•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences
An estimated 5-minute read
 Email  Facebook  Tweet  Linked-in

“Metro par chadha hai kabhi, chalo aaj tumhe metro ki sair karata hoon “.  With these words, was the beginning of my life in a metro. Sincere thanks to one of my friends who familiarized me with the metro and no doubts therein. Of course, my life in a metro started in the Eastern zone where “Puri Bhaji” is synonymous with “Poori Shobji”, and of course where North without dispute meets the East.

This immediate deviation from the culinary debate to a debate on the metro seems to be a bit weird.  It is quite difficult to ignore the hype of the gastronomic delights of Bengali delicacies in Kolkata, but just with that as a starter on our platter, I move north, towards my life in a metro in “Dilli” as opposed to the pronunciation “Delhi”. As to that, I make no delay in offering my gratitude towards our Indian tongues for the pronunciation expertise.

It is winter time and I am into the regular law school winter internship ritual at New Delhi.  With due respect to all those who travel by Delhi Metro rail, I plan to enchant the readers with a small incident.

Travel either to work or shopping is brilliantly swift with the metro and thus an announcement that Delhi Metro is an indispensable asset to the lives of Delhites, would be free from any error. I am not glamorizing the Delhi metro just for making me reach my desired locations in a matter of minutes. Wrong guesses there. I am not paid to advertise. Neither will I criticize. I just want to take a few minutes of attention by narrating an incident. (Similar lyrics to that of a bollywood movie,-  na maangoo main sona chandi, na maangoo main motar gaadi….etc, never mind, only English here ,my salute to the Kolaveri regime)

I kick off this piece with a handpicked incident which I had witnessed while travelling by the metro and against which I am plotting social statistics. My incident relates to the to and fro trip which I take every day from the firm where I am interning, to the place where I am putting up. I also request the readers not to end this piece with the word “exception” as exceptions are not always beneficial; sometimes they sentence a well blooming discussion to death.

I have other incidents to narrate, but as of now, the rhythm is correct for this incident. (Seems I have still time to get over our Kolaveri effect, never mind we are ready always to do the 1234). The left ones would be surely plotted against situations, whenever I find time to plot them against realistic situations and till someone does not snatch my right to freedom of speech and expression, by notifying that Right to write includes right not to write anything or the right to shut up.

Let me begin with the real statistics.

I stumbled upon a news story regarding Delhi metro which read, “Men paid Rs.11L to travel in Metro’s ladies coaches”. I wondered why men paid so much money to travel in ladies coaches. But the later part of the news story made things clear. Fines were collected from the men who had forced their way into coaches reserved for women. And then the punch line “it was a successful initiative”.  To add to this, I remember having watched a video on YouTube which had a recording of men being beaten up by lady police officials and women for boarding a coach reserved for women.

Were those boarders’ wicked molesters who went inside the coaches reserved for women to molest women? Or were they fond of paying fines and getting rewarded with “slipper treatment”?  Or was it a show of machismo and the proving of the proposition that men dominate, women tolerate and metro is no exception? Or were they dumb fools, who, in spite of knowing that a coach is reserved for ladies, went to receive royal treatment in terms of “sandals”?  Let us keep such questions paused for a while.

Here goes the incident. It was night time, around 8 pm, when I boarded the metro to my place on a general coach of course and not on a ladies coach.( I am not very good at experiments) Nothing seemed unusual and nothing could be unusual. Suddenly, I heard a female voice behind me speaking “Uncle, aap yahan aaiye, baithiye”. Just as I was trying to  figure out , to whom was it being addressed, I could make out that it was being spoken by a seated lady (who should be in her 25-30s ) to an old man almost trembling and who was standing beside me holding the chain.  The next surprise comes here. The old man said “ Nahin mere bahchhe, baitho , bachche ho tum  ,baitho”. I was trying to figure out why such atmosphere of sweet words suddenly cropped up. With the regular sweet doses of diabetes threatening sweets in the east,( Of course how could I ignore the east since my life in metro started in the east), the exchange of such sweet words could also give a tough challenge to the sugary sweetmeats.

Scratching my head always does not offer me a solution to tough questions, which at times throwing quick glances, offers. I resorted to the latter and I got it. The seat on which the lady was seated, above it, was a yellow sticker on which it was printed,” Please offer this seat to someone who needs it more than you do”.

To summarize, this piece does not aim at glorifying an incident of an old man asking a woman to take her seat as compared to the unpleasant instances of men getting stocked up in lady coaches, not at all. My sole purpose to write this piece was to show social realism, as it stands. It speaks about social realities, that men and women revere each other by human nature, to speak of the seated lady or our old man.

The yellow sticker which reads “Please offer this seat to someone who needs it more than you do” does operate in both directions for men and women. I would hardly believe that any chauvinism would have occurred to the trembling old man who asked the lady to remain seated. I could also see the pricking guilt on the face of the lady who saw a man, an age of her father, standing with intense difficulty and almost rolling down every time the train stopped.

The questions which we had paused and when now answered seem to invite in the conflict, Machismo v. Feminismo( I appeal to my readers to excuse me for introducing this word and not to criticize with the words like “ kya words invent kar raha hai yeh” ) and which I call the strife in the metro.

Male chauvinism may just go to the dogs, but humanism does not.

(Dedicated to my friend because of whom my life in a metro begun and to the metro lady in our internship team)
Click to show 2 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.