Mixing a brew of freelancing and writing in the pan of social media
Dear Delhi friends,
You don’t know me. I am just an ordinary guy from Lucknow, who visits your city occasionally. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for something.
I want to congratulate you for having a wonderful ‘metro’ in your metro-cum-capital city.
By ‘metro’ I obviously mean the metro trains being run by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC in short), which is a joint venture of Government of India and Government of Delhi. I heartily congratulate the DMRC and both governments too for doing their best to keep the metro in as good a shape as is humanly possible.
I am sure this hard work that is being done for the ‘metro’ by the administrators, even if not appreciated enough by you (the Delhi and non-Delhi metro travellers openly) — it is definitely praised by you in your private conversations.
So, kindly accept my congratulations dear Delhi friends that you have this ‘metro’ gift that makes travelling many kilometers across vast distances in Delhi such a breeze. Your ‘cheap’ (as in inexpensive) ‘metro’ is a pleasure to travel in and it has to be the only reference point of all conversations related to travelling in Delhi.
In other words, I understand now that if you are open to taking public transport in Delhi, then the only question you have is: Which is the closest metro to your destination? Once that is clear then you can take the metro train without a second thought and arrive at your destination without any travel hassles or worries. Travelling in Delhi was one big worry for you earlier that has been effortlessly taken care of by your metro trains and its sleek Bombardier coaches. What a relief, isn’t it! 🙂
DMRC or Delhi Metro in short, is doing an amazing job in carrying so many of you, valuable Delhi citizens and general travellers to your destinations every day, with least hassles. I know that you too value your ‘metro’ a lot. I have a feeling that for you Delhi and non-Delhi girls and women travellers too, your ‘metro’ feels pretty safe, secure and ultra-convenient compared to travelling by road.
Since October 2015, I have taken three trips to Delhi so far. In all these trips, my primary mode of travel has been your ‘metro’. I have taken your ‘metro’ from a number of metro stations. The first thing I did when I came to Delhi last year was that I installed the Delhi Metro app on my smartphone. It has been very useful in charting my trips around your city.
I have travelled quite a bit in your metro trains during these three trips. If my memory serves me right, then the longest I have travelled is from Green Park metro station to Jahangirpuri metro station. According to the metro app, this distance is around 22.5 kms with a travelling time of 41 minutes covering 20 metro stations. And this comfortable travel cost me a princely sum of Rs 22/- 🙂
Imagine how many times more it would cost me to travel by road from Green Park to Jahangirpuri if I booked a cab/taxi. Now do imagine, the kind of experience I would have if I opt for a bus travel. Searching for the right bus using public transport at the right place; getting down at the right place; waiting for the next connecting bus (if there is no direct bus); then paying for the bus tickets in a crowded bus; and getting pushed and shoved around too in the confined space — I would experience all this. I don’t know if you can imagine this experience dear Delhi friend, but I would definitely not even like to imagine this scenario.
At this point, I am also reminded of my metro train travel in Kolkata, then Calcutta in late 80s. I remember I was in school in 1989. My father was a serving ‘Major’ in the Indian Army at the time and he was posted in Calcutta. I think I was supposed to go to either Eden Gardens to watch a cricket match, or to Salt Lake Stadium to watch a football match with my father and brother. It was either of the two, but that day, more than 25 years back, we travelled in a tram in Maidan area.
After that I remember that we decided to take a Calcutta metro ride. We took a metro from Esplanade metro station till the last point which was Tollygunge metro station. I also remember that while taking the metro back to Esplanade from Tollygunge, I saw the famous sarod maestro Usta Amjad Ali Khan on the station. He was being followed by his admirers as he left the station.
The metro was a wonder for all of us back then. Promise of fast travel, clean coaches, clean stations, in-coach announcements — it was such a novelty at the time.
Twenty-five years on, metro travel is no longer a luxury to be enjoyed. It has become a need and first option for any metro-sized city fighting lack of travelling space and heavy congestion on its roads.
Here, let me remind you, my dear Delhi friend that in Lucknow also the vibrant metro dream is taking shape at a fast pace. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav has made ‘Lucknow Metro’ one of his pet priority projects. Work is going on with sharp focus on the first stage of Lucknow Metro track that is being laid out on pillars or underground from Amausi area till Munshipulia at Indiranagar.
The chief minister has announced that the first Lucknow metro train will run before the end of 2016. This is exciting news for all of us here in Lucknow. For many who have never travelled in a metro, it will be an eye-opening wonder, akin to travelling in an aircraft for the first time. 🙂
Dear Delhi friends, do pray for Lucknow Metro that it gets completed and operational soon. We people of Lucknow are very keen to taste and experience the same wonderful gift that you have.