As soon as one reaches Kirti Nagar metro station through green line metro, the crowd waiting for the metro is the first thing that one sees at the platform. Commuters in number of hundreds are queued up (the break the queue as soon as the gates are open) to enter the metro when the gates open. Every one of them are in a hurry. Some of them are in a hurry to reach their office on time. Some of them run hard to meet their girl friends. And some of them are in a hurry because the others are in a hurry.
Kirti Nagar metro station is the junction which connects the Noida- Dwarka metro line with Mundka-Kirti Nagar one. The bridge that connects the two platforms at the station is a busy one. Commuters in huge numbers cross the bridge to get to the other platform from both the sides.
When you see them, you realize how fast life has become. Nobody wants wait for nobody. This fast life has brought so many difficulties with it. Every one of them realizes this still enjoys the toil. The story of the middle class travelling in Delhi Metro, if seen with close eyes, is a pure panic one.
The young population from all parts of the country travels to Delhi in huge numbers every month only to get settled here in their one room shelters. They pay the rent which is almost between two thousand to four thousand a month. Their expenses are many but their source of income is just one. The expenses take a toll on their salary.
They have girl friends, too. I am talking about the young male population here. You cannot live alone in a city like Delhi. You need some motivation. You need to have a girl friend. It does not matter if she loves you or not, it does not matter is she has promised to marry you after two years or not. Her only existence in your life make things easy.
When there is a girl friend then add the extra expenses that obviously you are going to incur in order to strengthen your bond with her. Things have become tougher for couples in Delhi as even the cheapest meal at McDonalds has gone as high as 200 bucks.
In the evening hours, it is so easy to see the face of the middle class in metro. The tired faces you would see are of small time businessmen and engineers, sales people, accountants, mechanics, electricians and who not. For almost all of them the day starts with the first metro at around six and ends with comedy night with Kapil.
The company with which they work does give them travel allowances which are much more than what they spend on Delhi Metro smart cards. They still prefer metro trains to travel around Delhi. Is it for the sheer love in them for metro? Or is it because they are used to the daily dose of bad body odor that oozes out of their fellow commuters? No. It is because they have a home to be run which is not possible if they depend only on their salaries. They have a home in U.P, Bihar, M.P. and other places from where they have come from and some amount of money has to be sent back. It is because the loan that the father had taken for the study has to be paid back to the bank. They are saving as much as possible.
This common man in this country is suffering through so many predicaments that it is even difficult to count. He is spending so much of his life to save money. There are sundays but their is no relief from the tussles. This is not a country for the middle class to live in. He is struggling each day. Yet he is happy somehow.
I do not know if Delhi Metro had made the travel a luxury in the city or not but what I do know is that it surely has brought the face of the ‘middle’ middle class in picture. This class which is somewhere in between the lower and the upper middle class and can also be called as the mix of both.
A class of people who are ready to struggle each day in the heavy crowd in the metro smelling each other’s smell of the arm pit in hope that one day they will get down on the roads in their SUVs only to regret afterwards that the metro was a far better option.