People in Delhi’s metros have ABSOLUTELY no sense of personal space!! Getting out or rather, being lugged out of the metro bogey last evening while returning during the formidable metro-rush hour (that’s 8 to 11 and 5 to 8 for non-frequenters) I actually felt something close to violently puke-ish.
Though a recurrent and, sadly much too dependent, metro patron, I’ve yet to see a passenger who’s balked at entering a full metro compartment. Even if its only to be pressed against the door. Or against someone who hasn’t heard of a deodorant.
People keep shamelessly trying make their way into the compartment - completely oblivious of its capacity and of the term “Personal Space”. Even though he/she can hear mumbled complaints from around, they turn around and pointedly ignore them, all the while trying to scratch their belly, fumbling for some firm hold.
The most easy going are the ones who know that their station is at the end of the line, and they are either comfortably seated, their head lolling about in their sleep, or hanging somewhere in the middle, sharing the hold with two more people - and if they are lucky enough - not having to hold it at all! The rest make do by holding onto some tiny clasp, precariously - the vents of the A/C , the hole of the emergency button(which has been removed from most metro bogies) etc.- trying to catch a wink midst all this.
And while you’re being jerked around like a giant wave every other second, all cramped up with the air humid and a half-dozen people breathing down your neck, you can barely count the places on your body that are being inappropriately touched. Should you ever get bored of looking down the sweaty armpit of the guy next to you, you can always turn around and take in the aroma of heavily oiled,slick hair of someone else or fluff up yourself against someone fat enough and treat him like your cushion.
If you happen to be in the vicinity of someone with the sudden need to clench his butt-cheeks,soon enough you’ll be treated with a strong burst of methane-embodied gas which identifies somebody’s lunch- which, understandably, folks around will pointedly ignore or in my case - someone will make a smart-ass comment and try and awkwardly laugh it off.
And if a lady is somewhere in the middle of all this, the site of men cringing away from the dame, giving her enough falling and leaning room, lest she be bumped into inappropriately is priceless !!
And god forbid if you have to get down at those key stations - where EVERYONE has to get off and EVERYONE has to get on.
PS: Though I do remember the days when there were no female bogies at the beginning of each metro train, these days the rest of the compartments are predominantly male - so forgive me if I sound biased towards using the male context.