Life in a Metro …. 3

It was probably Tuesday, when I got up on the 9:25 am metro and found an empty seat. As I approached it, suddenly the woman beside hugged her bag and said “Sick, sick”. I looked in closely to check whether I mistook a child sitting there for a bag, but no, I was right. There was a big blue backpack over there which she was hugging. Then she clarified, “My friend is sick, she’s on her way into the metro and she needs to sit.” I understood, and remained standing, while some other women around demanded her for this uncanny reservation. Then the friend walked in and glided past me smoothly to the seat reserved by her friend. She didn’t really look sick, and the duo went on gossiping all the way. How can a person so sick keep on talking for 30 minutes?

Day before yesterday there were some technical problems due to which the 9:30 metro left the station at 9:38, causing the crowd to double on the platform and resulting in everybody’s late arrival at their destination. As soon as the next metro doors opened people rushed in like children from a school will during their departure. Somehow I got pushed in and got a place to rest my feet. It was so crowded that I found it difficult to breath, and faced the window all the way to get some air. Had it been an A.C metro I would have surely passed out. Beside me stood a girl of somewhat my age, she didn’t seem like a daily passenger. She clutched onto the rod overhead with both her hands and kept on swinging with every motion of the train. When the metro halted she put all her weight on me with a push from her massive physique. I couldn’t blame her for the situation as there was hardly any place for us to stand in a stable position. When the metro reached Central and Chandni Chawk the crowd evacuated partly and she smile pleasingly at me and stood at a distance resting her arms by her side.

Yesterday the metro gave me yet another cute reason to write. A pretty woman got up with a very sweet, fair and cuddly baby and stood beside me. The baby was quite plump and had round red cheeks ballooned up on the sides of her face. She wore a tiny white frock with red printed designs. Her mother couldn’t carry her in her arms for long due to the crowd, and surprisingly no one offered her a seat. I advised her to ask someone to hold the baby till she got a seat for herself, but the child was adamant she wouldn’t go to anyone else. Naturally after a while the baby began to feel uncomfortable and started to crib and move frantically. Her mother put her down in a very confined space, and there she was gazing up at me with wide open eyes. She needed to hold on to something to keep herself from falling. So with one hand she clutched her mother’s sari and with the other she scratched onto the side of my jeans. She was so tiny; her head was just a few centimeters above my knee. And her attempt to hold onto my jeans tickled me. I wanted to pick her up and kiss her. She was so sweet. Her mother asked a lady in front of her to let her sit with the child but she refused saying that she was not well. The lady beside got up and offered her a seat. She sat there with the cuddly snow white. But little miss cuddly wasn’t comfortable. She was sliding down her mother’s lap every now and then, and at periodicals letting out suppressed cries to announce her discomfort. Her mother guessed it and offered her water. She was so thirsty that she drank almost 250 milliliters of water at a go worrying her mother about her diaper conduct. As soon as the mother tried to put the water bottle away she let out a scream and forced her to provide her more water. Finally a woman standing close by offered her a distraction, a colourful purse. She stared at the purse as long as her mother packed her bag and got up to get down at the upcoming station. While leaving she waved a goodbye with a hearty smile to all her audience.

By LahariBasu Posted in Metro

7 comments on “Life in a Metro …. 3

  1. wow… seemed like a collection of short stories… i enjoyed every one of them.. and had a smile too while reading them… its so well written and crafted… 🙂 well done Lahari… (Y) 🙂


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