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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Metro Diaries #5: Metrocious!

I don't think there is a limit to my weirdness. Or impulsiveness. First off, I switched on the laptop for some work. Then I thought 'let me make a random post about nothing and everything happening'. At the last second as the cursor started blinking in the title bar, my index finger found the 'M' and my mind (without even asking me! -_- ) decided to write something on the Metro travels. It's been too long since I've talked about it, yes, but I've already talked about it so much. But no. Since I'm not doing the right kind of meditation taught by a young prof in college, what he calls as transcendental meditation, that allows our soul to calm and control the mind, my mind is squiggling free and not just listening to me. Fine. Whatever you say Mindey. (That's the name. Mindey. :P Hey P! How d'you find this name? *laughing out loud*)

I'll "try" making this a short post but you never know with me. :P 

The past few weeks have been quite weird when it comes to my Metro travels, if we talk about my near-zombieness when I'm in the Metro. Maybe because it's become too routine, even when half of the days I can be found pacing and running in a very PT-Usha-will-get-a-complex way. It's okay dudes. If it hadn't been for all the rushing, I wouldn't have been as fit as I'm now. Nor would the Metro aunties get to enjoy live entertainment as they see me dramatically take deep breaths and drinking water and coughing and letting my bag slip to the floor with a thud as I finally board the train. (I hope you did not imagine me like that. I was kidding. I'm not that dramatic. At least on some soulless days I'm not.)

But for the most part, it's routine, even the rushing. Fortunately, a morning crowd or technical problems are not all that routine, though they're more frequent than I would have liked. For instance, that day when we had an end-semester exam and I very conveniently decided to skip the morning class so I could sleep in a little, have a clear head for an exam I hadn't read a word for, and go to college leisurely. Of course, I was still mysteriously ten minutes later than the 'should be' time, and got a message of foreboding while huffing and panting and climbing the stairs of my station, announcing an impending technical difficulty in the system looming ahead. Even though that paper was kind of useless, I still needed to pass it well (because under no circumstances what-so-ever can I come to study here once I'm finished with MBA). And being late would not be good! 

The platform was jampacked and however much of a SuperGirl I am, it made me experience a minor panic attack. There could be no way I would be able to board a train in this situation. I mean, it was pretty evident there hadn't been a train there in ages. There was no clue as to when it'd come next. There were hordes of people tightly strung together on the platform. Total scare-material. 

I made my way towards the first coach-platform and my heart sunk even lower, because of course most women prefer the first coach (and who wants to glide and slide among guys in an insane crowd? *shuddering* at the thought). Although I did get to learn crucial life lessons that day. 

# 1: Patience helps: I'm almost always really patient. That day, if it hadn't been for the exam, I would have been even more patient, but still, I was quite patient nevertheless and decided to not follow dad's advice (over the phone, near-hyperventilation when I conveniently told him I also have an exam) to take an autoricksha instead. Well, for one, my college's too far and two, I don't know the way via road, apart from a vague guess. And I would so not be travelling in that vehicle on my own -_-

After about 15 minutes, a train came in and the tangible, collectible sigh of relief and pumped up hormones was so visible that I could have captured it in a camera, if only my phone's camera worked. Of course, being able to get in that train was an unimaginable thought. One, we could see people's bodies glued to the train's interior and so many inside that it was a clear breach of the maximum capacity of the train. But *sigh*, this happens. As I spied the doors from a distance, hoping against hope that soon more trains would follow, I saw people tumbling out and breathing in deeply, as if the polluted Delhi smog was heaven. Actually, to them it might just have been. Barely two people squished inside and clung to the other women, barely saving their backs from being hit by the closing doors. 

People went back to their usual stance once the train was gone. Staring at others, staring at their smartphones, staring unseeingly in the distance, standing on tiptoe and leaning forward over the edge of the platform hoping to see a sliver of silver in the distance. I went back to Whatsapping my folks back in college, updating them about the 'situation' and asking them to plead with the teacher on my behalf, just to let me in somehow. It was half an hour past now. Another train rolled in. Just as I heard a group-shriek, I looked to the right to find females from all ages, actually tumbling out of the coach, slipping and then falling over each other. Some aunties had agony pained over their faces and I felt bad for them, but some young ones found it to funny and fought to hold back snickers :P

I missed three more trains before I realized I could not stand there all day and planted myself in the front-crowd and waited for the next to arrive. This seemed relatively more free and as the doors opened and a couple of women stepped outside gratefully, I glided got pushed inside and realized that it wasn't really as free as it seemed. Arms pinned to my sides, my face was assaulted with n number of different hairdos, the most irritating of which is the high ponytail (and tends to be sported by those with spiky, rough hair!). 

# 2: You don't know which is worse in a crowd: stuck among both genders and breathing in foul smells or being squeezed to asphyxiation among all women? The second one maybe. Being all-women gives everyone the freedom to glue themselves to others, to make 'space' for aunties and girls-who-act-like-aunties, to take your hair away from you, and leaving their chunni stuck to your bag. Somehow I managed to inform dad I've boarded the train and kept the fone in an inside pocket for double safety. The notes I had managed to squeeze in with me rested somewhere near my thighs, dangerously close to getting torn and stamped on. I found myself a metre away from where I was originally standing as the train passed the stations and women pushed inside with amazing power and prowess. You thought there isn't any more space? Ha ha. Can't you see that inch? You sure can 'adjust' an aunty there!

But the first coach isn't all that bad. I witnessed a sort of social dynamics and behavior example when a healthy, bold-looking woman stood near the doors and refused to budge when those at the platform tried squeezing themselves inside and retorted back with an appropriately worded and strong response, thus making us poor things stuck beside chameli-oil laden women breathe enough to survive. 

# 3: It's always okay: No matter how late you are getting, there's no point getting stressed over your situation, even when you might be regretting not having made a will yet, it'll be okay. You'll reach for your exam half an hour late and the teacher will say you'll not get extra time, you'll see your classmates leaving class way before the allotted time ends and you decide that the exam might not be that hard after all and end up writing it coolly, leaving 40 minutes before it was 'supposed' to end! Ha! There's nothing that disastrous that can happen, so even when you're so tightly squashed among unidentifiable women that you might just as well take both your feet off the ground and you still wouldn't fall or budge, look around at people's faces. Seriously. Change my name if it doesn't make you laugh. ;)


PS- Random advice: Don't ask mom to give you something when you're hungry. If she makes pasta, there will be more mattar and corn than pasta. If you ask for namkeen, she'll give you a bowl of sprouts with a little bit of namkeen barely visible in it. -_-

PPS- Don't write such ^ lines before tasting those sprouts. They would be yummylicious! And yes, she'd also get a bowl of just namkeen along with it. ^_^


  1. You and metro diaries....I am of high opinion that the Metro Rail Ministry should read it ;-)
    You thought there is not any more space..can't you see the inch..hahaha!!! Mast :D

    1. Haha :P I wish!
      But most of it comes with people. And people will be people :P

      Maybe they could take in my suggestion of having a compulsory class on Metro etiquette for every single person who has to use the Metro at least once :P

  2. This is your nth article about Metros. :P

    It feels so good to read you after months! I miss reading your posts :-/

    1. I miss your comments! :|

      And yes, I know :P I never seem to get enough of it :P

      I feel awesome that you are reading my blog from there!! :D If only for this, I could write everyday ;) :P

  3. LOLzz..... This was sooo cute! A breath of fresh air I believe :)

  4. Hahaha, the episode was just as hilarious while reading as it was when I got to hear it from you :P

    You should become the Metro Devi or something :P You can preach people well on the given subject, given your experience and expertise ;) :D

    P.S. '''Mindey''' ?! *bangs head on the wall* Maatey, aapka kuch nai ho sakta *50 aansu hassi ke, 50 aapke hopelessness ke dukh mein and 1 extra shagun ke liye* :P :D Yes, I've gone totally absolutely crazy!!!

    1. I know. My narrations with actions are awesome :P

      Metro Devi? :P Now who's making funny names? -_- Mindey is simple, self-explanatory and easy to spell. All the characteristics of a good name :P

      PS- I loved the shagun wali line :P
      Miss you crazy! Come back ab.

    2. haha! I was so waiting for a reaction from Preetika over "Mindey" hahahahaha!!! :P :P , right from the time I read --Preetika, how d'you find the name??

  5. Hahaha ... this was so hiralious. Filled with every ingredient required to make it a proper funny feel-goody Metro Diary post. I missed these so much ^_^
    I totally loved this line - Can't you see that inch? You sure can 'adjust' an aunty there.. :P

    I totally agree with the three observations, athough I haven't experienced the second one but I can totally say that the other two hold true not just in case of Delhi Metro but almost everywhere else :)

    This is one post I would definitely be coming back to read in the future again. Loved the whole of it. Okay, maybe except that Mindey would have looked so much better without the E :P ;)

    Awesome post Ashna, please keep them coming and since 2014 is just round the corner, I do hope they would be for sure. Right? ;)

    Hugs :D

    P.S: Good that you wrote the PPS, I was gonna say how awesome mommys and sprouts are :D :P

    1. Heyy lovely! :D

      Thanks so much for your makes-me-smile-so-much comment :D

      Mindey is awesome even with an E :P And yay, I do hope you'd come back to read this post if you're sitting down with a sulky face and you want to read something to make you laugh :P But wait, one, I hope you don't get into that mood and two, if you do, I'd myself come and make you laugh :P

      Anyway, I do believe 2014 is going to be awesome, so yeah. And yay :D

      PS- Mommys is okay. But sprouts too? Such a grown up you are :P

  6. Even though this would be a harrowing experience for someone like me, you made it sound so interesting. You are a warrior out there Ashna! :D

    1. Haha! *Experience* :P

      It's not that bad, actually. The only point I wish to make is, this happens all the time and it's so natural! Why waste energy stressing over it? It's quite fun if you keep a positive outlook and pass smiles. Seriously. People just need someone to pass them a smile. They'd definitely smile back because at the root of it, everyone finds the situation funny, to some extent ;) And I'm sure you'd handle it pretty well too, if it ever came to that. ;) :D


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