I was on a bus. One of those local buses in Kolkata where you stand really really squeezed into a tiny space. Now, I was standing near the ladies section at the front. Another girl a little older than me was returning from her job.. she squeezed in next to me. Behind us there were some men. Now this girl near me was feeling a little uncomfortable and she told the man behind her to take a step back. There was a little space to his left. But he did not move. I could see the hesitation in her face and just how uncomfortable she was feeling. She requested the man to move again. Again he told that there is no space without making any effort. Now she got really frustrated and told him(A little angrily) “What is your problem? I am asking you three times and you just do not wanna move!” To this the man loudly and sarcastically started telling his fellow men “Look at this lady. What is she exactly accusing me of?? It is as if she is saying that I am staying her on purpose” . To this the lady to her credit replied “Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.. so as you have understood please move” Now this man made some more mocking comments related to her. Through all this I was silent., observing and thinking. Now on my nearest seat there was an elderly bengali lady, very respectable looking and demanding attention if she spoke if you know what I mean. She said “Stop!” Please adjust a little bit, this is a bus and these things happen. And the man took it to be in his support and started telling the lady to adjust. Now the lady on my right started speaking and said “Why cant you try to move a little if she is uncomfortable? What is your problem? Ladies do face problems like this so do not try to escape from what you are doing by pinning the blame on her and mocking her!” And I was thinking that times are slowly changing.. ladies are speaking up for other ladies.. Now this man started mocking the other lady too. Now we cant let that happen,. can we? So I politely told him.. “Hello, can you look to your left? Theres a tiny liny little space there see? Now you dun really want to stand behind her on purpose right.. so it s all right just go stand in peace there, yes just there. She wont harass you anymore the, right? You will be quite safe, Thank You!” and winked at the lady. Now the conductor squeezed in more people onto the bus and invariably they came towards the ladies section! Now this elderly lady started telling in a commanding voice to them to go back! and then will some amusement I heard other men calling out to people who were squeezing here to move back towards the men section. And feeling a little proud of being a girl, I laughed. Of course people looking at me did not understand my sudden laughter!!

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