The Awful Experience of the 1st Time I Was Groped by an Indian Man

Less than a week has passed since I wrote the post “Danger! Are Women Safe In Bangalore?” and I have an update!

Honestly, I have pretty much stayed on my high-horse and continued breaking the rules that every single one of my friends, colleagues, and wonderful people who have commented on the post about safety have told me.  I didn’t want to be limited to running around my new city on foot only during the daylight hours.  Seriously, this has now become my least favourite thing about Bangalore … so I keep trying to push the boundaries.

Well, tonight I had my first taste of the consequences of being a rebel “after dark” pedestrian.  Unfortunately, I waited until dusk to head out to buy my copy of DNA (I really need to subscribe!).  In theory I was only going two blocks to the little closet-sized news stand around the corner, so I had plenty of time go there and come back to the flat long before sunset.  Sadly my little neighbourhood news stand was shut and since today my driver wasn’t here because I didn’t think I’d need him, I decided to just walk the six or seven blocks down the cross street – away from the high street – to the other news stand I frequent.

I had my Blackberry on me so I was happily distracted catching up with my lovely friend Peter back in Spain on Whatsapp…when all of a sudden, I felt it.  A small hand squeezing my right butt cheek!  WTF?  I had just been groped for the first time in India!  UrbanDictionary.com describes a Groper as: 1. someone who tries to sneak sexual touching while the other person is unaware. 2. takes advantage of people who are passed out 3. a pervert  Well, both 1 and 3 work just fine for my story.

I stopped dead in my tracks, turned and said “Are you serious?”  I’m not sure why those were my magic words but can’t change it now.  This scrappy, short guy who looked like he’d been throwing back a few beers up the road had the nerve to look at me with an innocent, blank stare and a big “what” nod.  What an ass!  So I backed up a step, because he had stopped just in front of me, and I now expected him to step aside.  But the guy wasn’t quite done playing with me yet it seems.  I moved to the right and off the road, stepping up onto the sidewalk but he was right behind me so I stopped and moved back to the street.  And yes, he followed me there too.

Two lovely ladies and a really nice gentleman both were apparently watching what was going on and started walking our way and speaking in local language Kannada to this idiot.  The women looked like they could have gone Ninja Turtle and really taken this guy down too, gotta love how little patience they have this sort of behaviour.  I looked at the three of them, put the palms of my hands together in front of my chest, bent forward and said thanks.  Then backed out of there and kept going.

Of course, this was not a dangerous situation and I am NOT trying to exaggerate it into one.  There were tons of people walking around the streets because it was only 7pm and I was on a busy’ish cross street.  BUT had it been later, had there been fewer people around, and had there been a few guys instead of just that one idiot, I probably could have been pretty damn scared.

Okay, okay… you were all right and I give in. No more treks out by myself without having one of my guy friends with me. I am not happy about this, especially since it turns dark SO EARLY here in Bangalore 🙁

So, I am publicly declaring that I WAS WRONG to try to continue to live my life as if I am still living in a small, quiet village in Spain.  I am going to follow the rules from now on.  My friends, colleagues and my fellow bloggers have told me time and again how to behave to maintain “harmony” with the system.  Yet I kept throwing on my James Dean ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ attitude, doing what I pleased, and basically tried to prove them wrong.  But, tonight’s little moment has worked its magic and made me realize that I really should not head out on my own, unaccompanied, after dark.

I have told two mates about this little incident and so far BOTH asked me the exact same first question: “Did you slap him?”  Uhhh, no!  Hmmmm… I don’t ever picture myself hitting anyone in a situation like that to be honest.  Not my style.  It just wasn’t that big of a deal and I certainly wasn’t in any danger – just annoyed.  But I would have no problem turning bad-ass and doing anything I needed to in an actual situation where I was in danger.  But for a groper, I think I’ll try to keep my “what an idiot” mentality and avoid becoming too fired up over it.

Odd but true…one thing that has come out of this tonight is the reality that I indeed have now been groped.  I was really hoping to take the train one morning this week for the first time just for fun and sort of hoped that I might have an authentic Indian train experience with my first groping taking place there!  I mean, the Indian train groper is legend …but they are TOO LATE now 🙂

XOXO from Bangalore

© Angela Carson and Angela’s Adventures in Bangalore blog and photos, 2011

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Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 32 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). By day I'm a digital nomad and by night I'm a passionate storyteller. I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!
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35 Comments on “The Awful Experience of the 1st Time I Was Groped by an Indian Man

  1. What a jackass!! I hate such people.. They’re the reason I have to follow those ever-annoying rules. : 😡
    I must admit though that the last paragraph made me giggle.. An authentic Indian train experience?! 😛 😛
    Love the spirit! Keep going! 🙂 🙂

    • Hey Angela, You know what? I have been groped in broad daylight several times and have slapped a few.
      The reason they do it is known to just them. I would suggest you one thing…if something like this happens with you,or somebody you know…just don’t be afraid to slap them back! coz this is what they deserve. These guys think all foreigners are easy, they sleep with anybody.These jerks think they can do whatever they want.
      Stop them!

      • Ok ok … but i need some assertiveness training in this i swear. I am a killer at work if i need to be but slapping someone on the street… need some practice 🙂

        • Hey, it's simple really. Just pull your right arm way back & let loose with all your fire onto his cheek. But don't get back at him by targetting butt-cheek 😛 . Let him have it right acroos his face.

    • hehe, ya sort of –oddly- bummed a train groper didn’t de-flower me but I can’t change it now, haha. And YES, you were the fellow blogger with the rules I refer to, but you know that 🙂

      • dont slap anyone until the limits are crossed too much… otherwise the situation can turn anytime violent because there are many cases where people avenge for such things and thats not good

        • I don’t disagree with you but you tell me what is “an eye for an eye” here when some creepy, dirty man touches and squeezes my body for his fun?? I’m not a violent person but being violated like that should have SOME consequence attached to it, right?

          • You should definitely give it back to him. But, yes if there are more guys & not many other people around, it would wiser to not get physical- – "Discretion is the better part of valour here"

            But then, it pays to avoid such localities & situations entirely. Even a guy would not be really safe in such a case, been in it & was lucky to get away in one piece; though not in Bangalore, but Pune.

  2. Well well well Miss A, firstly you lived in a quiet village!!! honey it is gay, nobody is going to grope you there even if you are walking around all night naked!!! I know because I tried it!!!
    That small quiet village is safe if you are a woman, I am sure the guys have been groped…. they just love it tho, so the don”t call it groping they call it flirting!!!!

    I was walking through BCN with Sophie on Saturday around 7pm and crossing a main road which was full of people, when suddenly she shouted “OMG, someone just grabbed my arse!! Very loud in Sophie style, nobody looked back and as the predator had already passed and was on his merry way, it left Sophie feeling very angry that anyone has the nerve and thinks he has the right to grab another person as he pleases (it could have been a girl!!!) And taking advantage of the amount of people around, he disappeared into the crowd.

    Someone who exposes himself or grabs you is usually a bully and a good telling off usually makes him feel small and run away. But don”t underestimate the people out there, you are a blond American living by herself in a City you don”t know well enough yet, so if the locals say you have to stay with a group of people they know best. And confrontations can end up nasty!

    On the up side, at least they still want to grope you. In 30 years you are going to begging to be groped hahahahhahah. Ok, ok before everyone starts getting uppety with me that was a very bad Tess joke.

    lol stay safe.xxxx

    • hahhaha OMG I can absolutely Sophie getting loud and proud on the Ramblas like that, haha. Love her!! And yes, I need to listen to the locals better. And maybe be a bit more agressive with my response. My diplomatic approach is probably not the best approach here is it? But I disagree with the comment about likely begging for a grope in 30 years…I bet both you and are start begging for it sooner than that, haha!!! Love and miss you chickkee, I saw our photo of the Wii Fit competiions and smiled so big last night. xooxo

  3. Angela you should be more careful but girls dont go out for drinks and party late night in middle class society mostly in urban society its okay so if gonna behave like in spain or california u r in trouble girl. Be careful its indian and you cannot walk around after 7 as you do in spain its commonsense

    • I agree that I have to follow the “walking at night” rules 100%. I should have listed to everyone long ago 🙂

  4. Hi Anjela, sad to know that you were put into discomfort. It is not that only foreign women have to go through this and therefore women are very careful when they go out late. Needless to say do take necessary precaution.

    Just to let you know I do enjoy reading your blogs. The one on Masala Dosa left my mouth watering… miss the masala dosas in cairo….
    Enjoy ur stay in Bengaluru

    • hehehe…glad to have made you drool thinking about masala dosas! Hope Cairo is treating you well 🙂 –ang

  5. oooppssss..ys it happns here dear…listen 2 ur frndz,bt dat dosnt mean that what u want u cnt do,but u cn discuss wid ur Indian mates and make sure that wld b safe..njoy ur life …tc..cya..

  6. Hi Angela,
    The first, second & third time I was groped in India I was just as INCREDULOUS as you. I was like WTF? I’m 45 yrs old & dressed ‘conservatively’ (long sleeved salwar kameez). Apparently the ‘gropers’ expect you to be completely humiliated. I’ve found the best thing to do is scream obscenities as loud as you can at the offending male, (‘chootiya’ & ‘gadha’ are very effective) also point your index fingers at his face. (The American middle finger salute is not readily recognized in India) This usually embarrasses them to no end & they run. 😉

    • hahahaha omg that had me laughing so hard! Thanks for the advice, girl… will learn some obscenities this week to have ready for next time — ang

  7. Hi Angela, I am sorry that you had to go through this outrageous incident, so soon into your stay here. I have lived both in Delhi and Bangalore and can say that Bangalore is the safer of the two cities. In fact, it is possibly one of the safest cities in the country. The infrastructure sucks, but there are always trade-offs in life ! 🙂

    As an Indian woman having some insight into the egos of Indian men, I’d recommend that it is not a good idea to react sharply/violently upon being groped or molested, no matter how infuriating and humiliating it feels. I say this because such reaction may invite a vindictive/dangerous response on the part of the molester, which may cause more harm to you eventually. Of course, this is not to say that you must quietly bear this ignominy. I’d suggest you get yourself a pepper spray or similar devices for protection (these are hard to find in India). Also, keep the phone numbers of local/ nearby police stations readily available. The common all-India emergency line 100 may not always be efficient. Also, it is a good idea to threaten to call the police when faced with such scumbags. If you feel they don’t understand English, just utter the word “police” loudly.

    Considering you got groped at 7 pm and would have been dressed “appropriately”, it is obvious that such molesters do not go by any rules for their actions. So, one must always assume that “anything can happen at any time” and always be on the lookout of for troublemakers. But yes, if you venture out in the night to party or dine, it’s good idea to not travel alone and always take a cab (preferably driven by a known/regular driver)

    Sorry if this sounded like too many (obvious) tips but I thought I should give them to you in any case! Living in India as a woman can be unpleasant sometimes, and more so for a foreigner 🙂 BTW, have you thought about colouring your hair to a darker color to avoid inviting attention (assuming the attention is of uninvited variety) 🙂

    Take care! Cheers!

    • I love your comments. And appreciate it. My mates kept telling me not to go out on my own but I hate it… yet, they were right and I learned my lesson. As for dying my hair, I am soooooo conservative with my hair, I would never consider that. It’s funny because I am super adventurous with the rest of my life. I have my pilot license, I have ridden a Harley, lived in Mexico, travel… but I freak out when highlights are too obvious on my hair, haha… so I will stay blonde and just deal with it here 🙂 big hug, angela

  8. Greetings,

    I don’t know if you have ever played soccer or football? But, a kick in the guy’s family jewels would have sufficed ! 👿

    Indian guys (like most guys ) hate being humiliated in public !

    • haha, if I can’t even imagine slapping someone, I’m afraid that your suggestion probably won’t work for the average groper, haha.
      But thanks!

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  11. u need to import the small rabbit traps from Tennesee and WHAM!!! u got his hand 🙂

    • haha….hmmm…. i don’t think a rabbit trap goes with any of my outfits but I’ll keep it in mind 🙂 Angela

  12. lol… sorry for the lol, I know it ain’t a pretty experience…

    you shoulda kicked his ass hard (wear high heals). Or try the other way of handling like most of the girls do here – Remove your shoe and slap (yeah, they do do it in India, especially villages; no I didn’t get slapped by any girl, but have witnessed).

  13. Hey!
    just read the blog.I am sorry on behalf of the city of Bangalore that you had to go through this.

    A tip:Your rebel-ness (read defiance) is your prerogative.Don’t compromise there.But do watch your back.Shit I’ve poked by uncles in buses myself, and I am a guy!..:)

    Happy Weekend!
    Addy

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  15. In Mexico City women ride in a crowded women-only subway wagon during morning rush hour. During rush hour, a third of the subway wagons are reserved for women and children only, to help women avoid groping and sexual harassment. This should be enforced all over the world, including Japan and India.

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