He thought she would be too embarrassed to raise a murmur. Who can blame him for falling on her every time the bus jerks and what if he carelessly brushes her shoulder or grabs her from behind? He reasons, it comes with the territory. You just read the mind of an eve-teaser in the city. But this story has a twist.
The woman, a journalist, returning home after a graveyard shift, stunned her offender senseless with a “well-timed back elbow punch”. “That’s all it took. I caught him off guard. I guess he will think twice next time he tries something,” says 22-year-old Poonam, an expert on hand-to-hand combat.
Eves to envy: Poonam is among the new breed of Eves in the city who have found ‘imaginative’ ways to deal with the vulnerability of being a woman in Delhi.
Talking about this trend psychologist Preeti Jain says, “The attitude is offense is the best defense. More and more women are learning martial arts to protect themselves.”
The most popular self-defense training sessions are the ones organised by the police department in the city. Delhi chief of Police K K Paul says, “We have been conducting such sessions from time to time and the feedback has been positive. Besides, college kids and housewives, we train working women. We want to teach them to act on the spur of the moment which can make all the difference.”
Confidence cover: This newfound consciousness among the capital’s women is also helping anxious parents sleep better. Says 52-year-old Kiran Chadha, mother of three daughters — “Delhi is an unsafe place for women. I am naturally concerned about my daughters. If they are trained to defend themselves it will be very empowering.” Well we certainly can do with more desi Lara Crofts in this city of hazards.
Twenty-four-year-old Shalini, working for a Gurgaon-based call centre says, “since I trained in kickboxing and karate, I feel fearless. Now I feel like I can take on the world!”