As I move to a new city from Gurgaon, I pause to think about what am I going to miss the most from the city. I realize that Delhi Metro is what I am going to miss the most. Especially it’s ‘Women Only’ coach. Delhi Metro’s Women Only Coach gave me a hassle-free connection to Delhi that allowed me to explore various facets of Delhi.
Delhi Metro’s Women Only Coach
The women’s coach in Delhi Metro was special for many reasons. This was after a long time or may be the only time when I was in a completely women’s space (apart from washrooms I guess). The first few times I entered the coach, I smiled looking at the sheer no of colors that the coach had. While standing on a journey, I figured out that no two women had the same hairstyle. Each one of them was unique in the way they managed their hair. There were women from all strata of society. Ghoonghat clad women traveling between their father and father-in-law’s house. Working women from the corporate world and the government sector. Daily wage workers and there were students since my yellow line connected directly to the north campus.
On any day
There were women carrying infants in their arms, some carrying laptops almost like their kids. Some carrying the huge shopping bags from famous markets like Chandni Chowk. And students carrying their bags with books. Another set of variety came in the footwear: from bathroom slippers to pencil heels. From bland slip-on to fancy colorful matching the dress chappals. From flat to high heeled, from the bare minimum to a style statement. How could I miss the bags women were carrying. That style, of course, depended on the purpose for which the bag is being carried. On average, each woman carried 2.5 bags at least. This does not include the small pouches used to carry mobile phones, iPods, and wallets.
Conservative to Ultra Modern
There was this whole spectrum in that small space of dressing styles ranging from absolutely conservative to ultra modern. All this put together gave you enough to look at while you travel peacefully in a more or less predictable way. And for someone like me, it was a lesson in the current fashion trends.
Women being women would often strike a conversation with each other. They would talk about the everyday things in their lives and about the latest news of their interest. The younger lot would be constantly on their mobiles and most of them carried 2 mobiles and an iPod. I often wondered at their dexterity to handle multiple devices at the same time; talking on one mobile, texting on the other and listening to music at the same time. While exchanging glances with friends around and almost talking through gestures.
If there were kids around, they would take all the attention and suddenly everyone would be either playing with them or at least feel relaxed in their playful presence. I guess by now they have settled down, but initially, the lady guards took their job too seriously. And would be mad at young girls trying to sneak in their boyfriends by feigning a sprained foot or something like that. It was also the place for the best word of mouth publicity and you could get reviews of just about anything. I remember a young author telling me that she wears a T-shirt with her book cover on it and travels in the Metro to promote the book.
I would have loved to click pictures inside the metro but as it is not permitted I had to stick to the signs depicting the women-only coach. And yes, I am missing those friendly pink signs that gave me comfort, security, speed, predictability, and freedom at the same time…