Delhi gang-rape case: A conversation between two pavement dwellers

Filed under: Featured,General,Governance,Latest,Perspectives |

She saw him at his usual spot, rummaging through the trash, hoping to find something he can use.

“Hey!” she said in greeting.

“Hey!” he responded with a smile. “Warm day, huh?”

“Yeah,” she smiled back. “Find anything useful?”

“Nah,” he replied nonchalantly. “What about you? Collect anything today?”

“No,” she replied, her smile diminishing. “Not too many kind folks today.”

“Ha!” he laughed. “Fine pair we make. A beggar and a tramp!”

She laughed. It was difficult to stay sad around him. His exuberance was contagious. Ever since she first bumped into him two winters back on this very street, she had met him nearly every day, but she hadn’t seen him upset even once.

Life wasn’t easy. Food was hard to come by. There were several days when they went hungry. Shelter was a huge problem as well, particularly in the winters. But nothing ever dampened his spirits.

“By the way,” he turned to her, his expression suddenly grim. “Did you hear about that girl in Safdarjung Hospital?”

“What about her?” she asked.

“Seven men in a bus picked up a girl, thrashed her, gang-raped her and threw her out of the moving vehicle. She’s now fighting for her life in the hospital.”

“SHIT!” she exclaimed, horrified. She stared at him, struggling for words, her face writ with shock and disbelief.

“H…how did you come to know about this?” she stammered.

“Muthu. He saw the whole thing. He knew something was wrong and ran after the bus screaming his throat off, but no one gave a shit.”

The two looked at each other in silence.

“Men can be such animals,” she said quietly, tears welling up in her eyes.

He nodded solemnly. They spent another minute in silence.

“I tell you,” he said. “We are much safer than the women in this city.”

She looked at him silently.

“I mean, there’s hunger, there’s the winter, and there are these horrible drivers on the road, but I don’t recall a single incident as gruesome as this that’s happened with any of the roadside types I know.”

She wiped a tear off her cheek. “That’s true.”

“Well… there are horny chaps around us, there always are. But who does stuff like this yaar?” he exclaimed.

She agreed silently. He began prodding at plastic covers in the trash.

“Remember the time earlier this year, when those four a**holes from Pankha road got after you? They clearly wanted to have their way with you. Remember?”

“Yeah. And I asked them to get lost,” she said.

“Yeah. I still remember how they slunk away, ashamed,” he said, pausing as he remembered that day. “Shit like this never happens with us, unless you are literally asking for it.”

“True.”

He poked at something on the ground, and looked up to peer at a plastic bag a couple of feet away near the middle of the road. “Oh well,” he said. “What is it to us?”

He smiled his cheerful smile at her, and leapt towards the plastic bag.

“Watch out!” she shrieked.

He skipped away just in time, barely avoiding the tires of the car that screamed past him.

“F**king dogs!” screamed the driver, sticking his neck out of the window. He spat angrily and threw an empty plastic bottle at them that they dodged easily.

“Are you okay?” she asked him after the car had disappeared. He sniffed at his hind leg.

“Yeah, just a scratch. I’m fine,” he said.

She watched him sit down and begin to lick the paws of his hind leg. A second later she made herself comfortable next to him in the triangle of sunlight that shone through the dense branches of the trees. It was a warm day indeed.


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  • Varma

    That was a nice one, Mama. When I started reading, I thought it was a bit insensitive of you to write something like this, but you gave it a nice twist by revealing who the pavement dwellers were. Very aptly written. I hope sense and humanity prevails and such incidents never happen again, ever.

  • Shreyas

    Sensetive..Indeed! The reason I like dis site is because it knows where to draw a line.. Keep up the good work Mama!

  • Sri

    Perfect.

  • ajayendar

    good one mama..i see you like your twist right at the end..i think there was another one with MMS like this :)

  • Pritam

    Very very sensitively and gracefully done Mama. It brings out the actual helplessness.I guess capital punishment is not enough for them.

  • Pankaj

    Nice one Mama,
    Just shows that satire is not just about fun and laughter.

  • Theultimatechennaisuperkingsfan

    This piece is one of a kind, mama.
    The disgust* which mounted in me after reading 4/5 th of the article evaporated after reading d last few lines…………pulled it off very well..

    * now i perfectly understand why one of my one of my earliest pieces got rejected mama, it is very very difficult to write a non-provoking piece on a sensitive topic..

    Lastly,
    Shame on us indians. The incident occured in our national capital

  • Deepika

    So sensitively written. Brought a lump to my throat.

  • indian

    awsummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • Lokesh Bahety

    Very honestly, my eyes welled up Mama. The rage immense, yet the portrayal graceful. *bows*

  • Andy

    The roadside incidents do happen, but not comes to the media attention. However it is true that for them, survival is the most important issue than anything else.

    I dont think any other better way to write about this incident in unreal-times. Great work!

  • himanshu

    short of words..

  • http://www.lafemmenirvana.blogspot.in Nirvana

    I must admit, when I started reading, I was seething – but when I finished reading, I couldn’t help but admire how much you have put thought into this one – it cam out just right, buddy. Sensitive, hard hitting.

  • Unreal Mama

    Thank you all. This one was from the heart.

  • Ravi

    Brilliant !!! It is a Dog’s life is passé . It should be
    ‘A delhite’s life’ going forward

  • Niveditha

    I cried after reading this.

  • http://gowthi.blogspot.com Gowthaman J

    Nice!!! It touched the heart..!

  • suresh

    really touching! You are really super Mama!

  • Sudarshan

    Unreal Mama left the scene a little too soon. Other wise Mama would have heard how the lady whispered to her friend of two years that they should be more careful in future when they nuzzled together under buses to guard themselves in pouring rain. He reassured her saying that she has no reason to fear because the government has already taken all necessary steps to make the capital city very safe from marauding bus operators. The Mukhya Mantriji had cancelled the licence of the offending bus; and the Gruha Mantriji of the country had taken even sterner measures. He had ordered that no bus in the capital city would have black films on its window panes. Make sure you return home before the sun sets and do not dress provocatively. No harm will come to you, he reassured her.

  • rohit

    i cant explain how gracefully u have dealt with the most rampaging issue of this time. After reading this the anger has changed to a silent thought where i feel like we really can just watch, and in the other moment something within us pushes us so hard to go and fight for the damage that is done.I really hope someday the later will win for all.