November 10, 2010 5 Comments
A peculiar thing I see in a metro is that everyone is very quite inside. And strangely it has no co-relation with the number of people inside. It is more prominent in case of the underground one. I first observed this in the New York metro or Subway as they call it. We four people – excited to be outside the boundaries of the nation for the first time, were the only ones chatting, clicking photos etc. Apart from us, everyone fell in the category of either eyes on books, eyes closed or eyes gazing randomly at a point with mind somewhere far away. Many of them also had a customary iPod earphone in place. Simply saying, no one was interested in creating much noise there.
I had thought at that time that this cannot be possible in a place like India. Of course till then, I only had the experience of a Mumbai local as a reference point. A few months later I happened to take a metro ride in Kolkata and experienced a similar quietness among the travelers. And now in Delhi, no matter how crowded the train is, a human sound disturbs you only at stations – that too if crowded. Else its only the wheezing sound of the high-speed train moving perilously close to the tunnel walls. People are busy talking to their minds than to some one else. Even when some one tries to break the status-quo, he finds himself against a huge barrier created by the sound of silence. Almost all, even the adamant ones fail to pass the hurdle and soon fall silent feeling odd.
One major reason for lack of voices in an underground metro is the lack of mobile signals. It seems that no connectivity lends a welcome break for people and may be gives them an opportunity for them to reflect inside for sometime. May be that is why the silence is carried on despite the metro moving into the elevated zone. Soon, the destination – the real world beckons. The signals are back and the mobiles go where they belong – on the ears. The metro meanwhile carries on quietly carrying some more silent people close to their self.