Delhi: Five types of people you’re likely to meet in the Metro
Once the Metro doors have shut behind you it’s interesting to indulge in good ol’ people-watching
The starers: Their eyes always follow you. Classify them thus: the one who wants your seat, the lecher, the girl checking out your outfit, the classmate from school trying to confirm it’s you before saying ‘Hi’.
Do: Stare ’em down. Don’t: Hum Himesh Reshammiya songs such as ‘No touching, only seeing’!
The talkers: You know they’re having a tiff with their partner (you’ve done it too), you know Ankush is the boss’s pet (he’s so chalu!) and you know when Malhotraji will deliver the cartons (kal, Malhotraji, kal)!
Do: Plug in your earphones Don’t: Scream ‘khamosh’ à la Shatrughan Sinha.
The separated: The Metro’s compartments for men and women may have separated families/ couples/ friends, but who says you cannot indulge in some cross-border interaction? They constantly check on each other and exchange shopping bags and stray babies.
Do: Get out of their way Don’t: Say “I’ll tell to the guards!”
The furtive eaters: They look left, then right, swiftly take out food from their bag and pop it into their mouth. Half-finished lunches, fruits, chips and the occasional momos and pizzas are the standard.
Do: Smile. They may share. Don’t: Think about the smell.
The liar-liar-pants-on-fire: They’re still at Central Secretariat, but tell people on the phone they’ve reached Rajiv Chowk. The whole Metro judges them.
Do: Make them feel ashamed (you know you’ve been there). Don’t: Shout “He’s still at CSec, the sneaky liar!”
Mumbai: Five types of people you may meet in the Mumbai local
Tuck in your sari, check if your bag is zipped shut, gird your loins, and squeeze in. Here’s what’s inside:
The Sleeping Beauties: Once they catch a seat, they drift into their own little wonderland. The object of envy for many people, for while asleep, they’re oblivious to the obvious din around.
Do: Let them just be. Don’t: Wake the dead from the grave.
The HangMan: You can’t miss him. He literally ‘hangs’, with most of his body outside the train. They balance themselves adroitly at the door,
ushering commuters in and out.
Do: Announce your destination. Don’t: Complain about the stifling body odour camouflaged with perfume.
The Bookies: Don’t be surprised if a fellow traveller asks you “Kutthe utrayecha?” (the destination you will alight at). They enter the compartment with the sole objective of ‘booking’ as many seats as possible.
Do: Pretend to be the Sleeping Beauty (see type 1 above). Don’t: Bequeath your seat to more than one bookie.
Band, Baaja, Bhajan: They take the freedom to
practice and preach the religion of one’s choice to another level. Innumerable groups of bhajan aficionados insist the rest of the co-passengers join them!
Do: Plug in your earphones. Don’t: Call them noisy.
The Touch-oholics: Before you get any ideas (you pervert!), these are the ones afflicted with ‘Nomophobia’ (fear of being without a mobile phone). The social media fanatics will be online all through.
Do: Mind your own business. Don’t: Peep, it’s rude.
From HT Brunch, July 14
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