After spending two hours everyday in a Metro train while traveling from his home in Dwarka to his office in Rajendra Place, illustrator and animator Diwas Bisht decided to sketch out the many faces, characters and moods he encountered day after day. That’s how his everyday travel was captured in some amusing snapshots of life on the Metro, capturing the hilarious, the awkward, and the banal.
“It was a personal project I worked on after quitting my job in March last year. I put it up online eventually. Most fellow passengers in the Metro came across as stock characters, some had distinct behavioural patterns…,” said Bisht, 28.
In one of Bisht’s sketches — ‘the kids and the pole’ — a little girl with flying hair swings around a pole while the adults around her watch in tight horror. Bisht contrasts her happiness with “adults who always look too tired, constipated or busy”.
In another sketch, a man hangs from the ceiling, clinging to a horizontal pole due to dearth of space, while his fellow passengers try to elbow each other out of the way. “In my two hours of commute, I had made many mental pictures… I decided to sketch out scenes I had observed and memorised,” said Bisht, who has a masters in animation from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.
The other sketches detail how lovers draw lecherous looks from those nearby, or commuters glued to their phones play Candy Crush or “big women happily claim all the seats for themselves as the men stand”.
Bisht has also released a one minute video clip — ‘Mind the Gap’ — which depicts how blessed sleep descends on worn-out commuters in the Metro. While most of Bisht’s sketches are an amusing take on scenes from the Metro, the darkest of his sketches – ‘Find the Gap’, which plays on the daily cautionary announcements to ‘Mind the Gap’ at the train door, is an unpublished one.
The sketch is an external view of a Metro compartment, jam-packed with people, many of who are inappropriately touching women. The women glare back but seem unable to do much. “An outside view of how daily commute in Delhi Metro looks like…. where it seems that everyone travelling has made peace with all kinds of violations meted out to their person,” states the caption.
Bisht, who travelled in DTC buses during his school days, said, “In the Metro, there is wider scope for social interactions, which is not the case with other modes of transport. The Metro is Delhi, travelling in its entirety.” He added, “I don’t like driving myself to places. It is an exclusive experience and there is no scope of social interactions.” Bisht, who moved to Bangalore recently, is now working on a project on the App-based cab culture taking over the capital.