Dear Delhi Metro,
Today as I was travelling as a Delhi metro passenger for the zillionth time, I realized that I really needed to tell you this: I hate you.
I hate the unbelievably huge crowd I have to push through just to walk two steps at Rajiv Chowk. I hate the aunty who asks me to ‘adjust’ in my seat when there’s clearly no more room for another person. I hate the never ending queues at the token counter when I forget my metro card. I hate the subtle war with another passenger who is eyeing the same just- emptied seat as me. I hate the boredom from travelling two hours for a place that’s merely twenty minutes away. I hate the exhaustion from standing for those two straight hours. I hate the times when the coach is so full the AC is rarely even effective. I hate that I am not even allowed to eat, even if I haven’t had anything since morning. I hate that people will always try and barge inside an already full coach, even when they can see that the doors won’t even freakin’ close. I hate that I have to fear for my laptop’s well being (even mine, sometimes) when people will not stop leaning on it. I hate the power cuts, the delays, the inefficiency, the ‘inconvenience’that you clearly do not regret.
Who am I, you ask?
I am the college student who is independent enough to travel on my own, because of you. I am the passionate artist who sits on the platform to practice live sketching, and marvel at the beautiful paintings some stations exhibit. I am the office-goer who would have to be stuck in loud, frustrating traffic if not for you. I am the young girl who feels safe travelling after dark, because of the security of your confines. I am the silent observer who loves to look at the different people around me and analyse their every action, I am the extrovert who loves greeting strangers every day. I am the teenage girl who looks at the different outfits of all women in the ladies’ coach. I am the poor navigator who does not know the roads from home to work. I am the kid who feels super badass when I eat a snack on the train, even though it’s not allowed. I am the immigrant who is tired of being unfairly charged and cheated by autowallahs. I am the happy little kid who loves jumping high enough to touch the handles that hang from the ceiling. I am the street shopper who has come to your refuge, to save myself from the scorching Delhi heat. I am the music lover, who eavesdrops on fellow passengers’ music; the book lover who reads other people’s books from the corner of my eyes, the traveller who just can’t get enough of Delhi and the people who live in it. I am the teacher who grades papers on the commute, the student who is happiest in whiling away my time. I am the rich guy whose car broke down, the poor fellow who is too tired for travelling in a DTC bus.
And you? You are everything Delhi is: sophisticated and chaotic, lavish and cramped, beautifully designed but not carefully handled, crowded and annoying but colourful and full of life.
But I will, under no circumstances, ever say that I love you. However, I will most definitely tell you this:
I hate you. I hate you, but I cannot imagine my life without you.