Eve Teasing or Adam Terrorizing?

I think it is time I told the truth about THE BLADE. Truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God…!

I had a Rampuri knife once upon a time. Rampuri is the name given to a switchblade knife. It is standard issue for Bhai-logs in Mumbai I am told. No Bhai worth his salt would be seen without a couple of them lurking on his person somewhere. Blood-thirsty things… the blades I mean.

Six years ago it was stolen along with my handbag. I miss it… THE BLADE  I mean. It was given to me by an old flame, way back in 1989. He was from Bijnor. He was going home on a holiday and shyly asked me what I wanted him to bring for me. In jest, I told him to bring me a Rampuri blade. He took it seriously and helped make history.

I remember I was disappointed when I saw it. I ran my finger along the edge and complained it wasn’t sharp. He was justifiably peeved. He told me the purpose of THE BLADE was to cut people not veggies. The point, I was told, had to be sharp enough to draw blood even with a light touch. Sufficiently chastened, I tried the point against my thumb. The red came welling out… earning me another exasperated look, but impressing me. The point is, it worked (no pun intended). I was pleased, feeling as if I was in business and all I needed now was customers. 😀

Over the next few days I got a couple of instructions on how to use it… and more importantly when NOT to use it. He demonstrated the angles it could inflict the most damage in. I don’t think he was amused when I wanted to try them on him. In retrospect, I think it WAS a mite rude of me… 😛

As if on cue, I was transferred to H. Delhi. [Not N. Delhi… H. Delhi… H as in HORRID. All you Delhi people… it’s no use gunning for my blood. I shall survive you all…!] I was working in the Dhaula Kuan area. It was a holiday that day, for some blessed festival or the other. I had gone to office for some stuff. I knew the buses would be packed by evening and I must leave by afternoon. But… you know how it is, don’t you…? I am a workaholic… and once I sit in front of a system I forget myself and the world. It was 7.30 pm when I got out; ousted rudely by a peon who threatened to shut me up for the night if I didn’t leave instantly. I left.

I come from a small town. The multitude I saw on the roads disoriented me. You know DK (Dhaula Kuan)square? It is massive, right? I hadn’t room to walk. There was no question of catching a bus. I cringed at the thought of spending money on auto… but resigned myself. There were no autos… it was 8.30 by then. I kept trying. No dice. It became 9.30… winter time. Now I was worried. Don’t ask me why I didn’t call. This is pre-cell phone era my child… go out and make a sand castle in the garden…! There was one STD booth… a long way off. Anyway, who was there to call… God doesn’t answer phones. Not mine anyhow. 🙁

I thought I’d better do something- even something damn stupid… or my room-mate would call the police- or worse- my mother. I shuddered to think of the mess I’d get into if I didn’t reach home soon. I had heard of people taking LIFTS. Get up… quick, quick! Go take a peek in the mirror. I bet your hair is standing on end..! Mine did too when SHE gave the fathead suggestion to me. SHE..? Yeah, the fathead inside my head. SHE can talk good when SHE wants to… the nutcase…!

SHE convinced me it was a grand idea… and that I’ll be safe as long as I was careful.

“What careful..?” I scoffed. (The hell with the grammar).

“Don’t take a lift in a car… remember what happened last time you did..?” SHE had lowered her voice conspiratorially. HER tone did my morale a bunch of good. Someday… I swear I’ll kill her… the DUMB piece of sodden wood… the absolutely infuriating bundle of burnt out hay..! [What happened with the car..? Oh that’s another long story. I’ll tell you some other day.]

“Look confident. You know…? COOL..! Not that you can EVER look cool. The word gauche was coined just for you. Just this once- if it kills you- try looking like you have a spine. Or you’ll get us both up the creek without a paddle”, SHE finished encouragingly.

Great! What little gumption I had was under my high heels getting ground into the pavement.

I began flagging two-wheelers. It was 10.15 by then. They were all avoiding me like the plague. No one so much as slowed down. Then… oh, merciful God…! One motorcycle rider stopped and looked back at me inquiringly. I rushed over. He was a young chap not one of those middle-aged lecherous monsters. This one I could deal with. My confidence picked itself off the pavement and tried to mark its presence.

“Are you going towards Karol Bagh, sir? Can you drop me there..?” I asked him breathlessly. When I saw him nod… relief flooded my map. My ingratiating grin nearly dislocated my jaw.

I perched myself on his bike and we were off in seconds. DK to Karol Bagh… you have to go by Shankar Road… with Buddha Park on way, right? When we were near the park, he slowed down a bit, turned his head a fraction and said, “Let us sit in the park for a while… shall we?”

Park…? I went cold. I ball of lead I hadn’t noticed in my throat went rolling down my gullet and landed in the base of my stomach with a dull thud. Why..? Oh, because those days Buddha Park was serving the same purpose as automobile back seats serve in the US. SHE..? Oh, SHE had disappeared. No smart-ass suggestion from her..! My guardian angel came awake though and began an urgent monologue in my ear. I dug out THE BLADE from my bag. This was the second time I was preparing to use it. I flicked the button and the blade made a musical click. I loved the reassuring sound. He heard it too. I slid my arm under his right arm. He- the poor worm- thought I was feeling romantic and was hugging him. He slid back to come closer to me. I held the knife upright pointing it at his nose and quietly told him, “I have this on your neck. In half a second I can plunge it in smoothly. Of course, I’ll get hurt too… but you surely will be dead. Ride on please.”

I felt him shudder. His ardor cooled and he broke out in sweat. He slid forward again… futilely trying to put distance between us. I retrieved my arm and put the point of THE BLADE just inside his collar. He must have felt the trickle of blood running down his back. Yet he didn’t say a word. We reached Karol Bagh eventually. I got off the bike, smiled prettily and said thanks to him. I still had THE BLADE in my hand. I held it up for him to look at. The street light glinted on it merrily. I swear he turned blue. Maybe it was the cold… though I doubt it. A corner lout took one look at THE BLADE another at me and took to his heels like the anaconda was after him- and gaining.

I just shook the blade like an admonishing finger in front of the biker’s eyes. He didn’t say anything and I didn’t either. Though I am sure my eyes told him a couple of home truths and they must have smarted him like barbed wire embedded in his skin. I don’t think he was a bad guy… had he been he’d have known how to deal with an amateur  like me. I doubt he’d ever done anything like it before… or since. He dropped his gaze, kicked his bike and left. I turned and began my trek home too. I know I was lucky that day… damn lucky.

I doubt if he ever forgot me, or my Rampuri. We BLADES are like that.  😀


Note: This was written in 2007 for a Women’s Day challenge. I won the first prize. 😀 This is a true incident. Narrated with no embellishments, no exaggerations- in the raw. Yes, I was a clueless nut a million years ago. How about you?

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33 thoughts on “Eve Teasing or Adam Terrorizing?”

  1. Bravo my lady. I haven’t read or heard anything like this in ages. Women like you make women like me proud. Bless your presence of mind for carrying that Rampuri with you and using it too. Sad that the weapon is a Rampuri . . . the right Sita got to use it though. BTW, why is it called the Rampuri?

    Joy always, dear Dagny,

    1. Dear Susan,

      I believe it is called Rampuri because it is made in a town called Rampur (remember Basanti who took passengers to Belapur and Rampur?).

      Honestly though, the thought of either of my daughters repeating this stunt gives me the hebbie- jebbies! So maybe it wasn’t such a clever thing to do. I mean, it could have turned nasty. But then, clueless nut that I was in those days, all that never occurred to me.

      As the bard says: All’s well that ends well. Thankfully my guardian angel wasn’t sleeping.

      Much joy to you too. May your power multiply. Happy Women’s Day!

    1. Luna… ha ha! Yes this is a true story. 😀

      Blade Rider..? Wow..! Makes me feel pretty glamorous.

      So good to see you here again. Happy Women’s Day to you. May your tribe multiply.


    1. Thank you for the correction Tidymess. Appreciate it.

      And how is this ideal country to be created? Care to share?


    1. I doubt if he ever told the story either Damyanti. I wonder how he explained the blood stains though. I mean, in those days it was unheard of boys to wash their own clothes. Moreover, the stain wouldn’t have gone.
      The courage of the young..? I think that’s the most accurate description yet. The courage of the young is always laced with audacity and miraculous luck. 🙂
      I’m pleased to welcome you to my space. Do come by again.

    1. Purba,

      Thank you.

      Delhi is nasty indeed to all vulnerable beings. Children, young people, old people. One of the reasons I never liked the place.

      Good to you see you here. 🙂

  2. Oh! Wow! You entice me in with great humor and wow me with an act of bravery without ever letting the humor slacken. Kudos to both your bravery and your writing skills.

    1. Suresh, Thank you for your kind words. I am very pleased I managed to wow you! Feeling so smug. 🙂

      Do keep visiting, maybe I can wow you again?

    1. Oh spare my blushes Ritu..! You’re making me shuffle me blessed feet wondering where I can hide myself. Your comment has delighted me. Thank you.

  3. That was one hell of a story! I didn’t know Delhi was unsafe then too! The way you felt empowered and in-control by having a rampuri is amazing. But maybe since Delhi is at its unsafest at the point, I don’t even feel a little bit safer by carrying a pepper spray.

    1. It isn’t only Delhi Akansha. I feel the entire human race has dropped down an abyss of moral degeneration. You cannot shame people anymore. What can protect one if the aggressor refuses to concede his evil?

      I wouldn’t feel safe with a blade today. It is more likely to be used against me.

      Good to see you here. 🙂

  4. What a great story! I have my own Rampuri story, but not a patch on this one. BTW, Delhi is an equal opportunities city — it is equally mean to everyone, irrespective of age, gender, social status. What it is kind to is people with guts — like you. Like it or not, you embody the spirit of Delhi,

    1. To tell you the truth Mimmy, if I were a girl in today’s Delhi, I wouldn’t make the mistake of being out of doors after 6pm. I would definitely not take a lift but would call up someone and ask them to come and pick me up. And I would certainly not pull out a paltry Rampuri.

      Delhi scares me out of what little wits I have.

  5. Pingback: Tea and Biscuits | Serenely Rapt

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