode of transportation that changed the way Delhizens travelled. I am not a regular, but I enjoy the adventure sometimes. I had heard of the controversial ladies compartment in the metro. Controversial because about 75% of my male friends and around 15% of my lady friends (and mind you most of them are non metro users - so this is all heresay in the court of law!!) are against this development. Well, I decided to check it out myself.

There are pink (one would think we outgrew pink in school....) markings on the platform indicating the ladies' coach would be stopping there. Unless travelling with a male species who looks adult, women line up near the pink marking when the metro approaches. There is a strange feeling of peace amongst the women when the metro arrives.... ofcourse the pushing and the scurrying for seats happen, but at a more confident pace. Women from all walks of life, all ages and all mindsets - modern new age as well as traditionally outfitted, demure women, find their space in the coach. It is amusing to see 4 machine gun toting law enforcers in the coach - two at the entrance and two inside it..... (am quite sure they are amused as well!!).

Noticed something ..... there was a sense of happy abandon here. No looking over the shoulder to see who had just leaned on you by mistake, no frantic adjustments of clothing to ensure no one is focusing the wrong anatomy, no looking away from sneering eyes that looked at you, discussions about home, kids, work, life in volumes that are normal, instead of whispering....

Are we really this happy to be left alone? Are we really so paranoid of the opposite sex? Do we need such dramatic interventions to give us this feeling of this care-a-damn happiness while travelling with strangers? Did I enjoy the ride ? Ofcourse I did!!! But the most important question of all - is it fair?

My take on this : Ofcourse not! You could see the glares and the disgust on their faces. The glares for the exclusivity we got, and the disgust for the weakness we showed in accepting the exclusivity. Not fair on the men at all!

But then again, whether it is exclusive coaches, or the harrowing travel for a woman on a crowded bus or train - whoever said life was fair? Its that tongue out moment guys..... grin and bear it!!

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