An Indian Civilizational Perspective

A Metro Ride I would like to Forget!

Metro.jpgIt was Friday morning and I was ready to take the Metro from a station in Dwarka to CP (Rajiv Chowk). Metro is a great boon for anyone in Delhi, and can make your life challenging as well, as I had discovered on this trip to India. A few years back I used to drive on my own around Delhi or have a driver and a car hired and go around. But a few years back, Metro made me get rid of all those and live like a New yorker or a Bostonian in New Delhi!

It was cold that morning with that typical Delhi chill, which I love. I am known to handle that pretty well from my school days, when in the midst of the maroon blazers and sweaters, would be one white shirt – not because I couldn’t afford the woollens – because I thought winters chill was my adversary and I had to get better of it! And get better of it I did!

Slowly the train trudged in as I was getting late for my coffee appointment at the United Coffee House with my ex-boss from my days in India. I knew she was a stickler for time and details, and she had transferred those instincts in us as well over the little time we had all been together. I wanted to show to her that I hadn’t lost all that learning in all these years.

In I went and although I didn’t get a seat, I got a good place to stand at with my bag nicely placed behind my back. It wasn’t long when the crowd started gathering in the train-car. One elderly “Uncle”-ish guy stood right behind me. He must have been one of the shop-keepers in one of the many crowded West Delhi markets.

Initially, everything was fine since he had placed himself strategically behind me from Uttam Nagar (East) onwards. Then he felt quite uncomfortable with my bag hitting at him. He was in quite a discomfort and then in a tone, very common in Delhi – which combines self-assertion and obvious common-sensical retort – commanded me to take the bag off my back. I felt sorry for him and embarrassed at my insensitivity and quickly took the bag off and placed it between my feet.

This is when things took a rather interesting turn. The crowd had added to an extent that there was no individual left around. You were part of a crowd. If the strong ones of this crowd decided they wanted to get off, well, you would be pushed out as well – whether you wanted to get off at that station or not. And, if you were outside and got caught in one such wave, you would be in the train even if you were to wait for your sweetheart outside. Crowds decided the individual’s fate in such numbers.

Well, I soon felt something rather uncomfortable sticking next to my butt as I felt the warm breath of the “Uncle”-ish guy behind me. I looked down and back discretely and soon discovered that he had pushed his “front” against my “behind”! And he wasn’t limp, if you know what I mean. I had no idea what to do. I was being assualted and I couldn’t do anything. And from a source, which was benign as it can possibly come.

I was trying to wriggle out of this “lock’ that he had put me in, but there was no way out. I could lean in front a little more, but that had its own issues. One, there was this lady sitting in front of me, so the more I leaned over her head, the more she thought I was hitting on her. And second, this guy would adjust his tool to place it in an even more strategic location. Every moment was becoming a problem for me.

And if that wasn’t enough, I could feel his hands brushing my butts. Soon, he was having the fun of his life. It would have been great if only the women couldn’t get enough of my “shapely” butt, but here was this elderly shop-keeper, “Uncle”-ish guy feeling my butts as if I was Madhuri Dixit in his bed!

That is when I realized how tough it might be for the women and why the DMRC has started a new train-car just for them. But I also realized that the women still had it easier than me. They could shout and complain and everyone would listen. What do I SHOUT ABOUT? Who would listen to ME??!!

As Karol Bagh station approached, the crowd lessened and the guy let go of his fun from behind and moved to stand on the left of me. I was embarrassed and purple with anger! But I thought – at least the ordeal is over .. NOW! And that was enough for me to enjoy my freedom for a few moments. But I had decided a little too soon.

He hadn’t gotten over my lovely legs, I suppose. So, now his hands were feeling my left leg up and down. But this time, I wasn’t letting him have his way. I had heavy boots, I had recently bought from Houston, and my time in gym had steeled my legs pretty darn good. As Sunny Deol says “Jab yeh dhai kilo ka haath kissi par padta hai, to wo uth-ta nahin.. oooth jaata hai”. This guy was playing with my legs.. BAD CHOICE.. DAHLING.. BAAD CHOICE!!!!

I move my leg up, which he ostensibly loved because he got to feel more of it right to my knee, unaware of the 20 kilo ki taang coming down on him! And then I stomped on his foot to crush it nicely. He jumped and shouted in obvious pain abusing me in choicest Punjabi abuses.

“Rajiv Chowk”, announced the train, and I said a sheepish ‘Sorry”, smiled like a sultry mistress and walked out to my coffee appointment.

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