The Rails of Delhi

The screeching melody of the steel brushing against the rails, as you hear a low voice go around. The anxious wait to hop aboard, as you hear that low rumbling hum. The hiss it leaves, as the gates slide apart, and the breath that enthralls, as you make way in. The precautious beep lost in the background, as the gates slide back, falling together in motion. A gradual start as it rumbles into, leaving you a smile to hold onto.

An emotion that never fails to amaze.

I vividly remember the first time I stepped into the station, a child overwhelmed by what seemed to him an impossible miracle. People jolting up stairs as the behemoth of a train made its way to them, hissing as it came to a rest.
Panicking, as I stepped ahead, crossing the leap that followed the yellow line. And there I was, at the very heart of it all.

Back then when finding a seat was a rather simple task, I sat looking outside, marveling at the skyscapes the land had to offer as inertia pulled me ahead, a curious nine year old held by his father.

An emotion that never fails to amaze, an emotion I grew along with.

People fanatically gathering along the doors as you spot the pebbles at Yamuna Bank, the nostalgic voices letting you know where the doors would unbolt. The 9 year old, scared a tad, as the train moved into the venomous darkness of the tunnels preceding Mandi House. And oh, was the kid scared of the ramps in Rajiv Chowk going over the platform, hanging down off poles that went into the roof.

An emotion that never fails to amaze, an emotion I take pride in.

How can I even skip the best time to be in one, the winters. There stood the twelve year old nagging his parents to skip a train, as he counted the numerous pantographs on the ones passing by, a chance to ride the newer bombardier coach. The foggy winters complemented by it's soothing yellow lights as even gentler voices accompanied you to sleep on stone cold metal seats.

Recalling those days when me and my friends would walk at 9 in the night for long, in the sub-10 winters of Delhi sipping hot coffee as we made our way to the station back from classes, always leaves me standing emotional.

Standing there on the vestibule with a foot inclined on its bulge, a hand in your pocket while the other grips your bag, a nine year old going in awe staring at the metro changing tracks, waiting outside the foggy cold station while seeing children compare their height with the metro girl near the ticket counters.

An emotion that never fails to amaze, an emotion I would hold dear forever.





Ars longa, vita brewis

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Ars longa, vita brewis

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