Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Life in a Metro



I hurried down the stairs faster than usual and my feet won the race between them and the metro’s door. Uff! Finally, I glanced at my destination and realized I still had to go a long way. Not thinking much I tucked in my ear phones and enjoyed Enrique’s music “I wish I was your lover” The metro’s ‘ting –tong’ could be heard after every three minutes. But my reverie broke when a flood came in…..

Yeah! A flood! Oodles of people were pushing and pulling each other, rushing to board the metro. Undoubtedly, I was at Rajiv Chowk. Sanguine, melancholic, snobbish, glum, loud, cheerful all kinds of people entered. Suddenly two girls crazily rushed towards a spot. I thought there might be some friend but when I looked back, to my utter surprise, that wasn’t the case. No, not even an acquaintance!! It was a vacant seat!! It reminded me of the constant race that we humans are striving hard to win, the cut throat competition that we face each day. And also the sense of accomplishment and happiness we derive when we achieve something. Yup, something as great as ‘a vacant seat’!!

The people around me seemed exciting.

The couple standing next to me was so involved in each other that they forgot that their ‘sugar-coated, cuppycake’ talks were quite audible. There was love.

A humble girl offered her seat to a weak, old female standee. No, guys!! It wasn’t a seat for the elderly. There was generosity.

A few young enthusiasts were fighting hard to make a ‘sweet world’ in ‘Candy Crush’ There was hard work and dedication.

Girls had their eyes set on metro glass panes struggling hard to settle their hair. There was narcissism.

A row of seated women pressed together to make room for a couple of female standees. There was compassion.

Kids were whirling round the poles and girls were giggling and there was happiness.

I felt as if the metro was the most serene, pleasant and the most positive place in the world. It was a ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ world. What if the real world had the same suave? I was lost in my ‘Accha hai’ (Nana Patekar style) thoughts when an irate man’s voice scared me. He was blabbering something out of frustration and was furious.

He had been pick-pocketed. The ‘self made’ mirage of pure bliss vanished.

There was dishonesty too.

Men standing next to me tagged the ‘weaker sex’ as the ‘more privileged’. I was amazed at their remark but all in vain. They envied ladies travelling comfortably in the so called ‘only for ladies’ coach. There was a pinch of jealousy.

A young snobbish and so called ‘sophisticated’ girl rudely asked an old uncle to vacate a seat saying ‘Uncle ye ladies seat hain’ There was disregard.

A girl sitting adjacent to me with ‘Nokia Asha’ was continuously gazing at the ‘iPhone’ in my hands. I could see dismay on her face. There was depression.

Two grumpy aunties were fighting over an inch of space to sit. How could they fit their 30-inch butt in an inch space? Isn’t that annoying? There was anger. The picture was all clear now!

It is strange how we get engrossed in our daily lives that we forget to look at the world around us. The metro was a world of its own. This 189.63 km long rail was a miniature of the world we live in. It had all the feelings and emotions that we face in our daily lives, it encompassed the entire world, a representation of our reality. It was democratic too. Rich or poor, everyone paid the same. For many it might only be a means of commuting but to me it seemed like ‘Travel like you live’ But the only bizarre thing about this ‘metro world’ was that it was the only safe place for women. Am I Right?

By Samiksha Agarwal



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