…And then you must have guessed what happened next. It’s midnight, she is alone, stranded with no phone, no cab, no friends. It’s New Year’s Eve, there are drunkards roaming all over. It’s Delhi — such an unsafe city. There is a guy approaching you — he is a rapist, of course!
This is exactly how we describe this city and it’s men.
Naturally, this Bombay girl echoed a similar perception two years back when she found herself stranded on the streets of this city at midnight.
“I was in Delhi on 31st December when in the middle of the night I got separated from my friends and to make things worse I had misplaced my cell phone. I was terrified at that point — it was past midnight, there was not a single cab in sight. I tried asking five or six women for their cellphones but they looked through me and walked away. I was lost and just standing on the road when a man approached me and asked me what was wrong. All kinds of things were going through my mind — you hear so much about Delhi being unsafe that I was terrified.”
But then this was also the night she realized how perceptions are illusions created by media and society. Not all people are bad and may be, not every Delhi guy is a rapist.
“..but this man who came upto me said, ‘don’t worry, I only want to help you’ — and that’s what he did. He cancelled his own plans and dropped me to safety. That’s the thing with this world — we read so much that we stop believing that someone wants to help and on the day I needed it the most, it came not from the 6 women who I thought would help me out, but the 1 man who approached me. Not all men are like the ones you read in the papers…so stop believing it.”
And then, another woman shared her experience on the comment thread.
And to be honest, even I have received help from the strangest of men in this city when my car broke down or when I couldn’t figure out the right address.
How easily we defame an entire place and its people on behalf of a few. Delhi is conveniently named India’s rape capital and it’s pretty difficult for outsiders to understand that women work, party, hang out here just like any other city. Yes, we are apprehensive and afraid — but that simply doesn’t mean we have stopped living our lives. That also doesn’t mean every Delhi guy is an eve teaser, molester or a rapist.
While unfortunate cases do happen here, the truth is it happens in other cities of India as much as it happens in Delhi. Delhi is the national capital so naturally, things are reported here, while in other places most of the times they go unreported. Violence against women is a global problem.
We might still have to fight for a safer India or a safer world for that matter, not just Delhi specifically, let’s stop stereotyping for once and all.