The metro is a city’s lurch towards modernity. It’s the vehicle for the city to rise above its vast traffic problems. An oasis within a city that’s on the edge. As traffic crawls, and everyday commuters snarl, the metro unobtrusively hustles along in the comfort of elevated distance, providing fast transport to those who ride it.
Below is the city, in-your-face, on-its-toes, constantly confronting us with inescapable realities of inadequate infrastructure, surging human population, depleting green cover, vanishing civilities and blaring noise. The metro provides a temporary escape from this crushing reality, serenely surveying it from above. Riding the metro gives us an opportunity to observe the city with fresh pair of eyes and develop an alternative perspective, allowing us a panoramic view in the age of tunnel vision. It fills us with hope, this ability to look into the distance and realise that the city is still redeemable.
The metro demands that the citizen be at their best behaviour. Indians display uncharacteristic discipline, queueing up noiselessly, talking softly, offering their seat, even following written instructions as if they haven’t fully acquainted themselves with this alien contraption.
Where the road is discriminating, the metro is inclusive. Routinely we see women steering the coach, in the driver’s seat, leading the charge towards gender equality. To take it one step forward, the Kochi metro has employed transgenders at various positions.
Without the metro our rush hours would be a lot more rushed. And the last time we read the sign on the subway wall, it said that the metro is chugging along full steam.