Delhi metro weaves through the capital city, a lifeline for over 2.6 million people who travel on a daily basis. As far as melting pots go, Delhi’s subway system is a great equalizer, with professionals, college students, families all thrown into the mix. Everyone has one thing in common: to reach their destination.
One doesn’t know who is sitting on the next seat, but chance encounters result in brief conversations, or polite smiles. At times, a few showdowns.
When I take the metro, what I notice are glimpses and snatches of people. A pair of manicured hands holding a phone closely, in a hushed, private conversation. A man massaging his tired eyes. A father holding his child in one of his amputated arms.
In this mass of people, old and young, each person travels with a unique story. Stories that are never told, but a curious onlooker can read them in frail hands, simple white saris, rough slippers, crossed arms, a stack of bangles or sweaty palm prints.
The metro offers many rhythms in their own uniqueness, such as the fall of the dupattas of women or femininity in the postures of men. The many differences dissolve for a moment and one quietly crosses over to the realm of the other.
Often, I imagine the lives behind the glimpses: the person in a tearing hurry is late for office, the girl shuffling her notes has a test today, the shirts-tucked-in-pants group work together, the girls laden with white plastic shopping bags are coming from Sarojini Nagar, the lovers stand a little too close to each other and steal glances.
On the metro, I can sneak into the lives of people. The people in these photos can be any of us. All of us are travelers sharing the same space, trying to reach our ultimate destination....