Last weekend we rode the Delhi Metro for the very first time! Well, we have been meaning to get on board (pun intended) this public transport ever since it became operational close to home sometime in 2010 (I think). But then, things happen only when they are meant to happen.
Back in 2010, I and Hubby tried to avail the metro for visiting a relative, who lived at the opposite end of NCR from our home. Driving in traffic would have meant a waste of two, if not more, hours. We were quite excited and proud to be part of the new infrastructure in our National Capital and were raring to give it a try.
We parked our SUV in the Metro Station and went in to buy the tickets. For both of us, our first exposure to a modern metro was the London Tube. We expected nothing short of that here in the heart of our country…..but unfortunately, we got the shock of our lives instead.
What we forgot to take into account was the population of Delhi as compared to London! The ticket line spiraled on and on like an unending twine and overflowed almost till the station door.
We braved the queue for what seemed like an eternity. In reality though, it was, maybe, 10-15 minutes tops, after which our white-collar sensibilities got the better of us and we could no longer handle the suffocating crowds. I felt so nauseas that I had to ask hubby to take me out of there. That was the end of our first encounter with Delhi Metro. I was so relieved when we drove off in our SUV with the air-conditioning blasting off at maximum that I could never comprehend being back there ever!
Flash forward to 2015.
Last Sunday coincidentally, we were invited to visit the same relative.
Hubby had a really tiring work week (which had continued till Saturday late night). And he was in no mood for long-distance driving in less than ideal traffic conditions of Delhi.
So we thought, why not? Let’s give it another try. Five years is a long, long time for things to change (hopefully for the better!). Plus sonny is so fascinated with trains, he would love to see a real one!
With our apprehensions in check and our expectations toned down real low, we again went to the same metro station; this time with sonny in tow (which ushers in its own set of problems, if you know what I mean!).
The ticket line was surprisingly sparse this time around (thank god!). And when we got to the front, we learnt that we could have gone to the customer care line instead to get our day passes (as was our intention) and did not need to stand in the ticket queue at all. Customer care line was only two-person long when we joined in. So all in all, getting the ticket was a 10-minute affair this time around. I heaved a sigh of relief. A little bit longer and I would have needed to handle a 3.5 year old’s meltdown to boot.
Still, the perpetual worrier that I was, I started worrying about the crowds inside the train, it was a long journey (at least an hour long). How will we handle a small kid if we were to get no seats?
Sonny was totally unaware of his pessimistic mom and super-excited to see the trains whiz past. The wait was barely 2-minutes till the next train and we boarded it without much of a problem. It was crowded, but not too much. Hubby saw a vacant seat and immediately sat sonny down. I and Hubby stood. Within seconds, I was offered a seat by a fellow passenger. I was quite surprised…..did not expect that at all. I sat down, a few seats away from where sonny was sitting and hubby was standing by his side.
As I looked around, I realized that every row of seats in the carriage had four seats reserved for women and four seats reserved for the elderly or differently abled. Sonny was sitting in one of the elderly seats 🙂 But it was fine because there were no old people standing anywhere at that time.
Sonny was psyched the whole time, looking at passing stations, jumping on the seat and what not. After a couple of stations when the crowds eased, I moved to the seat besides sonny (as I was missing all the fun!) and hubby also got a seat alongside us (which was just perfect!).
Soon after, however, an elderly gentleman boarded the train. And hubby promptly gave him the reserved seat, while sonny sat on my lap besides the old man.
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