Me vs. Delhi

New Delhi Travel Blog

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Seeing that I only wanted to get away from the crowds and the heat, I didn’t bother do the tourist thing in Delhi.  Not this time around.  I’m guaranteed to be passing through Delhi again after hitting the north.  I’ll be tourist on the way out.


My most memorable incident in Delhi?


I was walking down the street in Paharganj (the budget backpacker street) after buying myself a ticket from the train station for the next day.  A creepy, short Indian man started following me down the busy street trying to strike up conversation.  This I’m used to so I ignored him knowing he just wanted to ask me if I had a boyfriend.


Suddenly he reached out and grabbed my purse to pull it off my shoulder.  Not a very good ploy since I already had my hand rested on the strap of my bag.  I easily grabbed my purse back out of his clutches. 


Unfortunately, this was simply a distraction to conceal his ulterior motive.


Letting go of my purse he changed tactics and grabbed my right breast.  Immediately I pushed his hand away and started hitting him, but being petite, I didn’t exactly pack much of a punch.  So I started yelling at him calling him a pervert and pointing for everyone on the busy street to see.


But of course, no one did a damn thing.


Some of the women looked at the pervert in disgust and hurried away.  The men, however just went along their usual business.  Despite being the tourist district, there were no other foreigners in sight being that it was low season.


I couldn’t figure out what was worse: the fact that this happens so much in Delhi that it was becoming futile to help a woman in need, or that because I was a woman, a foreigner woman no less, there was no crime, no disgusting act committed?


It got weirder still. 


My creepy, Indian molester didn’t run away.  It was at this point I got a good look at him and I realized that he was high as a kite.  My shouting and pointing didn’t embarrass him. 


I wanted to head to the safety of my guesthouse, but refusing to show my back to the fucker, I ordered him to walk away.  Which he did, but unfortunately, in the same direction I wanted to go in. 


For about a hundred meters I kept shouting at the pervert and pointing at him in order for him to keep walking.  You see, he kept stopping and trying to come back to me.  It was terrible, trying to keep my stoned stalker in front of me without revealing which guesthouse I was heading towards.


When I was sure he wasn’t looking, I ducked into an alley and retreated to my guesthouse.


And then what was I supposed to do?  I told the guesthouse owner about the attempted purse snatching, but really, what was anyone supposed to do at this point? 


Um, I’d like to report a creepy-looking, short Indian man…..?  He had dark hair…..?


I would like this country more if I didn’t hate half the people in it.

Connie says:
Yeah, it was the fact that no one bothered to help me that surprised me the most.
Posted on: Jun 28, 2010
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New Delhi
photo by: peeyushmalhotra