Tuesday, July 07, 2015

On shutting doors, safety and the citizenry

I, coming from Mumbai, was marveling at something else. We could get into trains in a civil fashion! There were announcements asking passengers to stay away from the edge of the platform and to let passengers alight first. By and large, they did.

In Mumbai, although railways would make halfhearted announcements to this effect, everyone knew that it was a question settled by whether the crowd waiting to get off the train was a mightier force than the crowd waiting to board. For years, I had braced myself twice a day, trying not to get killed by a stampeding crowd that was not just impatient but often hostile.

In the Delhi Metro, there was no hostility. There was a tentativeness at first, but people were obviously at ease; they didn't hurl themselves into the compartment as if their lives depended on it. There were good reasons for this - they knew the train would not leave without them. They could afford to wait until the passengers disembarked. There was no need to elbow someone in the ribs or dig your nails into someone's forearm. The train would not move until the doors had closed completely, and the doors would not close as long as people were still trying to board.


rj said...

Thanku. A damn good read end to end.

Annie Zaidi said...

Thanks. Glad you liked it.

Sangeetha said...

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