How many times were you given advice unasked on how to deal a cold or fix a broken heart? Six out of ten women in the city recounted how unsolicited advice came their way – sometimes off-hand and more often than unasked – while travelling in the women’s coach of the Delhi Metro.
Alisha Sehgal a PR agent says, “I had a breakup with my fiancée and was in a state of shock. The middle-aged lady sitting next to me became my sounding board. She heard me out and then without my asking, started telling me how to pursue the case further.”
This is just a sneak peek into the ladies-only compartment of the capital’s Metro rail. Amitoj Kaur, another passenger said, “We are a nation full of ideas. Once, while I was travelling by the Metro, my suit got stuck to a nail and was torn. The woman standing next to me used a safety pin to stitch it back. Jugaad of this sort can only happen in our country.”
Unasked gyaan is a common trait of agony aunts but hey, what if we benefit from it? Deepak Raheja, a leading psychologist says, “Unsolicited advice is a very common thing in India; the Western society on the contrary is very individualistic and they do not think much beyond their own selves.” It does not come as a surprise when you see people talking about personal problems and seeking solutions from complete strangers. Kavya Singh recounts how her best friend was going crazy not able to find jewellery that matched her lehenga. “A girl overheard us in the metro and suggested us to check out the markets of Lajpat Nagar. The next day, we went there and found what she was looking for,” says Singh.
Nidhi Khullar, another practicing psychologist says, “People in our country are inquisitive by nature. We tend to lend help uninvited, which may or may not be liked by the opposite party. People do not mean to harm but it’s just that in close proximity to other individual we can’t help but give or seek advice.”
In our moments of crisis, who knows, our journey in the pink coach might provide the solution to our problems?
Know your Metro
The Delhi Metro’s women’s coach started on October 2, 2010
The average daily footfall on the Metro is 15 lakh, of which 25% (approximately 4 lakh) are women