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July 29, 2009

Posted by K in Uncategorized.
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I don’t like the Delhi metro so much anymore. A few months back, I thought it was the next best thing to heaven. But Delhi becomes so much like Mumbai on the metro. The mad scramble to work. Middle aged men crowding the point at which they estimate the doorway will come to stop, and literally running inside, a wild jump to grab the one seat they see available (never mind that there are other seats empty and there are other briefcase toting, balding office-goers, all leaping in a synchronised, perverse act of desperation). People sitting face to face and not knowing where to look(I thoroughly dislike the seating system. Would have preferred a vertical alignment, never mind that standing space would be reduced). People requesting you to adjust, the indignity of resting the edge of your bottom on the rim of the seat. The animal instinct that doesn’t want to let you share your seat the one day you DO manage to grab one. The annoyingly smooth voices making announcement after condescending announcement. Why on earth should you evict people for playing music, on tinny speakers of mobile phones, on the train? How can you make ‘quarrelling’ a punishable offense? Why should ‘squatting’ be liable to a fine of 200 bucks? Why should people travel like cattle just because it is the metro? What makes you think it is okay to flash the fact that the metro big brother is watching you all the time while you travel (it’s a chilling shot-a pair of eyes filling the screen, scanning left and right)? The stench of Authority is so strong every time I set foot on the metro that I could just scream.

And let us not even go into the exploitation of construction workers by the DMRC.

Another thing that is increasingly making me sick to the pit of my stomach, is the latest airtel ad campaign. I know the meaning of the word ‘despair’ when I see a connection scheme being targeted so vulgarly at children, how old can they be, 8?9?, being portrayed on billboards, television schemes. This is somehow so much worse than the targeting of kids for items like toothpaste, junk food. I think even clothes pale in comparison. It is not just the concept of independant phone conversations that they are selling, but everything else that goes with it. I sincerely hope that I’m being an absolute fool and that I have missed some detail that will make this disgusting piece of work more acceptable.

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Comments»

1. yaamyn - July 30, 2009

I actually arrived on your blog with the intention to post a comment demanding a new post! But was pleasantly surprised with a good read.

I haven’t even seen the Delhi metro yet, but can now very well imagine what it must feel like.

There must be some word to describe the phenomenon of how perfectly social human beings act all weird in their clamor for their seat. I’ve had instances in buses in Bangalore city where people appear to be ready to wrestle with me for a seat I’d happily give ’em if they asked.

And Playing music is BANNED?! What is this? Soviet Russia?! I really didn’t know that.

(Of course, I do get annoyed sometimes by loud, jarring ringtones. Perhaps they could be banned. I’d totally support that!)

I”ve had so many arguments with my better half over the ubiquitous big brother cams.

She thinks its a necessary price for security, and wishes India were like UK, with a camera recording your every move!

What a gross outrage of privacy! I personally detest being treated like a common criminal everywhere, in the name of ‘security’.

Wow. My comment’s probably longer than your post. :p

We can fix that. Just put up a longer post up soon. 😉

2. sporadicblogger - July 30, 2009

‘Ello yaamyn! Good to see you here despite my lack of updates!:P

The delhi metro is unique, I will certainly give it that. Delhi is very proud of it, and people take care of it very well. BUT, yeah, like you said, perfectly sociable people turn strange on things like this. The level of warmth, atleast as I find it, is much greater on buses.

I can understand why you’d get annoyed at jarring ringtones, but believe me, metro journeys are so DEAD (nothing to see, nothing to do for one hour) that personal touches like a little trashy music would certainly enliven it 😀

I normally carry a book with me, but sometime’s it’s hard simply taking out the damn thing, and reading is only possible if you’re comfortable holding it at your nose-literally!

Yeah, the security argument. It’s for your own good. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. I personally wouldn’t believe that big brother has actually ever caught anything worthwile. My friend tells me she has seen sexual harassment on trains that ply towards the night, when the crowd lessens. I know of people who have had pockets picked etc.
A common criminal, yes, I detest being thought of as a potential common criminal.

Yurs, I will certainly try being more regular.Thanks for checking!! 🙂

3. kishore - August 9, 2009

I frankly think the no ‘music’ rule is fine, and i’m sure you’d agree if you’ve heard those “china” made loud ass speakers.
Once, in one of those much famed bangalore buses, all i wanted was some peace and quiet. But no, some guy comes in and plays those sad M.Rafi songs, i’m telling you the mood was sombre.
ANd well, adjust a bit is like a norm here, T.I.I (This is India:P)
P:S- Why don’t you blog often? I particularly like your writing, and keep visiting hoping you’d update.

4. yaamyn - August 10, 2009

@ Kishore…

Don’t you think? :p

I find this to be one of the best written blogs around. You really need to shift gears and step on the pedal, sporadicblogger 😉

Or you’ll disappoint fans!

5. sporadicblogger - August 10, 2009

aaaah! You’re putting pressure on me! You’re putting pressure on me! *Runs away*

Lol 😀 Thanks though. I always feel surprised and pleased when somebody says they like my writing. I will try to be more regular. Although I dont have the time to read even my blogroll these days, which I do very much miss.

And yeah, I know what you mean, kishore, but the thing is that humans sounds have always bothered me more than trashy music 😀

6. kishore - August 11, 2009

Ah, but metal is fine eh?:P Many would disagree. Our parents would say it’s ‘noise’.

7. kishore - August 11, 2009

woah, never knew i was on your blogroll!!

8. pyush - August 24, 2009

my first to your blog and i am already liking it.
but hey hey hey !! delhi metro is still da saviour. we all can imagine how people may go berserk without authority. Whoever wants to listen to music, earphones are available in the market, unless you want to impose your bland sense of music on ’em.
You loathe security but you will again blame them if bomb blows up. I mean safety cannot be compramized for comfartability, right?

9. sporadicblogger - August 24, 2009

Kishore- You have been for quite some time!

pyush- Hullo and welcome 🙂 The Delhi metro is a convenience, but only because the rest of the public transport system seems to be relatively inferior. Should my area have been well connected by buses, believe me I would not take the metro every day.

I only object to making listening to music on loudspeakers a punishable offense. In my opinion, it ought not be more than a request. (I fully trust that commuters would make ‘offendors’ shut off their players, even without that fine).

I don’t loathe security- you will notice that is the one aspect I did not crib about 🙂 I object to the, in my opinion, unjustified display of authority, and the attempt to regulate commuter behaviour in an authoritarian manner (by making display of common social customs punishable, amongst other things).


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