is strange, confusing, beautiful.
Sometime last week I had three creeps creeping me out within the space of half an hour. I'm glad that is over. I was waiting with bated breathe for Dilli to spring its nasty, most-warned-about, surprises on me. For eight months. Phew!
Yet, again sometime last week I returned by buses from Lodi road, walking confusedly around ring road at about 9. There were sundry men (working class, the kind who're aways supposed to be eve teasing and giving you what you never ask for) loitering around. I was rather scared. Nothing happened. I walked back home from Adhchini. One stretch has defunct street lamps. Some men, some of them in groups, walked past me. Nothing happened. But its difficult to say the same about Calcutta. The last few times I've been there something has always happened. Nothing major, nothing creeping out like in Dilli the other day, but fucking annoying.
I don't know bus routes in Dilli. I depend on the kindness of strangers at bus stops. From the garrulent old man who regretted my not having a bus pass to the shy boy (around 20?) with a stutter who told me that I'd have to cross the road from where this bus dropped me to get a bus to Katwaria Sarai, they have been exceptionally nice to me.
Then there are the autowallahs. Except for the white haired creep (Who sang some English songs with the words 'baby' and 'love' featuring very prominently in it) who drove me to Aurobindo Market and addressed me as 'guria', I've not really had a bad experience. I even met a Bangali autodriver the other day. He's from Digha. Working in Dilli for the past 15 years. There was the driver who drove me nuts with his detailed question about dams (constructed on rivers and seas? do they catch fish there? what kind of fish? how come they have a dam in West Bengal and not in Allahabad where he comes from? etc.etc.) and the driver who very helpfully dropped me near my door because it was late (and then proceeded to spoil the camaraderie by insisting on knowing my caste).
Why has this city, with such a horrible reputation, been so nice to me? Is some impending calamity waiting to unfold? In the meanwhile, I can only nod my head in pretended agreement when people say how unfriendly the people, how unsafe the roads for women, etc.
I do, I do like living on my own. I'm lovin' it!