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My best friend and I decided to take a walk one evening around the colony I live in, which was relatively ‘safer’ than the rest of Delhi. This was around 7pm, so it wasn’t that late or unsafe to be outside (or so we thought). As we walked along the street talking to each other, a man on a bicycle passed us and sent some pathetic ‘hey baby’ comments our way. We tried to ignore him, and figured he would just go along his way. Unfortunately, he changed his route and started to circle around the area we were walking in, saying more and more. We began to walk faster, hoping to get home quickly because he was really starting to annoy us. Then, out of the blue- he rode his cycle really close to me, held my chin and asked me for a ‘kissie’. I was absolutely FURIOUS that he had the balls to do that and I decided I had to do something.
I waited for him to take another round and pass by us again except this time, I was ready for him. I picked up a huge rock lying on the side of the road and when he came by us, I flung it at his chest with all my strength. The idiot ended up colliding with scooter and was not seriously hurt, but just to make sure he learned his lesson, I picked up an even bigger rock and dared him to come near us again. He didn’t.
My friend and I caught a riksha home, with me still holding on to my rock, my saviour. I was shaking the whole time- with fright and fury. But I will always remember that day as the one when I finally stood up for myself and taught somebody that this behaviour is NOT acceptable.
I wouldn’t advise all women to take the same path, for most men in Delhi unlike that guy would have called a few janglee friends, followed us home and perhaps done something terrible. It’s not always safe to really act on how you feel, given the circumstances but I would advise all women in Delhi to carry Pepper Spray at all times. It REALLY helps, and it’s come in handy many, many times in the city. And it also scares the shit out of these people. Please, please go buy yourselves Pepper Spray. I know you can get it in the Archies in Khan Market. Invest in your safety.
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