Just like most of us were looking forward to celebrating Christmas, and in all likelihood ended up doing just that, Vijaya Das from Kolkata too, had great plans for December 25. But how her day ended was something she wouldn’t have thought of at all. Das, who went out for Christmas dinner with her family, raised an alarm after she noticed a man leering at her. In a post that she later shared on Facebook, Das said that instead of reprimanding the man, the restaurant authorities asked her to leave!
The eatery in question here was Sher-e-Punjab in Kolkata’s Sukanta Nagar.
Not that this is the first time a Kolkata restaurant has come under social media scrutiny this year. Earlier in September, another popular Kolkata restaurant Mocambo received a lot of flak on social media after they refused to serve food to a driver, because apparently he wasn’t dressed according to their standards.
In Das’ case, she uploaded two videos along with her Facebook post recounting the incident. “I suddenly saw a shady man was looking at me with the most dirty look one can give”, the 26-year-old wrote, after she became uncomfortable when a man in the restaurant kept staring at her. She wrote he was drinking heavily and that she ignored him first, “as society teaches us to do”. But when he continued leering at her, and as she wrote, at every other woman who was passing by, she shouted at him. The Facebook post further read that he pretended to not know who she was pointing at. While Das’ father supported her, the men refused to accept their mistake and asked her to complain to the authorities.
She was in for a shock when she finally did. The restaurant manager came up to Das and asked her and her family to leave immediately. “Only if the manager would have said us to have a seat somewhere else I wouldn’t have been this furious at our society where there are oodles of rape and molestation grasping us every day and we all kind of passively supporting it.”
“Few hours ago I was all happy and joyous on Christmas. Now festival has showed it’s dark side to me. THANK YOU FOR THAT SHER-E-PUNJAB, Sukanta Nagar.
Me, mom, dad and my cousin arrived at much rated dhaba SHER-E-PUNJAB to indulge into some delicacy. We just order our food and I suddenly saw a shady man was looking at me with the most dirty look one can give. He was drinking heavily. I ignored at first as society teaches us to do in this situation. I even told my dad to come and sit just in front of me so that I can save myself from his filthy eyes and expressions.
He then glides to the next seat to watch me again. He was even looking at every women’s/girl’s bodies whoever was passing by.
It was getting on my nerves so finally I shouted at him. He suddenly started to pretend that he is not looking and doesn’t even know who I am shouting at. He even kept smiling in between. Later my dad joined me and he kept doing all the bullshits he could. He even said, “Management k bolun, managment k (complain to the managment not me)”
I even called the lady police troupe outside. They all looked uncomfortable when I asked for help. They were enjoying their Christmas chat on the front yard. They didn’t expect a girl to get molested at this very hour. May be there should have been a perfect timing for that so that they could have got ready.
I could have ignored all and ate our food quietly but suddenly the Manger of the SHER-E-PUNJAB came and told us to leave at once.
I said, “he did wrong why you are throwing us out? … he said “main unko kaise bolu abhi jane k liye, aap log jaiye yahaan se”…
Only if the manager would have said us to have a seat somewhere else I wouldn’t have been this furious at our society where there are oodles of rape and molestation grasping us every day and we all kind of passively supporting it. This incident won’t hurt your business I guess I am sorry Sher-e-punjab you used to be my favorite restaurant and now I am afraid to even go there.
My dad is rebuking me, telling me not to post this incident online. I protested on spot and that should be the end of it. Please tell me am I doing wrong??
I wish everyone’s safety this festive season..
Her post garnered a lot of support for speaking up.
According to a report by the Times of India, one of the proprietors of the restaurant denied the charge, and said she was threatening and shouting at them to ask the other customer to leave. He reportedly said that the video footage shows police surrounding the woman when he told her that they will not throw a customer out until he hasn’t finished eating or they themselves are convinced that he was a perpetrator of crime.
indianexpress.com has reached out to both parties. The representative of the restaurant said they don’t have anything to say and refused to comment, while we have got no word from Das yet.