I love travelling by the metro, I regret that these instances have become scarce now but nonetheless whenever I do I always come out rejuvenated. I know this sounds crazy to many, taking into account the craziness of over filled metros or the mixture of smells that fill the air from expensive, even ultra-expensive perfumes to the stench of sweat. This is not one of the travels that everyone looks forward to with people stomping your foot, or comfortably leaning on your back while you are leaning on a pole. Reading a book, turning your head, grabbing a bottle of water, getting your phone out of your pocket, keeping a check on all your belongings, making way to the exit when your destination arrives, yes it can be nightmare travelling by metro.
But then why do I get so fascinated by it, is it simply because I am always fascinated by absurd things or because you see so much life happening in the course of your travel, I cannot be sure. Women in the metro intrigue me, because I see so many facets of everyday life. One can find women of all ages of course, but what is also interesting are the various backgrounds they belong to. From burqa-clad women to girls in shorts, you find everyone there. Unmarried women, some engaged, others probably in a relationship with their phones held tightly to their ears, their conversations with their men are endless. Many newly married girls with big bright bangles or large bindis on their forehead who look at the unmarried ones with envy as their time has passed, they do get occasional calls from their husbands but those end after the location of the metro is identified. And then obviously there are the long married women or women with kids who have by now realized that most of this will fade away sooner or later when reality strikes in, all they want to do is to sit and catch up with their sleep.
The conversations are as interesting as the people, from young college or school girls exuberant and loud who discuss the latest trends in fashion, movies and food, there is an unstoppable surge of selfies that are being clicked, the giggling and gossips are endless. Yet another set of women are busy gossiping about their life at home, the obvious target are mostly their mother-in-laws who suffer the maximum brunt, stories are shared, solutions discussed, these conversation mostly end with a sigh and a decision to surrender to the situations because they conclude that there is nothing much they can change about it. Some of the conversations are office gossips where the bosses and their favorites become the target these are mostly accompanied with a lot of hand movement and shaking of heads.
And then there are the old ladies who see and observe all they nod their heads in disapproval at the short clothes or conversations, they are the ones who can give you long stares throughout your journey if they don’t like you. They are also the ones who start abrupt conversations and start telling you their experiences. They are glad they are able to see a day when they could travel in a metro. For them INDIA has developed.
So I see, hear, connect, observe these people. Something about it makes me smile when I reach my destination, I do open my book to read, almost always or plug in my ear phones for music but eventually I give up and decide to soak up everything that is happening around me and that in itself feels like an experience.