Sunday, June 29, 2014

Not a good enough Alibi

We were having one of those Saturday nights, where we had a big group of people (from the Quora meetup) who decided to get out for a drink with last minute plans. As expected, we didn't really get a table in most bars and since we were a big group, we were desperate for a bar that seated us. Walking down Church Street, a friend spotted Alibi, the restobar and it seemed like they had a few tables that would accommodate a large group. My friends and I had a decent time for about the first two hours talking, eating, drinking and laughing.

While we were about to leave, and I was standing next to my table discussing with my friends about our cab options, I felt this guy's hand brush against my behind as he walked out. Startled, I wheeled around, and saw him walk off nonchalantly like nothing happened. I wasn't entirely sure whether his brush was accidental (because it was a narrow space between two tables that I was standing in) or intentional. Since he had already left, I didn't mull over it too much and ignored it (stupid, I know).

And while I was continuing to talk to my friends, this man returned only to grope my butt. I felt it this time, and it was no accidental brush. I caught him immediately and asked him what he thought he was doing. In response, he simply smirked. Infuriated, I got into an argument with him, only to be interrupted by his best friend who seemed even angrier because I falsely accused his friend of molesting me.

Seriously, WHY would I want to make this stuff up? Does anyone out there think women enjoy making a scene and involving multiple people in telling them how we were felt up?

The friend kept getting extremely defensive with every dialogue he spewed and began to yell, to which of course, I also felt an appropriate amount of yelling on my part was required. No one is going to tell me to shut up when someone violates my space.

Meanwhile, the molester is watching the argument between his friend and me spin out of control and stands as mute witness to the spectacle.

The head waiter, Sam (or so he claims his name was), steps in and hears both sides of the argument. He then proceeds to politely ask the molester to pay his bill and leave. When I protest at this extremely kind treatment meted out to the molester, Sam the head waiter starts bellowing at me, asks me to get out, and even threatens me by saying that he will make things worse for me. I asked him what he meant by that, and I said I was ready to go to the police. That's when he pretty much told me to get out. In the meanwhile the molester has conveniently slipped away and I was too engrossed in my conversation with the staff to notice. This happens while Sam is yelling the hell out of me - he literally gets 3 inches close to my face and his body language suggested that he might physically strike me at any moment. The Manager of Alibi then steps in, and then he starts yelling at me (it seems to be Alibi staff policy now) and says that I should have expected this because I was "dancing". He also explicitly stated that it wasn't the molester's fault. Pretty much all the Alibi staff members got together and started yelling at me and my friends raising a clamour, while the molester was treated as a gentleman till the time he left.

So let's get this straight, someone assaults me. I fight back. Management interferes, starts to blame me for what happens to me, tells me that it's not the guy's fault. Not just this, the management then misbehaves with me, while constantly bellowing at me because I was "creating a scene" and was "taking it too personally", and asked me to leave immediately. I was kicked out of Alibi by the waiters and management because I was molested by a man who happened to slip away while they were vociferously indulging in victim shaming. He got away scot-free and is likely to repeat it again because even when a woman did question him, he realized that everyone was going to blame the victim instead and it will be far easier for him to escape it. I, the victim, got treated like a criminal while the management treated the molester as a gentleman. Does that even make sense?

The behaviour doled out to me and my friends by the management was reprehensible. Victim blaming is such a real and common thing, and it happens so often that we have become indifferent towards it. The management was obviously trying desperately to protect their reputation and wanted to get me out of there. But the fact that they had the manager vehemently believing that my dancing was a cause of the molester's vile behaviour and with one of the waiters screaming in my face because I demanded justice was deplorable.

I walked away, in absolute disgust. We have discussions, we rally at protests, we teach men to respect women, we ask women to never suffer in silence and make some noise, and when we do, this is what happens. It was simply far easier to take the side of the molester and blame it on the victim for her clothes, for being at a bar, for being out late at night, or in this case, dancing (seriously, at best case I was just 'moving' a bit. And I haven't seen anyone ever at a bar standing or sitting in attention position throughout their stay there while the music is playing).

If "dancing" is against the rules, so is sexual assault! Why are we continuing to defend such heinous acts? Why do we try to shut the women who do speak up? Why do we transfer the blame to the victim?

I feel violated. Disgusted. Cheated. And I shouldn't be. But I am. Millions of women go through far worse situations everyday and when we stand up for ourselves, this is what we get treated with.

So dear women of Bangalore, you must already be doing this for good reason, but just in case you do plan to visit Alibi, I suggest otherwise. If anything does happen to you here, be rest assured that the Alibi management will yell at you, get in your face and tell you that it's your fault (they might threaten to make things worse for you as well). And oh, the perpetrator will be let off no questions asked as long as they pay their bill. *applause*

51 comments:

Parthiban Sekar said...

This is disgusting and disheartening. Can't you file a complaint against that pub? btw, Sorry about this. :(

Musings Of a Troubled Mind said...

Alibi has always been a cheap bar (cheap in terms of ambience, service & food). I've also been in that situation where my group ends up in random bars for lack of space in others. I completely understand your issue and wish this had not happened to you. And from your language, I gather you are a well-educated professional who would stand up for her rights any day. And that's exactly what perplexes me. Why didn't you lodge a formal complaint with the police? A social media post will only get you a few hundred likes and verbal supporters. It is the police that can be of ACTUAL help. Ask them to review the CCTV footage. Ask them to check the detail of debit/credit card used by the molester to trace him. These are not simple tasks but certainly achievable if you put ur mind to it. This may help some other woman some day who may unassumingly walk in to the same bar and meet similar fate.

Best,
An old lover of Bangalore who now abhors the place

Agratha Dinakaran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mayank Pandey said...

You mentioned you,were with friends. Best to file a complaint. Its an obligation and will allow police to track down the molestor.

Musings Of a Troubled Mind said...

Enter your review on Zomato, Burrp and other similar sites. Let the world now

pranav18 said...

Please share your experience on Zomato so the others girls will be careful in visiting that place & do file a complaint

Lakshmi G said...

I understand how you feel. Its good that we are all coming out (which is a change in the current generation) - in the past, even worse, women suffered 'silently'! How i wish in a Country that got its freedom at midnight, women were safer - forget at midnight - at least during the day and dusk!

chada said...

I am not here to support that fellow r taking light of yr agony. But my qsn is y shd we invite such trouble by visiting places such as pubs n bars where ppl tend to lose their senses after few shots. Ladies facing embarrassing situations in busses, trains malls etc deserves utmost condemnation. But still in Indian society visiting a pub r bar expecting a decent behaviour of men I am afraid u r expecting too much. Yr colleagues shd ve helped u in the present case. However my sympathies r wth u for yr suffering.

Vivek N said...

Che!

Rahul C Raju said...

agratha, please launch a complaint .... also pls email to Commissioner of Police, Bangalore .... this his email : - compolbcp(at)ksp.gov.in

walkerjay said...

Trust you did file a police complaint.

trees said...

A person in the comments section appears to believe that Agratha (and all other women) should not have been in this place at all. Since people like him are increasingly making it clear that it is unsafe for women in this country to be in 'certain places' at 'certain times', I would like to suggest that men (each and every one of them) stay within the confines of their homes and not visit places like pubs and bars. Also, they need not venture out during late hours. Do you find this suggestion acceptable Chada? If not, isn't it time you gave a thought to the way your mind works?

Amit Kumar said...

Sorry Chada, women have every right to go to bars, and yes men are supposed to behave decently at bars.

tanya joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tanya joseph said...

I do hope you have taken the issue further. I'm a strong believer in making people pay for their mistakes. The behaviour of this molester and the attitude of the staff and managers are unacceptable. Change starts from within.. Please don't leave this matter as a blog post.

Reading the comment by Chada has made me really angry. This person seems to think that pubs and bars are not the place for a woman. Also, by saying '' But still in Indian society visiting a pub r bar expecting a decent behaviour of men I am afraid u r expecting too much." he/she is demeaning Indian society by implying that we are unable to behave in a civil and humane manner towards others (not just towards women). Are you saying that it is too much to expect another human being (man or woman) to treat you with respect and dignity?

Also, this statement " But my qsn is y shd we invite such trouble by visiting places such as pubs n bars where ppl tend to lose their senses after few shots" is blatant victim-blaming, in my opinion.

Chada, are you saying that we should ONLY condemn those instances that happen on a train, bus or in malls? But, if it happens in a bar or a pub, it's the woman's fault? I guess she shouldn't have been there because after all pubs and bars are only meant for men, right?. There you are again... victim blaming with a hint of sexism. Bravo!

Stop thinking and saying that women shouldn't go to a bar or a pub, or that they should dress a certain way and return home before it's dark outside.. These are the sort of beliefs that encourage violence against women and perpetuate victim blaming in our society.

Chada, time for a reality check.

Prongs said...

Apart from filing a police complaint, you should sue the bar for damages for mental harassment, causing you inconvenience. and denying you services without proper reason. Either in a court or a consumer court. Talk to a lawyer. Don't let this one slide.

Anant Sharma said...

I hope you have filed a police complaint, and I further sincerely hope that the Law shall take it's course and bring delinquents and pervs like these to book.

I am a male myself, and when such things come to light. It just makes me really uncomfortable. Uneasy. Men feel they have a sense of entitlement. The whole argument - "You were dancing...!". It just makes me feel sick to my gut that someone can fall so low. It further builds up into the "You were asking for it..." argument. That is basically what it implies. Retards like this should be lobotomized ASAP.

Also kindly do let us know what action the police takes in this matter in a follow up article when you can.

This further response is for @chada:

#1: Is India a free country or not?! And if it is free, then does freedom has different connotations for men and women. Like if you're a female, yeah, you're free, but just don't go to pubs and bars. It is the primary responsibility of the staff to provide adequate security to the customers. ESPECIALLY the female customers. In this case, the staff itself has done nothing to help a customer who was being subjected to such harassment. They have only added to her agonizing situation.

#2: Now, I haven't been to Alibi, and don't intend to either. But I looked it up, and it seems to be a posh sort of a place. Not exactly the sort of place where you would find pervs behaving in such a manner. And if a girl goes out to a pub and dances what does it matter. Why can't everyone just mind their own business!?

I know you're not condoning what those pervs did, but we too have to change our mentality. A girl is as free to do what she likes as is a guy. There is no subjectivity at play. I can understand where your argument stems from, but I do not agree with it. If the staff didn't act up, the rest of the customers should have. Can you imagine the impact it would have had if the rest of the customers at Alibi too got up and left?! It would have been such a strong statement, but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. Pervs like these thrive on this inherent mentality that is prevalent among almost all men and even women (sadly!) alike.

We begin to change these little things about ourselves. The world will soon be a better place. I have no doubt in my mind!

Roshan Radhakrishnan said...

Visiting a bar does not imply indecent behaviour. Women are groped even in temples, buses, trains and anywhere where perverted asses think they can get away with it in a crowd... so should we tell women not to ever walk into a temple during a festival or travel by public transport. Or is it that "its okay to molest females who come to bars but those who go in buses are decent?"
If the guy cannot control his hands or his behaviour after he drinks, that is his issue, not hers. He should be condemned and made an example of. I sincerely wish any of your friends had taken a pic of him somehow ( even in the darkness ) and circulated it on social media, Agratha...

Roshan Radhakrishnan said...

My comment above is specifically aimed at Chada... don't give excuses for someone molesting a girl. Whether it is a bar or a temple is irrelevant - the location does not give anyone permission to MOLEST. Stop that attitude now...

Murugesh Ramiah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murugesh Ramiah said...

I really wonder this joker called Chada will have the same feelings when his own mom, wife, sister, daughter or any women of his family are groped......and i am sure this creep is one of the Hindu / Muslim taliban who are sprouting up every day like mushrooms....or is so liberal or a perverted creep who is frustrated... Doesn't he not understand a woman has a right to choose what she wants to wear.....

Please Agratha --Please file case....please take this issue seriously...today it happens to you ...With creeps like one who attempted to molest you his supporters like Chada it can happen to any one.... even my daughter...or my sister or my wife......

I will forward this blog to the friends in the Bangalore Police and I hope they act.....and to close down this seedy joint......

Please start a movement to BOYCOTT Albi....and post this experience in food / restaurant websites like ZOMATO and all other review sites for restaurants in Bangalore

And please mail to the owner a few dozen PICK CHADDIES........like it was the done for the Muthalik after the manglaore incident...

Good luck in your fight Agratha.....the path ahead will be lonely..... but fight on...

vishalbheeroo said...

It's so disgusting Agratha and keep fighting. I am infuriated reading about the attitude of the hotel and they should be brought to task.

aalya said...

Zomato is not going to do you any good!

I had a similar experience in Big Pitcher and Zomato conveniently doesn't display it..

Clearly thay can just be paid off too..

whats a few groped women right!

Ajit Lakshmiratan said...

Disgraceful! Alibi can not get away with this. Email details of the incident to Commr of police right away.

Andy... said...

Punch the sucker's eye socket first and THEN proceed to talking! Speak to him (or them), in his/their own language. If you have male friends around ask them to get in on the action and rip the boy a new spew-pipe. Why waste time and energy on a pointless conversation when you can make him feel smaller than what he made u feel like?
However insensitive and uncalled for it looks like, get PHYSICAL and then talk. :-)
Coz he disn't ASK you if he could cop a feel right? And you know what to do if he DID ask u... ;-)
Also, make sure you're not being followed on your way back home! :-)
That's my 5 paise's worth... If inappropriate, please do with the comment what you wish!! :-)

Nandita said...

That's absolutely disgusting Agratha. I hope you've filed a complaint and please take the trouble to publicise this to warn the other women about this place. It deserves all the negative publicity it can get. People deserve to know how these so-called "upmarket" places actually operate. It's deplorable and disgusting if they can't even watch out for the basic rights of their customers, especially women customers! I mean really? Dancing is a crime? Since when?

Someone called Chada commented that "Indian society" shouldn't go to such places ... I agree with him. Sure dude! Stop the men first. Look at the stats ... How many women are responsible for night crimes? Stop the men from going to pubs and bars and I'd say crimes will stop anyway ... [Smirking as I say this, couldn't help it!] People like Chada need reality checks and places like Alibi should shut down! Bottomline! And your perpetrator? He deserves to be shamed and slapped in public!

Varun said...

Please write a post on zomato as well to spread the word. Such places should be shut down.

yo peeps!!! said...

Agratha, you should have had one of your friends take that molesters photo!!! then you could have put a tagline with it,' molesters of bangalore'. if that ass had the nerve to come and do it the second time, im afraid to think what else, he thinks he can get away with. please file a legal recourse, and include the management for the mental anguish they put you thru. im disgusted at this incident, and its no less serious than the bangalore metro stalking incident or the e-city rape. we need to bring these criminals to light and not get away with such awful behaviour. hats off to you, that you raised a ruckes and dint let it slide. fellow woman to another, please never take any such ' small' incidents lightly, make it known, let the family of these criminals know what their ' dutiful child' is upto. these criminals should know, that if they commit such actions, theres no denying that the same cant happen to their sisters/ mothers/wives. not that i wish any such fate to them. im just saying that this thought should occur to them, any time they think of doing such disgusting actions.

Preeti M said...

http://www.storypick.com/damaging-truth-indian-entertainment-industry-doesnt-want-know/

chada said...

So u want to compare bar with a temple. Good. Vivekananda says a majority of thoghts of ppl in gathering tend to influence other's thoughts. Hence the display of mob mentality n hysteria. I ve seen many sombre personalities behaving oddly after few shots. Many murders r taking place becoz of intoxication. So I don't understand which is btr one, avoiding such situation r facing humiliation expecting a decent behaviour in such a charged /influenced atmosphere like pubs, bars. It s one's choice

Aamir Rana said...

This is really shameful........... Thank you for sharing this sad experience, it takes a lot of courage to stand for what you think is right.... Do not lets these people go away so easily, please do lodge a case against. But at the same time be careful once u lodge the case as the bar owners might come at you.
All the very best

Anup D'Souza said...

This is extremely shameful & makes me feel disgusted as a man. I cant begin to imagine your ordeal & that of thousands of women in India & elsewhere that go unspoken. Please lodge a complaint against Alibi so that not just their management but even the perpetrators are brought to book.
Though I don't belong to the city, I have like several others have already done; shared your experience on Zomato & the likes so people know the kind of places that won't stand up for the dignity of a woman. May god be with you & give you strength in your fight for justice.

Supreetha Pai said...

Well, if you were asking for it according to them, the molester was DEFINITELY asking for a kick you-know-where. Pervs have no shame. If they want to get physical, maybe we girls should give it to them.

What the staff did though was utterly disgraceful. Please file a complaint against them for inconvenience and file for damages.

All the best :-)

George Taliat said...

this is for that chada person
I go to pubs quite often but I never go around groping girls. Guys who do that arent just a product of inebriation, they are CRIMINALS. Such antisocials should just be kicked out of pubs and put in jail (It might reduce the murders you talked about too). Such behaviour should not be expected anywhere even in pubs Please dont condone such stupid thinking.

GS said...

Agartha, Sorry to hear what happened. Disgusting and shameful. I wish you had a photo of this ill mannered chap. Some people need to be named and shamed

And you ill mannered chap, get some balls, a life, an education and some etiquette. You get attracted to a lady, you go talk to her, not grope. I wish the police gets hold of you soon and gropes you at the right places

En said...

I cant believe all that this 'Chada' has derived from Roshan's comment above, is a comparison between a temple and a bar!(??) Genius guy! And guys like these ('Chada') would form the crowd that looks on when some molester disgusts a woman or society in general and then ramble "Girls shouldnt goto pubs! against indian society!" or "She was wearing a short skirt! Of course she would be raped!"

shrutiparanjape said...

Hi. I wrote an article about sexual harassment yesterday and came across this article of yours today. There's not much point in sympathising, but I empathise wholly.

I was wondering how to get back at them and I guess the best way to do it will be to get people to boycott their pub. While you can't be sure that it'll work, I think it's worth a try.

What I propose : Let's start a Facebook movement, invite all our friends, explain what we're trying to do and ask them to share. Maybe it'll catch on, maybe it'll happen.

What say?

garima singhal said...

I empathize with you Agartha. This is disgusting, in every aspect that this word covers. I suggest that we report it to Zomato and Burrp. Atleast, then people will know its a sidey bar, like chinlung and the like. Being on these websites gives people a false sense of security (or it may be just me).

sandeep bajpai said...

Possibly, you could have just swiched on your mobile camera and recorded the whole argument on video. There is no way they could escape if you have a proof of the incidence.

Shy said...

Please dont let this go, the molester needs to be caught and punished!!! please follow up with the police and make sure he is caught!!!!

chada said...

Ok. Go n enjoy shots in pubs n bars. Nobody bothers. But, don't expect that coming over there everybody is a Saint.

Hemu said...

You Chada, have some serious perception problems.You seem to be missing the point that everyone is making here. Nobody expects the lot who come there to be saints. Women who wish to go to bars have the right to do so, whereas these kind of men do not have any right to grope them. Please do shove your sympathies out of the window. It's of no use to any of us.
Chances are that you'd find some other way of perceiving this comment as well. Good luck.

Paro said...

Please do complain about those asses at Alibi.

M K Mathai said...

did yr friends come to your help like that man's friend or remained silent ? had your friends joined the issue the hotel staff could not have yelled u out so easily.

Rocky Odessa said...

Hindustani culture and society is sexist, racist and homophobic! But then I don't understand why most hindustani's worship coloured Transexual/transgender goddesses?

Rocky Odessa said...

Hindustan needs a cultural revolution in order to attain any sort of sexual equality in society. It's in your history and culture already. Tantric sex, the karmasutra, worship of female and Transgender gods/goddesses. Tolerance and liberalism is what Hindustani civilisation is all about. Maybe then we may see progress in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Sandeep Bastodkar said...

Very disturbing to read of your experience. Apart from the disgusting behaviour of the molester, the attitude of the Albi staff is shocking. Happy that you stood up against this and raised your voice, hope more ladies follow your example. God bless !

Kavya said...

Thanks for speaking out and letting the world know of your ordeal, I hope those guys got punished for the sick stunt they pulled. I am never going to the restaurant thanks to you and will spread the word of what happened! Cudos to you girl!

koolhead17 said...

Hey,
Something similar happened to a lady in Delhi sometimes back but she took the molester to Police http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2014/09/molested-delhi-metro-heres-refused-suffer-silence/

Roxanne said...

That's outrageous! I had my thigh fondled by a man while I was walking on Hill Road in Mumbai and I made the biggest scene ever. I was alone but I yelled at him. At first he said it was a mistake, an then he said sorry it won't happen again, and all I could say was "damn well it wont with me, but what about another girl" and I chased him till he stepped into an auto and he asked the auto guy to go, but even that guy didn't, he waiting till I finished my lecture in broken Hindi and then they left.

Another time, I had my ass smacked when I was walking near Kurla station and I again chased that guy, I had a laptop in one hand and my bag in the other, but I managed to whack him on his back, real hard, but he escaped soon. There were others who came to my "help" and asked me what was the problem and I said that man touched me, and they said, you should not be walking on the street all alone. It was 6pm and I was returning home frm work, and I really didn't know I needed a chaperone for this!

Moral of the story, don't back them, give them hell always. Might scare them into not repeating this again.


xox
Roxanne
www.head2heels.co

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