Metro rides are one of the most introspective and observational times for me. It is in these minutes of solitude in the midst of a crowded compartment, that I make my most honest and surprising observations. Most days, my metro rides are constricted to 10 minutes or so, where I just want to look outside, at the building passing by, waiting fervently for the impending departure to the work space, the mind already at work making check-lists. But today, due to an unforeseen circumstance, I was made to travel in the metro for a longer distance, and had more time to observe my closer surroundings in the ladies' compartment and the people that ride the metro with me.
The first most striking observation was that there was an eerie silence. Now, in a city like New Delhi, and the haphazard lives of an Indian living,. silence is a luxury that I figured was afforded by a select few. But in that metro compartment, apart from some chitter-chatter in hushed tones, perhaps with a friend but mostly on the phone, there was silence. Some had books in hand, some had earphones from which I could hear a faint drum of music, and everyone was engrossed either in their thoughts or music or quiet conversation. The only noise was of the metro rolling along, separated from sun-bathed locales of the developing city.
The women, mostly young office going crowd, all had the urban look around them. Busy, non smiling faces, immersed deeply into their daily lives and race for bread-winning. Their clothes, some were formal western, some Desi and some casuals, but all had non-telling expressions, hiding their thoughts from a room full of strangers. In such a crowd, I noticed the feet of a rather becoming girl. Otherwise pretty but with a fault, with the second last toe smaller than the last. She saw me looking, and she looked up, and smiled, the most radiant, vibrant smile, as if to tell me, you may look at my faults, but you can't budge my mind. She flaunted her fault, and walked out onto the platform to go about her business, with a smile on her face. I wanted to stop her, I wanted to say, your faults are mine too and I could care less about them, as do you . So kudos!
Eventually, the journey ended, the metro stopped at my daily destination, and got off looking ahead at my day, and the place of my work, but with the thought, that despite my faults and short-comings, I will smile through my day and keep the spring in my step.
Life - taught in a metro...