One Thing About Travelling in the Delhi Metro is That It’s Shitty

These days, I have been taking long rides using Delhi Metro. The metro rides in Delhi is itself a huge challenge nowadays. Besides being very crowded, the lack of travel etiquettes among fellow travellers makes the situation even worse. The pushing and pulling while boarding the train, and breaking of queues at each point are the norm. Most metro travellers do not respect the feeling of other fellow travellers. It makes me think that even in such ordinary situations, people have become way too selfish.

Beginning from the ticket counter, the travellers often try to sneak from side and, without a little respect for others in the queue, tries to buy the ticket. When politely asked not to come and buy the ticket from the side, some of them would listen to the travellers in the queue and move away while some others would still would not listen. The person sitting in the ticket counter doesn’t say a word and there is no security personnel to look after this.

This breaking of queues happen at security checkpoint, at the entry gate, while boarding the train and at the exit point. At every turn, people will rush and try to break the queue.

When it is about to board the train, the real character of the people comes out. The species driven by instincts devoid of rational faculty are trying their best to serve their narrow interest. People don’t think about their safety as well as the safety of others. They don’t think about waiting for the next train a little longer and letting others who are already standing ahead in the queue board the train first.

Inside the train, people are told not to eat, drink, play loud music or take pictures while travelling inside the Delhi Metro. Well, you guess it or you have probably seen it. People inside the Delhi Metro eat, drink, play music and take pictures. They also throw the empty water bottles, empty plastic packets, chewing gum covers etc. on the floor of the train. Those carrying huge backpacks don’t care whether their unmindful movements are causing any discomfort to the fellow passengers.

While all these things may not bother most passengers. It bothers many others. It certainly bothers me though. I wish that the passengers are little mindful of fellow passengers’ feelings and keep the metro neat and clean and comfortable while travelling. Crowd is not the issue.

What I think from my observations of my fellow passengers in the Delhi Metro is that the dignity and respect for each other among people has certainly reduced to a considerably low point. The value of each life has significantly lost. If some people die in a stampede, it will just become a news item and nothing more. The day will pass as just another unfortunate day. There will be investigations and reports. That’s all. People will not stop to behave the way they are behaving now.

Why I am saying what I am saying? People rush and are not concerned whether their actions will lead to significant damage to others’ life. He doesn’t think and reflect. He just acts according to the stimuli. The same people have already heard, read, or seen people dying due to the negligence of others. Thousands of people die in India not because of their fault but because of the negligence of others. Road rage victims are the prime example. All these people have heard of a similar incident already. Then why is it that they continue to be negligent? Or, are they not aware that they are negligent?

The awareness programs through radio, television, and print media are not really working that effectively. It is not reaching most people. When we know that it is not reaching most people, that most people are not respecting the safety concerns of fellow passengers, we should not wait for a major unfortunate incident to happen to address the issue. It is better to act before a crisis happens.

What the government or concerned the authorities should or should not do must be a concern for the public. It’s time for public to behave as well.

One thing I would like to speak from my heart is: let’s teach the children about these social etiquettes. If the parents fail, let the children correct them. And, children are the best because they learn fast and early. I don’t have much hope from the elders who are never ready to change. I believe in the young blood who are asking for a better change.


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Stand up for what you believe in

Took a rickshaw from Kamla Nagar to Mukherjee Nagar at Rs 50. On the way, I saw a well-dressed gentleman near Daulat Ram College holding a paper cup and throwing it on the road itself and entered into a car. On seeing his action, I asked the rickshaw driver uncle if he ever heard Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign by none other than the Prime Minister of India. He enthusiastically said he has heard about it a lot. I felt good.

We proceeded our conversation about cleanliness, how people just throw bottles and other things, and how they spit etc. on the road without caring for cleanliness and others.

Then suddenly he stopped on the roadside in between Miranda House college gate and SGTB Khalsa College and told me that he needed to urinate. I looked around and did not see any toilet or any of that sort there. I politely told him to ride upto GTB Nagar Metro station which is very near and unburden himself there. There is one toilet there. He did not care what I told and urinated on the wall in front of many college going students- many of them were girls. The girls looked away and I felt embarrassed also. The wall was very near to the road and you know how some men here urinate- they never respect themselves and others, no concern and no dignity.

I suddenly felt how effective the Prime Minister’s campaign is! Oh Ghost!

When he came back I told him that the girls were like his own daughter and he should not have urinated on the wall in front of them. ‘Woh meri beti keise hoga? Wohto dusre ka hein’ (How can they be my daughters? They are others’). That was his reply.

Well, sometimes I am very short-tempered but somehow I controlled myself. I must know where in India I am. But I wanted to express my displeasure with his ugly act.

I gave him 30 Rs and got down from the rickshaw. I told him that I cannot sit on a rickshaw rode by a person who cannot respect others. He said whether I could provide ‘suraksha’ (security) to all girls. I said ‘no’ but it was my responsibility to act at the level I can. “Aap bhi kuchto karo. Aapki beti or patni kisi aadmi ko eisa dekhegato woh accha lagega kya?”

With that broken Hindi I left him there. I took an auto from there till Mukherjee Nagar by paying 40 Rs. The auto driver appeared to be a really nice guy. The way he was maintaining the auto was impressive and we talked about it.

I think that the rickshaw driver may not change. But as a human being, he must have felt bad about his action after what I have told him. My action might have embarrassed him (I am not sure) but I wanted him to know that his action was not socially acceptable. Among his friends or people, that may be the norm, but is that norm acceptable in the larger society?

I might be in haste in my taking decision to get down and take an auto leaving him there despite the fact that I paid him for the distance covered. I had to spend extra money for that and I could not tolerate his embarrassing act.

What is acceptable, what is good, which norm should be accepted are moral issues we continue to debate. What I do believe is that we should have a norm which is to respect one another in the society. When people break that, that really hurts me.


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