The Nonymous Journal of a First-rate (t)Wit.
July 24, 2012
Filed under Calcutta Notebook, Development, Obligingly Flippant, Riminess, Spaces Have Tales
Tagged with gender, humour, India, research
About Priyanka NandyFabulous when caustic, lethal when sweet. Dedicated to food, mysteries and public health.
I used to be a mistress of the Burdwan and Bandel locals’ ladies compartments, before the bus service started. There’s a strange thrill in fighting to get a seat and cussing liberally at other equally aggressive mohilas while doing so.
Hardcore, Kaichudi, hardcore.
Nothing like getting to know a bunch of strangers really well, eh?
But the *worst* are the ones who travel in packs. One person will come with 5 rumals and “reserve” seats for her travelmates. Byas, no one else is allowed to sit there or even gaze longingly at the still-vacant spaces, or much fishwifery ensues.
And please know that once you’ve tangled with any group, they will *remember* you forever. And make your subsequent trainjourneys living hells.
I followed Poushali here because I saw a bit about being a mistress….feeling hugely let down and almost de-libidoed!!
Ruma, I love you already. Kaichu, seats? SEATS!!! We’re talking about feet-room here. Today, a girl in a white salwaar-kameez nearly became the noorie come again because a stray punch from a three-women all-out brawl caught her in square in the chest. It was terrifying.
Yes, SEATS. The way you get them is by getting on to the running train as it is still coming into the station, before it’s stopped. You need to shove people off as you’re getting onto the running train, too. It’s an artform, and it requires a lot of proficiency.
And muscle strength. Nottomenshun, elbow strength :-)
Pshaw. Come to Bombay and meet our Koli women in a local train.
I’ve actually brawled head on with hard core daily pasenjaar women in ladies compartments in the Cal in and out bound trains and won! Not alone though – my cousins and I make a deadly foursome. Compared to these victories kicking out sleazy men from the ladies bogie was a breeze.
Also, I agree with Poushali – fighting for these seats is almost cathartic – in most cases when all is said and done and the train moves, everyone just calmly settles down.
Pingback: Journeywoman: Gender and Commuting in Urban India « Priyanka Nandy
Reminds me of the truism “elbow diye thelbo”!
I wish I could ‘Like’ this :-)
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