It’s been two weeks since I came back to Mumbai. I just can’t help it; my mind is always comparing things between the two places, Mumbai and Copenhagen.
I am originally from Jharkhand. I hope people know about this state in India. When we came to Mumbai in 2001 I was doing the same thing, comparing Jharkhand and Mumbai. There was so much difference between the two places and still is. I felt so safe and free here in Mumbai. I feel grateful that my father chose to live in Mumbai, one of the best decisions.
I have fallen in love with Copenhagen after staying there for three months. You feel much more safety and freedom there compare to here in Mumbai. I used to travel there after 10pm for my theatre rehearsals and never felt uncomfortable.
On 31st October my sister and I went to Bandra and we got a little late while coming back home. It was 10:30 when we boarded the train from a station which takes around an hour to the station where we stay. We had to run to catch the train.
As I was running on the platform I heard a guy speaking loudly without any manner “Bhaago, aur tej bhaago (run, as fast as you can).”
At that time in the night it was more men on the platform and inside the train than women. My sister and I could have got inside any compartment, but we ran only to get inside the ladies coach. The government has taken a step toward women’s safety in Mumbai by providing guards in Mumbai locals mainly for night.
Thankfully, we were able to get inside the ladies coach and there was a police inspector. As we sat down my mind started to compare my train time here with that in Copenhagen. An Eerie thought followed made me numb.
“Why, I never worried about my safety in Copenhagen even though there were so less people and why I am so much worried here in Mumbai, being around with so many people?” I kept repeating the question in my mind but couldn’t find the answer.
Why we women need police guards in trains? Why a guy can stare at us fearlessly? Why can’t women be as free as men in India? Why? Why? Why?