Off late I have been subjected to a lot of sneering when I have compared Mumbai with Delhi. The answer to most of my questions has ended in Dilliwallahs (make no mistake for I too am one) taking pride in the metro rail which first came to Delhi in 2004. Never mind it’s existence in Kolkatta since the mid 19th century. So, when I was on my way back from my mom’s place this morning, I ended up chatting with a police constable who too was travelling in the same metro as I was. I had woken up with the news of 2 minor girls being gangraped by 5 men at 6pm in a park in Amar Colony. Not only was I angry but I was also disturbed for I could see the impact such news has on my parents and parents of any and every other girl in the city. I am 32 for God sake but my dad still insists on me reaching home before 7 pm (which will become 5 pm since the winters are approaching). Anyhow, let’s go back to the chat I was having with that police constable. I asked him why is there utter lawlessness in Delhi? I mean there are cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkatta and none of them are so essentially anti women. Delhi is clearly the most sexist city I have ever lived in (I have lived in almost 5 cities in this country). After about 30 seconds he replied … “Madamji kya hai na, ki Dilli ki ladkiyaan zyada bigdi hui hain. Ab iss metro mein hi dekh lo … ladjies compartment hai … hai ji … phir kay zaroorat hai marda wale compartment mein chadne ki” … I should have been appalled by his reply but I could only feel a gurgle of laughter deep inside me. My next question was … “But Sir … baki cities mein toh aisa nahi hai. Wahaan bhi toh local trains hain. Wahaan bhi ladkiyaan general compartment mein travel karti hain”. He again looked around and said … “Madamji, aap baki citjies ki baat mat karo. Wahaan metro nahi hai. Dilli mein dekho …. AC mein ghoomta hai aam admi”. I thought he had missed the question in my statement … So once again I pressed .. “Sir, metro toh theek hai par safety bhi toh zaroori hai. Aur yahaan toh basic safety measures missing hain”. At this he seemed irked and pat came the reply …“Toh kaun kahwe hai ki raat mein 10 baje metro mein jao. Ghar jao apne apne 5 baje tak”. This really got on my nerves … “Aap ka farz hai humari raksha karna. Aur agar aap hi aise kahenge toh iska matlab yeh hai ki Sarkar ne rapists ke aage, robbers ke aage ghutne tek diye”. Well my aggression, it seems, put him on a slight backfoot and by now those around us had started to take interest in our conversation. The lady sitting next to me vigorously nodded in approval and echoed the same sentiments. Our conversation led to a lot of chatter on the same topic. People were angry with the law and order situation in Delhi. After a few minutes Dwarka Mor came. Fortunately, that constable and I, both got down on the same station … After getting off the train, he said … Madamji, Sarkar ne metro di hai na ladjies travel ke liye. Aur kitna karegi Sarkar … Aap ke pass Dilli Police hai, Women helpline number hai … Aap log uzje kariye usse. Madamji … Bombay aur kalkatta, kahin metro nahi hai” … With this remark, he walked out of the station. I stood there in scorching heat wondering why is security not considered an entitlement? Why is it a mere privilege to be enjoyed so long as you can evade being the target of sex starved men in this city? I guess … I will never have answers to such questions and every single time I will be required to travel at night, I will have no other option but to take the metro! Kyunki metro hai na Madamji ….