Offbeat

[Sunday Magazine] The Amusement Park that Delhi Metro is!


I have been travelling quite a lot in the Delhi Metro these days. No, not in silent protest of the outrageous petrol price hike. I wish I had a car to justify such a protest, or even a driving licence for that matter. But thanks to the hike, my car dreams can go take a hike. I can now see a bicycle at the horizon.

These frequent metro rides have been tiring, amusing, convenient and irritating at the same time. Tiring, because getting a seat is as probable as me scoring in math. Rare and joyous. Convenient, because it is pocket-friendly, eco-friendly, well-connected and saves me from getting dropped off at 9 by my father, or worse, travel everyday by auto, facing the intolerable heat and some arrogant drivers. Amusing and irritating are two sides of the same coin; what irritates me on some days, amuses me on others (“good mood days”), or later on when I recall it. Source of the amusement? People.

1. The Push-Hurry-Push Ladies: Being a ladies coach loyalist, these are the ladies (young girls included) I see everyday. The coach may be as crowded as a Mumbai local, but no, they cannot wait for the next metro which will come in 3 minutes. They will push and slide in, sit on you nearly till you move/stand, and basically somehow manage to find a space of minimum cubic centimetres. They are also the people who push and run out of the metro, all human knowledge of “queue system” forgotten, even if it is the last station. Their entering style is pretty much the same. After all, fast and pushy wins the seat!

Dear PHP ladies,
Yes, time is precious. That’s why the metro was made; a little patience and I assure you, you won’t be late. But if claustrophobia is your thing, then go ahead. Secondly, the metro doors won’t close before you deboard, especially at the last station, where security people stand next to the doors to ensure safety. Do pay heed to the people at front, sides, and back, who get pushed by your “enthusiasm”. And yourself as you get pushed harder in return by your fellow PHP members.
Yours,
Helplessly Pushed.

Photograph by PTI
Note: Photography is prohibited in the Delhi Metro and on the metro stations.

2. Muggle Stampers: I call them “Muggles” because there is nothing magical about them. Forget spells, these people don’t even seem to know the basic magic words “sorry, excuse me, thank you and it’s ok”. “Stampers” is self-explanatory. Crowded metro, semi-crowded metro, or empty metro, their footwear (and weight) seem to be attracted to other feet. And then there are some others who don’t seem to appreciate us wizards much—they stare and crib even after you immediately apologise. Muggles everywhere!

Dear MS,
Mistakes happen, jerks happen, but the magic words should also happen. And if it happens to you, avoid the stare and reciprocate with a simple two-word reply, or the free-of-cost smile.
Yours,
Wizard.

3. Too old to stand: I wish I could have taken a video of this particular group of men scampering into the metro at remarkable speed and literally jumping to grab a seat, trying to push and outdo the rest. I could have sent the video to some funny video show and earned quite a lot. Women do it too, but thanks to some God-given grace, they are more subtle in their seat hunt (exceptions exist). Please note this category is for people who are not actually old, but are quite young. Young enough to stand for a while. Or to give up their seat to people who need it.

Dear TOTS,
Guys, grow up. Or should I say, act your age? Standing for a while won’t kill, your feet give you that advantage. Yes, you are cool. Prove it by giving up your seat for that old woman out there standing, and waiting for someone to act compassionate.
Yours,
Too old to sit.

4. Loudspeakers: They are the people who like having the world listen to their conversations. These conversations are highly amusing and range from mourning about their favourite TV character being killed off, boss woes, boyfriend woes to anything and everything. It’s like an audio serial in itself, dramatic and funny. They clearly don’t die for a little privacy.

Dear LS,
Thanks for the latest update on Balika Vadhu—interesting to know the show is still running. Your boss is a vamp, hang in there. Also, technology has improved so you don’t need to shout into your phone unless you or the other person is deaf.
Yours,
Unintentional Eavesdropper.

5. Almost There: Yes, these are the people who are always almost there, but still somehow manage to reach at least 15 minutes after they were supposed to have reached (hypothetically of course). For them the house door is equal to the metro station, and the Saket station equal to Central Secretariat, or even further. Yellow, purple, blue lines merge for them as they reply to the whereabouts queries.

Dear ATs,
A little truth won’t kill. Especially since your little white lie is going to get exposed anyway. In no way are you going to reach a place on time, even if your lies claim that, when you are nowhere physically close to your lies. Next time be more realistic, so that at least those “we-regret-the-inconvenience-caused” moments can save you a bit.
Yours,
Always Waiting./em>

6. Picture People: This is something I saw in the Bangalore metro, which is still new, and useless in terms of connectivity and space. But it seems to have become a perfect place to get pictures clicked, individual, family and couple. How cool is it to get a picture clicked in the metro and then posting it on Facebook, along with a metro station check-in? Then when I started travelling in the Delhi Metro, which isn’t remotely close to being empty, I saw people fighting for space but still putting up a smile to pose for the mobile shutterbug, along with their companions. These people can never miss photo opportunities I guess. A display picture can be found anywhere! Especially with the cool metro background, with a flash of scenery, randomly staring people, and the occasional sweaty arms.

Dear PP,
You look great. So do the people who were never supposed to be in the picture. Some seem to be smiling too. Why don’t you add them on Facebook and tag them?
Yours,
Amused Onlooker.

More metro rides + “Too happy to be bothered” Mood – Lost in wordly sorrows/music/book = Discovery of more such categories.

As they say, we humans constantly strive to outdo ourselves. Maybe one day I will have the honour of seeing a bunch of people sitting on the floor, discussing soap/house/office-politics over food. Sharing is caring after all, floor or food, especially in long, air-conditioned journeys.

You want to share some other funny kinds of people you come across in the metro? Do share with me in comments!


About the author

Nivedita K.

6 Comments

  • it is interesting to find that NTMN allowed you to post a photograph clicked in the metro station area, while photography is banned by DMRC. As a good citizen, kindly remove it asap. You may choose to volunteer the fine as applicable.

    • Dear Nikhil
      We are aware of the Delhi Metro rule. The photo is taken by PTI, and can be found on this news article: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/logistics/article3311386.ece. Since photos from the Delhi Metro station area are commonly found on television and in newspapers, we guess it is safe to assume that the photographers from recognised media outlets may have a permit for this. But obviously, it is not reasonable to depend on such assumptions when the photo is being used by us on our page for our readers. Hence, recognising the purpose of your comment, we have put an advisory below the photo. Thank you for pointing out.

  • Great Post ! Can totally relate too !

    Though I think , “Please Adjust ” type of people should be given their own category . They always beg you with a puppy face to adjust when there is clearly not even a square inch. They don’t get their “fair ” share of space, let them have a category atleast 🙂

  • I agree with Swati. Not to mention those guys who love travelling on the outskirts of the ladies coach..

  • Wow!!!!! a nice article. Could relate to it very well, plus though it was slapstick, it was hilarious 🙂

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