By Tanvi Girotra

All observations, comments and opinions are purely my own. Resemblance to any person living or dead who travels or may have travelled in the metro is purely coincidental.

Based on careful exploration, research and much conjecture, I have come up with the following ten things that make my early morning metro ride ever so interesting.

1) Women don’t like to make eye contact with one another. They consider their sacred seat on the metro {if they are lucky enough to get one} as personal space and hardly ever let anyone in.

2) Have you ever had the eerie feeling while typing on your phone that someone might be looking from the back?Well its true. Most women in the metro compartment are trying to make out what your texts say and who they are being sent to.

You have been warned.

3) I think of the metro like a huge social space. You never know who might walk in into which compartment at what point of time. But the funny part? People who actually do know you in life will pretend not to know you on the metro. I think this characteristic is similar to most Delhi markets and malls as well but it is the most prevalent on the metro for some strange reason.

4) All, and I mean ALL women in your compartment judge you on the basis of what station you get on from and get off at.

5) One of the most fascinating events during a metro journey is definitely when a foreigner decides to enter your compartment. All conversations will suddenly stop. All eyes will shift towards that poor little woman who has chosen this day to try and pull of a sari. There is a sudden feeling of bonding and sense of patriotism that has entered every woman sitting in the compartment as they exchange very obvious glances and break into sneaky giggles. The poor white woman, scarred for life, gets off at the next station….. probably never to return.

6) If an aged lady enters the compartment, most women choose to look away as if they haven’t noticed her. One would hardly ever find a woman get up even if she is very comfortably occupying the ‘for old and physically challenged’ bench.

7) If a man dare enter the women’s compartment, even if he is just on his way to the men’s side, you will instantly observe a strong wave of feminism rise up in all the members of that compartment. The poor guy would have to hear loud screams of ‘batameez’ and ‘sharam karo’ before he can find his way back to his part of the metro world.

8) As violent as they might get if men dare enter their territory, during rush hours some women very conveniently prefer traveling in the general compartment. Don’t be fooled – there is carefully crafted reasoning behind this as well. While no woman ever stands up to make room for another in the women’s compartment {refer to point 6}, men sometimes out of chivalry or sometimes to prove a point will vacate their seat at one slightly pleading look from a standing woman in front of him.

9)  There is a weird cosmic connection between all aunties in the metro. Two aunties will be sitting and whining about household chores and annoying husbands, boasting about their son’s and daughters when suddenly a third aunty sitting right next to them will enter the conversation out of nowhere. Now these three women will chat and laugh throughout their metro ride like they’ve known each other for years.

10) While travelling in the New York and DC subways, people tend to greet you with warmth. Even if it’s not a more blatant ‘good morning’ or ‘how are you’, a smile or two will definitely pass between two people standing together. If you so much as nod at someone in the Delhi metro – it might just be the last thing you ever do.

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