Delhi Metro has truly become the lifeline of Delhi, inspite of all the hurdles and struggles one has to overcome while enjoying the whole ordeal.
Let me just take you through this daily experience which each one will be able to identify with.
To have a real feel of it, let me divide the journey into three stages - Entry, Indoors and the Exit.
Stage One: The Entry
This stage mainly involves running up and up till you reach the reach the platform. In the early mad hours of morning office time, there are hoards of rickshaw pullers eagerly waiting for the passengers who are coming down. Inspite of their wide grins you find yourself murmuring negatives against them as you try to make way for yourself to reach the escalator atleast.
You find yourself competing with super hurried people who still prefer to run on the moving escalator, and leaving you wondering why they couldn't just oblige the stairs. You continue running, to bump into the security check guards who are perhaps the only people who can get so close to you part from your spouse. Hurriedly you rush again to gather your luggage from a heap that's half stuck with ladies handbags and carrybags of all shapes and sizes. You enter the entry queue and ironically you always land up standing in the line which moves at the slowest pace. After punching you are free, free to run again to the platform of Delhi metro.
So here you race again only to find the metro shutting on your face. Damn that uncle whose coupon got stuck in the queue. Its ok, the other one will cum in 3 minutes, or maybe 4 or maybe 5.....
You can see people peeping outside the peeli rekha (prohibited yellow line) hoping their anxious eyes accelerate the speed of the train.
Ah! here it comes finally and you struggle to secure a position in the front so that you can immediately board it.
The door opens and unwillingly you push till manage to stick yourself in before the door closes. You can now breathe for you have successfully crossed the stage 1.
Stage 2 : Inside the metro
Before you let the breath out, you realize how "closely" connected you are with others near you. You are a victim of weird stares and characteristic tch-tch of those whom you pushed.
Your hand is stuck somewhere and you can barely move your neck now. Besides you are a constant source of obstruction for many. You automatically get a push ahead whenever the fat uncle behind you exhales and the person next to you refuses to move his feet so that you can put your hanging feet down.
It would be unfair if we don't discuss the aroma within the metro emitting from all sources....wonder if all body spray ads are wasting their money. If you are lucky to get a glimpse of seats, you can notice double sized ladies either already adjusted or trying to adjust within the seats. Besides, there would be a few morons sitting on women's or elders seat,hiding their faces behind newspapers, or simply acting a pigeon by closing their eyes.
Far in a corner you can see a couple getting cozy , giggling much to the discomfort of the elderly age group with dilated eyes.
The person on your other side is constantly moving his head, and before you get irritated , you notice that the open flowing hair of the lady in front of him are just tickling his nasal senses.
Few enthusiasts are engrossed in their mobiles, listening to music that screams out of their headphones sometimes they even oblige others us with their coo-coo voice.
You can also listen to some sad or happy stories through people who prefer a loud volume while talking on their phones. This stage cannot be complete till there is a fight, generally between two hypersensitive individuals who cannot tolerate even if somebody brushes past them.
Its generally an amusing argument for the co-passengers and finally when you actually start enjoying all this, the train suddenly stops. The speakers blow unapologetically apologizing for the "short delay and inconvenience caused".
After a relatively longer delay at this Delhi metro station, the movement resumes and finally there are just two stations left for you to get down. Inspite of all these turbulences and weird scenes around, you find yourself somehow amused and smiling.
Stage 3 : The Exit
This is the shortest stage and a much simpler stage. You start making your way ahead, slightly pushing, slightly adjusting and slightly moving ahead.
You politely request people blocking the doors to step aside and again face some nasty eyes. Once the door opens you recollect all your energies for the final attack and here you are out!
Finally you get to breathe a whiff of fresh air, and somehow you don't mind the minor crack in your slippers or even your untidy hair. You glance at your watch and still thank the Metro for making you reach in time. No matter how hard you struggled, it's still a fair deal!
You rush down again to continue to race for other aspects of your routine.
About Author / Additional Info:
A Delhi metro travel story.