We three white guys rode our bicycles to Ballygunge and back. What a sight we were for those 20 km.
Turning on to the desolate EM Bypass, we began to make great pace. I got to test the true speed of my bike, easily going faster than the few cars and autos.
Out on EM Bypass, I saw a woman alone, dressed in heels, a reflective mini skirt and wearing copious makeup. Clearly she was not lost, and as I rode by, I am sure I awkwardly gaped. She said hello but I had no intention to stop.
B. and G. were behind me, and as I they passed her, she said aloud, “Can I fuck me?” B and G started laughing as they rode by, probably spurred on by the awkward humor of the situation.
I found myself bothered by their laughter (although I can’t criticize them for doing so and there much greater injustices). She probably knows limited English, but does that give right for her to be laughed at? She is out on a lonely dark road at night, soliciting business from men she does not know, and has no reason to trust. That takes guts, if not desperation. How does she keep her dignity then, if laughed at?
Alas, as we rode by the hundred pillars of the under-construction metro line along the Bypass, enjoying the blissful night ride, my tire popped as we were pulling into Big Bazaar, just 200 meters from home.