A few days ago, I was at Gwalior station, waiting for a train that just wouldn't arrive. Since I travel very light these days, I just swung my bag on my shoulders and proceeded to walk about, mostly between the enquiry counter, the platform and the tea-stall.
The man approached from a distance. I could see him but didn't notice him until he extended an arm and tried to wrap it around my waist as he walked past. For a fraction of a second, it didn't sink - what just happened? But instinctively, my hand had latched on to his arm. Even as he began to walk away, I pulled him back and with the other hand, caught his ear, and asked him (in Hindi), "Where do you think you're going?"
Young man, checked shirt. From his expression, he didn't seem to realize what was going on.
He just stared, then asked, "What do you want?"
"I want to take you to the police station."
He tried to walk off again. I hit him on the arm and twisted his ear. A few people gathered. Most paused half a second to glance at this new tamasha, and walked away.
He stepped back and struggled free. Then he got out his wallet and began to produce credentials. Some sort of identity card. "I'm not just anybody, you know..." he began.
I snatched the card out of his hands and yelled, "What do I care about this? What difference does this make? Come to the police station."
A few people asked, in passing, "What's going on? What's the matter?"
He said, "I didn't do anything."
I slapped him.
Before I could ask anyone to help me take him to the police station, he snatched his identity card out of my hand and broke away. I was about to follow him, frightened as I was, but right behind me, there stood two railway police cops. In uniform. Not saying a word. Watching.
I saw the checked shirt receding, disappearing into the crowd, and decided to forget about going to the police station. Instead, I went to the ladies-only waiting room, to seethe in silence, and to glare at every man who entered the room whoever briefly.