A peak-hour ride on Namma Metro

A peak-hour ride on Namma Metro

From experienced passengers who rush to board the train first to the clueless newbies, you can see them all on a daily basis

There are passengers so eager to get in that they think nothing of blocking the way of those deboarding

Allowing one to escape the horrors of driving on choc-a-bloc roads, Namma Metro is a boon for many, including this author. But increased patronage means that coaches are jam-packed during peak times, with commuters subject to pushing and jostling. 

To make matters worse, there are always some passengers who are in a tearing hurry to get on or off or don’t believe in following rules, least bothered about the trouble they cause fellow riders. Here are some real-life examples of such people...

Eager for entry

There are clear instructions to give way to alighting passengers. But there are always some people who believe they deserve preference above all the others waiting to enter the same coach. I once saw such a person, so eager to get in that he thought nothing of blocking the way of alighting passengers. His exuberance made me and the other passengers wonder what treasure was hidden inside the coach. The security staff was not impressed and gave him a mouthful, after which he fell in line.

The Escalator racers

Have you seen Carl Lewis and Marion Jones in action? Some people on the Metro could give them a run for their money — literally. An announcement about the arrival of a train is a trigger for many to sprint up the escalator. The success rate is directly proportional to the number of people you push and shove out of the way.

Takes pleasure in staring

Travelling during peak hours, while being uncomfortable, can get embarrassing too, when you and your co-passenger get too close for comfort. Squashed like sardines in a can, your faces might be only a few centimetres away from each others and he takes absolute pleasure in staring at you unabashedly. There is no point in turning away; another ‘in your face’ encounter is waiting on the other side.

Doesn’t know where to go

Deciphering the signage to enter the right platform can be a tough task for those who are not regulars on the Metro. The easiest thing would be to ask the Metro staff but somehow we would rather get it wrong ourselves than ask others for advice. Recently, I saw a young couple run up to the platform just as the train was pulling in...on the other side. An unparliamentary remark preceded the long trudge to the right side.

Oblivious to signs

Standing in a long queue at the automatic ticket counters to enter the platform is tiresome. Once during a particularly busy day, a lady decided she had enough of waiting and marched to the side – to enter through the exit gate. Much to the amusement of the watching passengers in the queue, she repeatedly tried to swipe the token, despite a red ‘X’ on the display indicating no entry. Better sense prevailed after a few failed attempts.

Addicted to the Internet

Watching videos on YouTube or listening to music is a great way to kill time on the Metro but data transfer does not work when the train goes underground. However, there is always that passenger who gets frustrated during this time. They don’t give up and try to refresh the page or press play/ pause more than a few times, with increasing ferocity. But to no avail, they have to wait to see the light.

Doesn’t know where to stand

It is confusing for occasional Metro travellers to figure out on which side the doors will open at each station. The ideal action would be to stay alert and listen to the instructions being announced and move towards the correct side. However, there are some people who are lost in their own world and come back to reality only when the doors open at their station. This is followed by a mad dash to navigate the crowd of people and make it out of the door in time. The more aggressive ones manage it. For a few, it means a return journey back to the right station.

Doesn’t believe in using deodorants

The air-conditioned Namma Metro cars provide a ‘cool’ travelling experience but the enclosed spaces leads to another problem – smelly passengers. Unlike the open local trains of Mumbai, where the breeze comes to your rescue, here you just have to turn your face and hold your breath for as long as you can.

 

It’s all fun and games until you see the danger...

It is understandable that people are in a hurry to get to their destination as quickly as possible. However, it is important to spare a thought for fellow passengers. It might seem funny but some of these antics could cause a serious accident. Namma Metro has framed rules for a safe and comfortable journey. It is best that commuters follow these; a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for a much-safer commute.