By Cheshta Rajora
You are a Delhiite, and never travelled in metro? That’s like saying – I’ve been to Kolkata but didn’t have fish, or I’m preparing for IAS but don’t know everything.
Here is a list of ‘types’ of people you’ll most definitely come across when travelling in metro, based on a study of over three years of (my) experience.
1. Leg shakers: They stand right in front of your face shaking their legs hysterically, so close to you that one jolt in the metro will have their tummies bang against your face. It is their way of telling you that their (prosthetic?) legs are paining and they need your seat urgently. If you are a new traveller, you will get embarrassed and offer your seat to them.
2. Sleepers and ‘snorers’: Yes, all Indians are my brothers and sisters, and I will treat your shoulder as if you are related to me by blood. These are the ones who will fall asleep sitting in metro, and after a while find their heads on your shoulder.
3. Over friendly ones: These are typically the first time traveller Indian aunties. They will ask you the way to their destination station, which by the way is their trope to use you for killing their time. They will tell you why they are going to Chandni Chowk, when is their son getting married, how intelligent their son is, and well almost every thing that will make you feel useless about yourself.
4. Talking on the phone loudly: These are special fellas with special phones with special network, for their network is available even at Central Secretariat. And what do they talk? They are usually heard, seen, and literally felt fighting with their boyfriends, or girlfriends, mothers, friends, in their loudest tones. And somehow they don’t mind being ‘overheard’.
5. Readers: We read. Yes we read. but we are very ‘expressive’ readers. We laugh if we read something hilarious, scaring the person next to us. We blush red, making the other person’s mind run places as if we have read something ‘dirty’. At one point, we also make arrogant faces while reading, because let’s accept it, we are ‘reading’, and that’s what ‘intellectuals’ do, right?
6. The Jugadus: Kunal Kapoor hit the bull’s eye in Rang De Basanti when he said that we Indians ask eight people sitting on a place for six to ‘adjust’ a bit. One bum, or two bums, matters not, as long as we somehow manage to sit (not fit).
7. We can speak English: “And I was like..”, “and she was like, “, “and we were like..”, “Oh freak….”, “No really, like what?”
Well, that’s the English WE know and that’s the English we speak, and when we speak English we are automatically more expressive and loud, because let’s see, isn’t Hindi too mainstream? ‘Like’ Seriously?
8. The Eaters: Our lovely mothers made us lunch which, by definition is to be eaten as ‘lunch’. But we love her so much that we open our lunch boxes at 9 am in the metro, and the Gucci goes down the drain replaced by the ghee laden ‘mooli ke paranthe”.
9. Music lovers: Big headphones, tapping feet, music so loud that probably even the person driving the metro can hear it. They give you music treat for free, even when you don’t want it.
10. LIFT hijackers: Someone has apparently told them that all their tax gets invested in building the metro lift. They choose to ignore the desperate calls of fellow travellers to wait for them, for they like to have an exclusive VIP experience using the lift all for themselves.
(The views expressed by author are personal. The writer is pursuing her English (Hons) from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University)
Email author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Indian Express reader Devang Chhaya who is also a Metro regular finds the following three co-travellers worth mentioning:
1. PDA maniacs: To them the co-travellers appear to be blind as they go about declaring their rampaging level of hormones with their unbridled public display of affection. Sharam? Hey! What’s that?
2. Bouncer Alter-Ego: They will position themselves like bar bouncers right near the doorway and remain there from the time they board the metro, even though they would be deboarding at the train’s destination station which is at least a dozen halts away.
3. Jet-lag Pretenders: These kinds occupy seats meant for Ladies/ Oldies and pretend to be fast asleep so that no one dare look them in the eye to suggest that they get up.
Do you travel in metro and love to observe people? Tell us about your co-travellers and we might post your comment here.