This is Saba, one of our trainers. Today, she was late for our team meeting for the most interesting reason:
“I was travelling in the local train today, when a man who looked to be in his 40s came a little too close for comfort. He proceeded to elbow me in my chest. I froze, but let it go, assuming that it may have been a mistake since the train was packed. Just a few minutes later, I saw the man doing the same thing to another woman. She froze, too. I asked her, “Did that man touch you?” She said yes. Now I just knew that it wasn’t a mistake. This man was touching women ‘accidentally’, on purpose.
This is when I remembered the principles of MukkaMaar, and decided that I wasn’t going to let this man go. I closely followed him in the train till Dadar station. I got down right behind him, and stayed behind him, simultaneously looking for authorities that could help. I located the police at the end of the station furthest away from me. There was no way I could get the authorities to catch this man without him getting away. I grabbed him by the back if his collar, and dragged him across the packed station. He tried to escape, which only further fuelled my anger, and that burst of adrenaline helped me tighten my grip and allowed me to get him to the policemen standing there. All the while I screamed as loud as I could, trying to get their attention from afar.
I explained my situation to them, while this man was constantly pleading, saying that it happened by accident. My outrage was sparked by the statements made by such men, wherein they blame the kind of clothes girls wear for the atrocities tht befall them. In comparison, I, clad in a burqa, should have been left untouched! And the nerve of the man to say it was an accident! I barked at him, swiftly telling him that it was no accident that is elbow landed right on my chest; nobody can try and take away from my testimony, the awkwardness and rigidity I felt in my body in that instant.
We went down to the police station, where I was shocked at the readiness of people to beat this man up.
The police gave me two options: I could either choose to file a formal complaint, or I could choose to have him shaken up by the cops a little and then let go. I chose the latter, since I had a MukkaMaar team meeting to get to, and asked the cops to really drive some sense into that man, and then let him go.”
This just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where a woman is, what she’s wearing and what the time of day is; she is vulnerable to assault, even the ‘accidental’ kind. We are proud of Saba for having had the courage and determination to follow this man and see justice through.