Tag Archives: Metro station

15 Rupees – Part 1

15 rupees

By Ravi J Singh

“The next station is Tilak Nagar, the doors will open on the left. Please stay away from the doors” – This announcement has lately become the cue for me to vacate my hard earned seat in Delhi Metro, which I mostly win at Rajeev Chowk metro station. It being the biggest terminal so far in Delhi metro for different metro routes, always gives you an opportunity to earn the seat, but only if you are already in the metro not outside.

However, even for that you have to act smart, you need to be swift and precise, you need to read between the lines, you need to understand the sitting composures of the people occupying the seats, you need to make a very good guess if the person will change the metro on or before Rajeev Chowk or not. Otherwise your bet can just get horribly wrong, making you stand the whole journey. And, these days from the time they have this separate compartment concept for women, standing in metro has become very less attractive.

See it is not a joke after all, you need to have a hawk eye, the analytics need to be good, sixth sense needs to be precise; the seats are limited. Moreover, you cannot bet on the four seats which are reserved for elderly, physically handicapped, and the weaker sex, oops, the stronger sex, sorry! So, that leaves you with only 12 seats. I don’t go for the 2 couple seats at the side, not my turf.

My law of probability says only 30-40% vacancy rate for these 12 seats on Rajeev Chowk. And, moreover there are other smart people too who act the same way and stand literally on the top of their ‘party’, to ‘say’ their claim on the seat. I was lately becoming very good at this business, as my guess earned me the seat today as well.

It was still another 15 minutes of journey remaining when at Patel Nagar entered two women and three men, the seat next to me got vacant and one of the lady and the man shot themselves for that seat, man just winning the race with a millisecond. I don’t know why I felt bad for that lady. Not that she was very attractive, she was of average looks, not my kind, but I felt bad for her loosing the game. 2 minutes later another race was won, the good man won from the apathy-man inside me, and I decided to offer my seat to her.

But, suddenly a young boy seeing this as a chance snapped towards the seat. “Hey, hey, hey, I vacated the seat for the lady”, I told him catching him from his shoulder. “I never knew, I thought you were getting off the train”, he replied a bit frustratingly while the lady occupied the seat. The conversation was enough to evoke attention of the 30-40 souls present around us. I told him smilingly “you saw I offered her the seat, and got up, still you thought I was getting off-board”. “Anyways, you were sitting on the ladies reserved seat, see there”, he pointed towards the two corner seats, which are reserved for women and tried to enlighten me. I was not surprised on his shamelessness and ignorance, and replied “Dude, those are only two seats in this row which are reserved, not the whole row”, and added smirkly “By the way, you seems like to be one of those men who even after occupying those two seat do not get up by themselves when a woman arrives around you”.

This line was enough to embarrass him completely, there were chuckles around, people were entertained swiftly, don’t know if some lessons were learned or not, no apology was offered by the guy, no appreciation was shown by the lady. The chivalry took the backseat. The metro and its travelers were mundanely running on the tracks as usual.

“The next station is Tilak Nagar, the doors will open on the left. Please stay away from the doors”. My station had arrived, or rather, the metro train reached my daily destination. I got off the train and ran towards the exit point. I had this weird habit of running towards the exit point daily, and challenge myself to be at least amongst the first three people to exit from the card swipe area, as if some gold, silver or bronze medals were awaiting me. But, I was winning, winning in my mind, and by now had scores and scores of virtual trophies and medals and self- acclamation of ‘how fit I am’ with me!

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A Pleasant Evening…An Unpleasant Discussion

woman

Delhi. A breezy February evening. The cold has subsided a bit, yet the chill in the air remains…

…Three girls in their hostel room. Sitting in a circle. Comfortable and cozy, each of them covering their legs with a part of a duvet. Sipping tea and chatting about the hunk next door. Jokes and loud laughter fills the air. Suddenly the light-hearted chit-chat gears into a serious discussion. About the increasing number of rapes in the Delhi.

Reeti: …but that stupid fellow knows that he looks handsome. In some ways, his awareness of his good looks reduces his charms. He is so obsessed with himself. That makes him quite effeminate.

Neha: True! I don’t like his friend’s either. They are such lechs! The way they stare at girls, it’s so yuck!

Priya: Oh that reminds me – the other day, Poo, Shy and I took a ric from the vishwavidhaylaya metro station to this hostel. Guess what happened? Three guys followed us in a Honda City. They went away only after they noticed the hostel guard. I was so scared. I don’t know why they followed us. True, the three of us were laughing very loudly at some funny thing Shy said. But I don’t know how we attracted their attention. Probably it was our loud laughter that attracted them.

Neha: C’mon Pri. Stop blaming yourself for having attracted them. They got attracted because they have no business on earth and wanted to simply have some fun.

Reeti: They were in a Honda City. Meaning, at least, one of them belong to a well-off family. That means they are educated; yet this is what they stoop to do!

Priya: Oh ya! They were well dressed too. Guys are just animals in the garb of human beings. They are so libido-centric! They can’t just think beyond that.

Neha: Correct! The number of rapes reported in Delhi proves the same. Forget about Delhi, the number of molestation cases we get to hear in Delhi University, which is supposed to be considerably ‘safe’ is proof enough!

Priya: The other day, Neelu had taken a ric from the Civil Lines metro station to Shamnath Marg. Two fellows came in a bike and tugged at her dupatta and kurta. It was 5:00 in the evening. Can you beat that? Tugging at her dupatta and not letting her climb the ric. Thankfully, the people standing in the pan shop intervened.

Neha: Oh yes, the metro stations itself are very unsafe. Never take the lift! There was a case in the Vishwavidhyalaya metro. This girl took the lift. It was 9 pm. There was some metro worker in the lift when she boarded and then the consequences were unbelievably bad!

Reeti: A metro worker! Did she get molested?

Neha: Nope! Raped!

Reeti & Priya: O GOD!

Priya: The other day, Vaidehi was taking a stroll round the campus, near Hansraj. A guy came cycling down, hit Vaidehi in her butt and moved on. Her boyfriend ran after than guy, caught him by his neck and forced him to apologize.

Neha: Did he apologize?

Priya: Yes, he did! The surprise factor was not that the guy hit her. It was that he did whatever he did, despite seeing a guy next to her and in spite of being surrounded by so many people. The weirdest part was that, while this entire drama of Vaidehi’s boyfriend running after him and catching him by his neck unfolded, not a single soul turned around to see what was happening. People are so stoical! Either they don’t care about others. Or, it’s a regular thing for them. So, none of them are surprised!

Neha: Moving out of the hostel has become such a risky thing. You never know whether you are going to come back intact.

Priya: Yes, for example, yesterday’s case. When such a thing happens, I just go numb. It almost feels like I have no hands and legs. If I ever fall into such a scenario, I don’t know how I would protect myself. I think I would just let the person do whatever he wants to do and leave.

Reeti: Shut up Priya. Don’t even think that such a thing would happen to you. You’ll be just fine, alright?

Priya: No. I guess all of us should keep ourselves mentally prepared for a scenario like this. This can happen to anyone. You know, at times I feel, since childhood we should be brought up with the mindset that getting raped is just like hurting your knees or meeting with a regular accident. Getting raped has nothing to do with self-respect! It feels so bad that just because you haven’t been able to save yourself from some creatures on the street, your entire family has to bear the brunt. I guess rape is the only crime in which the victim gets punished by the society instead of the victimiser!

Neha: Ya, I have often heard people saying things like – why did that girl get raped? As if, getting raped is such a pleasurable thing! That she was dying to get raped! Or, she even asked for this kind of treatment!

…and another pleasant and cozy evening ended in a bitter note! Although all the three characters here are fictitious, the incidents are real!