To the man in the pink slip in the metro,
You were wearing a pink slip, jeans, rouge and a matching pink lipstick. You were merrily singing along to songs with your earphones plugged in.
“Next station is noida city centre”
As you moved towards the doors, the horde of people (mostly consisting of young men) moved to one side giving you a wide berth. And you kept singing along. They laughed at you, and conspicuously started talking amongst themselves. You just exited the doors and made your way to the exit gates. As you were doing that, two old couples expressed their anger at your attire.
I also saw you two weeks ago, in the same metro. I was making my way to the coach nearest to the stairs. You were in that coach, arguing. Or defending yourself, I later realized. You were wearing a shirt which had an open back. (This is relevant because I only heard snippets of what followed.) A man raised an issue with it. And this time you replied. It came down to abuses flung your way. Horrible words spoken by callous morons.
But they aren’t to blame, no, not entirely. You were vigorous in your defense, sir. But you were alone and I was a bystander. I am sorry.
You were cornered. You have the right to express yourself. But you also have the right to my support. It’s not asked of me by the law but by the nature of sheer humanity.
I am sorry. I am so sorry.
I was silent and I am responsible too to an extent.
You don’t deserve this. No one does. I am happy that you stood up for yourself, a feat that I haven’t accomplished. I prefer to ignore.
You, on the other hand, inspire.
I hope there isn’t a next time but we live in a country that outlaws the very expression of your existence so there probably will be.
I am sorry.