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The need of a ladies coach
"Bhaiyaji Rajiv chowk metro station chaloge" i said adjusting my sunglasses as i bend down a little to ask my daily question to the auto driver. He took 5 secs to respond and said "50 rupay" " Bhaiya 30 rs lagte hai..roz jaati hun.." I said as I started moving ahead to reach the next parked auto. "Come madam, why getting angry?" He said as he started his auto and I seated myself inside the auto feeling content with my negotiation skills. There is a red light just 150 meters from where i take my auto every day from Barakhamba road. The sardar ji auto man wanted to cross it while 10 seconds were remaining for the light to turn red but just then another auto man passed him and he had to slow down and finally push his breaks to stop as the light turned red.
"Aree nikalne deta yaarrr...” he screamed but his words were lost in loud horns and engine sounds of passing- by vehicles.
"Vo nahi hota toh i would have crossed the light...” he said looking at me from the rear view mirror of his auto. It was a 40 secs light and as he rested his feet on his auto seat he started signing... "jaldi hari ho ja..jaldi hari ho ja..ho ja re...ho ja re..."
Punjabis are happy by blood. I smiled (from within) as I heard him sing (though he was very unmelodious). As the lights turned green he started with the auto not moving beyond the speed of 20 km/hr. Such is the Situation of my most loved city Delhi. A distance of 1 km needs 10-12 mins and almost 3 red lights to be crossed.
"Traffic na poore mood ki band baja deti hai" the auto wala said again looking back at me from his front rear view mirror. I nodded. He repeated his sentence assuming I had not heard it. I nodded again, this time a little harder. I got down at Rajiv chowk metro station and handed him 30rs saying "Thankyou bhaiyaji" He was busy checking the Rs 20 and Rs 10 note and hardly cared to my thank you. Well, I moved. I rushed to the platform towards the ladies coach area as I saw Huda City Centre Metro advancing for its halt. I picked up on my walking speed as I didn’t wanted to get lost in the emerging crowd of men and women from the metro as it stopped , but I wasn’t as fast as the train(much obvious) and found myself engulfed in the crowd which moved out as the train halted. While struggling to make my way from the crowd, I did some calculations in my mind of how much time i would take to cover the remaining 4 compartments of the metro to finally reach the ladies coach. I soon realized i cannot make it to my destination as the doors would close any second. So i jumped in the nearest common coach and within Nano seconds the doors closed. "Mujhe garmi chahiye" i couldn't believe what I heard till I heard it again. It was 29 degrees that day with 68% chances of rain after months of intense heat and all Delhites were elated with this uncalled-for nature treat. NO morsel in the earth would pray for more heat. I couldn't help but stare at him soon realizing I was the only female standing there as far as my eyes could roll. I quietly prayed for the next station to approach soon but the woman in me couldn’t tolerate the talks entering my ears. “That timid girl u saw there today, how she pulled up weights..pata nahi kaha se itni jaan aati hai usmai, 40 kilo bhi nahi hai vo...hahahahhha" " us moti ka poora sarr ghoom gaya aaj ek goal karne mai".. And so on. I could sense that those men coming from some sports academy had no sense of respect for any female fellow player.
I quietly made my way to the ladies coach at the next stop feeling annoyed within and eyes bend down. I was standing at a corner of the ladies coach with all seats pre occupied. My eyes soon caught attention of a cute little girl aged 6 or 7 playing standing next to her mother and singing some nursery rhymes. Suddenly i noticed her throwing kisses towards the adjacent common coach. I looked back and assumed that the middle aged man sitting in the coach just next to ladies coach was his father. He waved back asking her daughter to sit on her mother’s lap with actions. I smiled.
"Ma why is papa sitting there and we sitting here?" she said in her cute tone. "This is ladies coach beta" her ma replied. "oh! So is that men coach?" "No, that’s a common coach and anyone can sit there" "So men don’t need a separate coach? It is so bad that papa has to sit there alone and i can’t play with him”. The little cute girl frowned in despair looking at her father.
I couldn’t help but wonder. That little girl is craving for a joint coach so that her entire family can sit together and the woman in me was praying to find my way to the ladies coach as I couldn’t tolerate the sexist comments of men in there. The cute auto driver had no intentions to bother me but still I refrained myself from talking to him as he was a MAN. Doesn’t our world change as we grow up? Is this a part of growing up? If every man in the world is someone’s father/brother/husband then why can’t we feel a sense of safety and get positive vibes from them? The innocence that we girls have as kids is shattered as we grow up and see lusty eyes of men around us. It’s just so unfair!
I rolled back my eyes on the little girl but couldn’t find her with her mother. I looked beyond and saw her jumping on her father’s lap in the common coach.
It’s best she enjoys her time till her growing age stops seeing the unwanted need of a ladies coach!