Just another Delhi Metro ride

Imagine yourself sitting in Delhi Metro, announcing ‘Jor Bagh’ metro station. Saying, “doors will open on the left, please mind the gap.” Right at this moment, the door opens and a beautiful girl walks in. She is a bit drunk. Let’s say that she is pissed drunk. She sits right in front of you. She is not looking at anything. She seems like she could be anywhere from North India. She has beautiful eyes that she can’t open. She is wearing a long grey sweatshirt and black tight bottoms with Adidas Stan Smith shoes. She doesn’t look anywhere in particular till the voice on the speakers announce – ‘Race Course metro station’. Then she opens her eyes. Oh yes, she is pissed drunk. Her eyes are blood shot. Probably she is too stoned to notice that she has already reached ‘Central Secretariat’. She is looking straight at you. She is not even blinking her eyes now. What can you do? You try to look around, sheepishly. You make sure that all the other men around you are not noticing what she is doing to you. You are unable to focus on your book that you’ve been reading since Hauz Khas metro station. You know that Dostoevsky is too evolved to read in a metro. People talk too much. It becomes really difficult to focus in the metro. You read a sentence and you try to look up to check if she has forgotten your existence. Has she started looking elsewhere? No. She is still looking at you. She is about to get up at the Rajiv Chowk station. You feel relaxed, a bit. She is average hot. You realize that when she gets up and you get to see her from the back. There has been a lot of hustle bustle around you and you start focussing on your book again. You think that she is going to get off at the ‘Rajiv Chowk’ metro station. You notice that she sits right next to you. Your heartbeat is not its usual self. Your heartbeat is made of Usain Bolt’s testicles now. Your heartbeat is a horse, racing in a Western movie. You stop yourself from looking in her direction. You try to focus on your book. Dostoevsky’s character has killed his landlord. You think about your landlord. Your rent is due for this month. Your salary hasn’t reached into your bank account. You re-read the paragraph where the character kills the landlord. You notice a few strands of hair falling on your right shoulder. These hair strands are silky & soft. These hair strands are attached to the drunk girl’s head. Her head is about to fall on your shoulder. You try to squeeze your body. You move your shoulders a bit. You don’t want people to think that you are trying to take any advantage of her. You like to think of yourself as a gentleman. You stop yourself from looking straight into her face. You, again, try to focus on your book. A hand falls on your lap, dis-balancing your book. Your Dostoevsky licks the dust off the metro floor. You flinch the hand away, super casual, and pick your book up. You hear a “I’m sorry”. You hear yourself saying, “no problem”. You hear a suppressed sound of a kid, trying to stop himself from crying. You realize that the girl next to you is crying. You notice her moist eyes. She is crying, for sure. You gather up some courage and ask “Are you okay? Can I help you in anyway?” You say that sentence in half a breath. She misses it. She asks you to repeat what you said. You repeat yourself. She smiles and says, “that’s fine, you can’t do anything…nobody can do anything…I hate all of you…I hate all of you MEN”. Your insides freak out when you hear the last word of her last sentence – ‘MEN’. You know that you are one of them, MEN. You can’t help her. You don’t say anything. You have nothing to say. She says, “Will you help me? Please?”. You nod your head. She tells you that she can’t walk properly. She asks you if you could help her in getting an auto from outside the metro station. You are tired from your day’s work. You just want to go home and watch your sitcom. You nod, this time, to convince your own self. You say, “ya, I’ll help you.” You get off at the ‘Civil Lines’ metro station. She is limping. You hold her bag. You are holding two bags now. You are going towards the elevator but she is going towards the staircase. She is scared of the elevators. When you ask her why, she says “my mother died on an elevator.” You say sorry and take the elevator. She is limping her way up the stairs. You are standing on the top of the stairs now. She comes and stands right next to you. She asks you to stand right next to her. You are standing right next to her, looking down at the long empty metro staircase. She takes a step back and lifts her leg. She kicks you really hard. You fall face-first on the staircase. You have both the bags in your hands. You stumble till the end of the staircase. Your head and chin are bleeding. Your legs are broken. One or two ribs are fractured. She starts laughing. You don’t understand anything. You see her walking down the stairs. She is not limping now. You are a little scared. She is standing with her shoes very close to your face. She takes her bag from you and kicks your nose. She says, “I’m sorry” and takes the elevator to go up. You are lying down. You have blood all over. You limp your way back inside the metro, towards the platform. You call your family and tell them that you had an accident. You are back in the metro. There are college kids standing in front of you. One guy walks up to you. He asks you if it’s okay to take a selfie. You say “yes”. One by one, all of them take a selfie with you. Everyone else is looking at you. You have blood all over your shirt. They are done taking all the selfies now. They are talking amongst themselves. One guy has his phone in his hands. He is showing your selfie to everyone in the metro. Whoever looks at the phone, starts crying with a smile. They start clapping. Everyone in the metro is clapping now. You feel a sense of calm. You forget about the bruises on your body. You forget about the blood. You post that selfie on Instagram. You start getting a lot of hearts on it. Your get off at the Kashmiri Gate metro station. You don’t look back at the people. You hear applause fading out as you put your headphones in your ears


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