Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kaat Kaleja Dilli

A wish... 

One fine day, on the way to office, I was feeling very happy. Fortunately I was on time and I could see that morning was shining and the day was so refined. That day I  started my exercise routine and was feeling refreshing. It was a fine sunny morning of winter, in my Denims with full sleeves Hosiery Kurta and a long big buttoned Jacket I choose rickshaw to drop me at the Chandni Chowk Metro Station.  I must admit that I am not habitual yet I have accepted the odd scenes on the way to the Chandni Chowk metro station.

                                      So this is how it started: While I was in rickshaw near Old Delhi Railway Station Parking in front of Royal Hotel at fathepuri, I saw a pathan which I assumed from his clothing - a pathani suit, Muslim cap and that checkered cloth covering his both shoulders was ridding on his bicycle. He was carrying something on the backseat of his bicycle in a plastic white gunny sack. He could have managed two more rounds of his bicycle wheel, when with a sudden unexpected jerk from a passing auto made him to knock down on the road. I was in abrupt expression of – OH MY GOD!!! But before I could switch to my normal mode he left his cycle on the road, removed his black plastic slippers and took one in his hand and started running before the red traffic signal could turn to green. He managed to reach to the auto and banged the auto driver’s head with 4-5 bombs by his slipper. Such an out of the context reaction was unexpected but I was more surprised by the reaction of the auto driver who without saying a single word escaped in hurry and spectators laughed and clapped as he returned to the cycle, where another spectator was standing holding his bicycle, seemed impressed. I saw the pathan’s face who was still irritated by the whole episode did not bother to absorb the quick stardom, rode his bicycle and was off to continue his journey. I was smiling on this whole funny situation and yet I was thinking in my mind – “what a bad start that auto driver received, he was in such a hurry that he did not even halt to respond the ‘Pathan’. And even the Pathan, how short-tempered was he that he ran to the the auto driver to teach him a lesson in this way or he already started the journey with a weird start which resulted to this situation.

I was still occupied with my thoughts and started observing the daily shores of my journey to Metro Station covering Novelty Cinema, Fatehpuri Traffic Signal Chowk, Dr. Shayama Prasad Mukherjee Marg Market where there are many Travel and Tourism Small Shops which have recently reformed during CWG, they have recently segregated a lane for Cycle - Rickshaw where at times Municipality Men on Duty wearing MCD caps with lathi in their hands direct the escaping rickshaw wallas on the main road to stay in their lanes, where people on one side bathe in open and some young children in the groups discuss or share  the new object they have found like a radio, cigarette packets, used condoms and sometimes kachori and poori from some roadside Bhandara.  On a routine, I see two or three drunkards lay flat on their backs with loosen cloths and exploiting their dirty body (and sometimes they cross limits of nudity) many times I have seen dead bodies of such overdosed alcohol & drugs consumers on my day start which is sometimes covered by clothes and sometimes lay plain with flies kissing them on their last journey and people are hardly concerned and cross over them and resume the day. Daily remarks from the road side roamers and hawkers are complimentary with all these chaos. Surprisingly, it is the route to the entrance to Old Delhi Railway Station where every national or international visitor receives such a welcome just by stepping in the Capital of India and school children also pass from the same route. 

                                        However it is something I have always accepted as a part of our society, have just believed that all of them are different people which cannot change neither by themselves nor by the governance. Beside there are number of things which I love about Delhi, other than the reason that it is my Home. 

I reach to Kaudia-pull entrence of chandni Chowk Metro Station from where I entered from Delhi Public Library Gate I turned towards the elevator where I saw a school boy of 10th-11th standard coming out of the lift at a quick glance I saw him looking at me with improper astonishment which I casually ignored as it is something unavoidable in Delhi. At the same time, I realized that a middle aged man was entering the lift rapidly As I had started my exercise regime that day only, I  thought of switching to the stairs. I remembered that there were seventy-two stairs I counted sometime back and I was quickly stepping down. When I realized that it was the same school boy who left the lift few second back was besides me and he has slowed his footsteps as per my speed and came forward. Before I could realize he turned towards me and lifted casually his left hand and touched my torso on the right and started running. I ran behind him yelling, angrily but he ran and boarded the lift again and moved to the Ground level. Furiously managed to control my breath I moved towards the entrance of the metro gates, i noticed that people where gazing me awkwardly. I was red with mixed feelings of anger, irritation, embarrassment and humiliation as I could still feel the gentle touch of his hand on me. It was more the feeling of hatred! 

                                             I generally read books on my journey and sometimes carry my laptop too, I sometimes keep my wallet in hand along with my mobile phone but today I was feeling dishonored and scared what if he would have snatched any of my belonging I couldn’t have able to chase him. I couldn’t read a single word. 

Few days back I was at home waiting for my fiancée to return home he recently switched his job to a luxury car company in Gurgaon from where he commute via metro to Noida it is almost two hour journey I was waiting for him to reach home when I received a call from an unknown number.  It was him. He was kidnapped for 2 hours outside his office and was robbed by taking his laptop and other accessories. They made him withdraw his salary from various ATMs and then they left him somewhere in Gurgaon from where he managed to reach to a house and call us. After two days Haryana Police managed to catch those robbers in one of the encounters after another robbery. Where we came to know in last 3 months they have number of cases of robbery and women-molestation against them. I was unable to sleep for many nights after this incident, horrified with thoughts of what not they must have done or said to him. 

We have been hearing many cases of bike gangs, X Gang, Y Gang, this robbery and that murder. There were more the two dozen cases in last month of short temper resulted in murders and of young rapist. That school boy I encountered at the metro station was in his teen who was preoccupied with his lust in the morning. 

A month before these circumstances I was shopping in Chandni Chowk with my fiancée. When in a shoe store after purchasing a pair of new sandals I was told by the shopkeeper in friendly tone: “beta, be careful of your laptop bag, it is chandni chowk, you never know.”

I understanding that he is unaware that I belong to chandni chowk only, replied: “Don’t worry uncle I am also part of this chandni chowk”

I was joked by my fiancée later that I was commented by somebody standing in my chandni chowk to be careful with it and he made an absolute fun about  it and had a good laugh, knowing how I always get annoyed if somebody say something inappropriate about my Homeland. I was totally avoiding his reactions and was taking those casual jokes as sweet remarks between both of us. I knew, inside he was always aware how much our capital – my home mean to me.

But after all these ongoing reckless episodes I have asked my brother to call me when he will reach to metro station so that I will come out. I do not roam around and also taking special measures to ensure my safety. In short, I am scared, have controlled and jailed myself keeping my liberties aside. Although living in a middleclass Brahmin family we hardly stay late at night or roam around in abandoned places but my journey to the office and Sunday afternoon shopping have also reduced to locked, dependent and short-crossings. I admit that I am feeling unsafe in my Home – My Delhi.

This writing piece is not particularly about me but it is a wish: I know many people love Delhi the way I do and god forbid, knowing many such stories they have spared out to encounter any such situation but if they will, they can also feel they way I am feeling today. I really wish some miracle will happen and all this could end. Our Delhi will not remain to road side poor people who are habitual to their daily assaults or high-society, lavish-class who are unapproachable to these situations. I wish all of us who use Local Transports and walk on road could live freely in Delhi and will not feel unsafe like me. 

Thanks & God Bless You!!!


  1. it is a matter of pity that our city is not safe for better take care of u nd ur loved ones....