I live in New Delhi. Fondly known as the Rape Capital; the situation here is beyond pathetic. Reading about cases of lecherousness, eve-teasing and groping where the woman/women quietly bear the brunt of male brutishness made me sick and furious at the meekness of womankind. I always felt affronted at the thought that in a nation that worships woman in the form of a fierce lion rider; the woman herself is afraid to land a kick in the crotch to a crotch that cannot behave. I believed myself to be an educated, vocal and brave woman. Silly me. Reality struck home a few days back. While travelling aboard a jam packed, sweat filled bus I realized I am not the ass-kicking Goddess I believed myself to be. This particular bus that I am talking about had absolutely no place to stand properly even. I had given my seat to an old man and he returned the kindness by holding my heavy bag. As I next to the seat, ear-phone jammed in with Adam Levine crooning at a very high volume I found myself to be the recipient of a poke in my lower back. A trickle of unease dripped down my spine. I chose to ignore it, telling myself it was because of the sharp swerve the bus had taken. The poke came back. I swallowed, a pool of dread formed in my stomach, maybe the intestines too. Through the screen of my phone I looked at the reflection of my poke-man. A volley of insults in a bevy of languages queued up in my mouth and died in my lips. I wanted to kick him, hit him and get him beaten up by the crowd but my limbs simply refused to move. I felt violated and revolted. I resolved to give the man a piece of my mind the next time he did this. Right on cue he poked. I removed my ear-phone, managed to turn around and gave that filthy creep what I think was a look of absolute disgust. Mustering all my courage I said to him in a reasonably loud voice to move his body away from mine or else I would have to slap him. His only response was to grin in return and say “Madam, where’s the place?”. In an equally sickly sweet voice I retorted in Hindi “Make some place or I shall make it by getting you thrown out.” The smirk on his face launched me into a tirade of abusive language that would make a drunk trucker proud. People standing around us heard the melody in my voice and fearing public wrath he got down at the next stop. The momentary happiness that I felt at having faced my poke-man was soon replaced by shame. Shame at my cowardice in not being able to slap him or protest at the very first instance. I was saddened by the knowledge that if an “educated , vocal and brave” woman showed such hesitation; what hope did a meek woman have in a country that is full of pigs of the male chauvinistic variety? I returned home with a humbler mind and a perspective that was now enriched by personal experience. I no longer haughtily sit atop my pedestal rather empathize with what a woman goes through. I hope to God that if not the first, we stop these rascals the third time at least. I hope we don’t bear the ordeal in silence. I hope we all find the courage to raise our voice.