Monday, August 06, 2007

Life in a Metro / The Case of the Predictable Post-title

Listen. Boo.
I am DONE with the voices in my bloody head. I have NO bloody time for them.

* Anyway, I've been taking the Metro to work nearly every day, and there's a lot to learn from those trips. For instance, to avoid being teased or having your boobies elbowed, it's important to really observe potential teaser/molestor, and - ok, this is a timing thing - just at the right moment, when you can see they're edging towards you, ready with filthy tongue, (or hand, as the case may be) you ask them a question. Anything at all. Like, bhaiya coffee house walla gate kis taraf hai? or something. Takes them completely by surprise, and all they can do is answer and go their way. Cuz these people? Cowards, all of em. Of course, the method is far from foolproof, because most of the time we're aware of the harassment only AFTER it's been done to us. But you know, on the rare occasions that you Can tell that a man is walking directly into your path because he does want to ram straight into you, yea? You get the timing right with practice.
Ok, explain to me, someone, why I canNOT say breasts.

* Little children can be horrifically nasty to each other. Seriously mean. Just the other day I made a child nearly cry and got glared at by her doting mum.
There was this bunch of tiny girls and one of them, presumably the ringleader, was literally heckling this other girl, who was from the same school but was standing slightly apart. Why? Because the poor kid was drinking from a small water bottle, as opposed to the gigantic ugly ones, which, now I know, are the latest fad. So the bully got her cronies to make up a tuneless song about how only stupid girls drank from small water bottles. So, ever the supporter of the underdog, I caught the bully by her hand, made space for her to sit next to me and then went on to make up a story about the Evil Water Monster of Bigbottlia who took the shape of water and entered the tummies of naughty children and caused the 100-day tummy upset. Uhm, and some other things.
Ok fine, I feel just slightly bad now. I swear I was NEVER a bully in school. Honest.

* When the train stops at Kalighat station, from Rabindra Sarobar? You need to sit still and watch how the women run to get a seat. Their faces light up with purpose and determination and they pounce on the nearest empty space. Straight out of Animal Planet. It's a beautiful metaphor for life. Not good that it's all I can do to keep myself from laughing out loud. I've always mixed up my metaphors.
No, but really, and it's amazing how there are so many women who think they're half the size they actually are. They're going to squeeze in for a sitdown, have one thigh on mine, rest their perspiring arm on my shoulder, and sit hunched and crooked and almost out of the seat, like there is no discomfort in the world. So, YOU, who are reading my blog from work right now, instead of subbing tomorrow's top piece, if I ever come in all sweaty and stinky, that isn't me. That's Jolly Boudi's left underarm.
So really, what is the deal with magazines and men complaining about how we're always thinking we're fat? Dude, get on the Metro.

* This has nothing to do with the Metro, but if I ever write a play or a story about this city, it will have an old man in a white baniyaan and lungi, smoking a brass pipe by the window. I see him every day. Sometimes even when he's not there.


dreamy said...

Hilarious post!!
I SO agree with you about the female seat grabbers.

Anonymous said...

this was cool ... almost made me feel i was sitting in the metro waiting for park street door to open on the wrong side!

Sukhaloka said...

The strategically positioned arm also works for the molesters.

and the women are positively MILITANT about getting their corner of seat! You catch some men preferring to stand in a bus rather than be the sixth person on the last seat. But if it's women... they'd rather have seven Fat Ladies falling off the seat than one of them standing up!

Spin said...

Old men by windows. Theres something very sad about that.

Saswati Biswas said...

on molesters - have you ever tried stepping on their feet with one heel and then putting your entire weight on that heel? I have done it often - it feels sooooo good ! and try twisting the heel slowly ....

March Hare said...

Brass pipe? Take a photo.

Rimi said...

You feel bad about teaching a brat a lesson she forgot before she left the train? What is WRONG with you?

(I know one who sits at his table with the sun streaming in from the left. He's never there, but I see him all the time too)

wildflower said...

good one on molesters...but 'most of the time we're aware of the harassment only AFTER it's been done to us.' IS true...

And that you see the old man even when he is not there...talks about fatigue & mundanity of our lives...

nice expressive post!

Dhruva said...

(this is a "Present Ma'am" kind of comment)

Unknown said...


But atleast its better than Blore buses

(erm...roll call comment )

rainbeau_peep said...

It's all I can do to stop them from resting their thighs on mine.

lol. I've always wondered about that, actually. Also, why does Netaji Bhavan smell of dead fish?

Brilliantly put. The sweaty armpit-nuzzle is the worst.

sad ki? I don't know. Something very old, a loving permanence ... I think. Very much like the city. I don't know. Or maybe it's just that I never knew my grandfather. Ke zaane.

Uhm. Ok. Calm now. Deep breathe.
Ki bhiolence.
(I once slapped a dude. Only he wasn't molesting, but leering from afar.)

March hare,
o ma. photo nebo kyamne. fleeting. shetai bhalo. dreamscape dadu. :-p

You gimme hope, Joanna. But these days infants pull my hair. When they're not grabbing my boob. I try and play dead, cuz really, tiny babies? What can you do if not indulge them?
Khub mushkil.
[Hain, oita khub sad. I don't how yours is sadder than mine. Maybe because yours is static, more .. feeble? Mine has ... a dignified defiance about him. Also, he's a stranger. Unlike yours?]

is that what it is? i don't know really, i'm usually either too stupid or too much in denial to be able to probe my thoughts. :-D I don't think it's fatigue, though. It's beautiful, and rare. And lasting in a way that is just so .. certain. I will always see him, it doesn't matter if he's for real or not.
Hmm. Not fatigue, jaanish to. Calm.

Lily. Don't be silly. :-p

toke kono ekta karone amar bhishon kyalano'r kotha. shiggir mone kora, nahole kyalabo!

mojo said...

na really...tell me...what pleasure do these men get out of elbowing breasts?its lasts for a fraction of a second...they cant feel much na?

rainbeau_peep said...

seeing as how, more often than not, i'm the elbowed and not the elbower? i'm thinking, dude i have no frikking idea.

Anonymous said...

haha the bullies deserved it. Me no thinks you should be feeling guilty in the slightest!