Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love in a Metro: Valentine’s Day special

Have you heard of Metromates.in? I hadn’t, till about a couple of days back when my colleague wrote about it for the V-Day issue. It’s a dating website for those who travel on the Delhi Metro.
As much as I believe that every bit of help is much appreciated in one’s quest for true love, I have to admit that I do find the idea a tad bit ridiculous. Having said that, have you ever noticed the lover’s alcove in the Metro? It’s the juncture between the women’s compartment and the second bogey. I know I tend to insert romanticism into everything, but I do believe that the government’s decision to reserve the first compartment for women has added some spice to the love life (lives?) of the modern Indian Metro traveller.

You must have seen it. Couples standing and longingly gazing at each other—the girl in the first compartment, while the guy plays the balancing act—one foot on the “border”, the other on the “general” side. Very a la Veer-Zaara, or any other cross-border love story. The division is like the forbidden line you’re not supposed to cross. But then, your loved one is on the other side. How can you give in to societal pressures and be separated from your lover for a whole 20 minutes?! Down with the government for having put up such barriers in the path of true love. After all, you can’t just leave your lover to his/her antics, while you go in search of a comfy spot, can you!

It is thus that, such an unintended voyeuristic pursuit (I swear!), I have been able to identify the different kinds of love stories that have been playing out in front of me (I spend a LOT of time in the Metro, obviously!). Here are my humble observations:

There’s the deeply in love: the one where the guy and girl stand really close right at the juncture of the two compartments, whispering sweet nothings to each other, accompanied with the occasional laugh. This is also valid for the newly-in-love couples.

The flirty love: where the girl’s bobbing between standing right next to the guy and stepping a couple steps away every now and then. You have me, but you don’t.

The budding love: the guy stands at the juncture, the girl stands near the last door of the women’s compartment with her friends. Many looks are being exchanged, and even an occasional short conversation. More often than not, the guy’s eyes will be full of entreaty to the girl to walk over to him, but the girl won’t comply. This is more like a power game, no?

The discreet love: where the couple’s standing glued to the Metro wall, both facing forward, but hands occasionally holding each other. This has another variant, wherein the guy stands firmly ON the border, while the girl stands a couple of steps away—both stealing occasional glances at each other. No verbal conversation.

The steady love: guy stands casually on the juncture, while the girl stands right next to the two last seats, or even sits down should it be empty. There is a steady flow of conversation between the two, which is neither hushed nor infused with frequent laughter. A continuous smile, maybe.

Although, in all of this, the guy’s position seems to be fairly constant, no? :-P

Oh, and there’s one other kind, the contentedly married love: now this is completely different. These are two very practical individuals who would rather stand comfortably in their respective compartments, well knowing that since they’ll have to get together anyway after the ride is over, they might has well enjoy these 20 minutes of solace with their brethren.

Happy Valentine’s! ;-)


  1. Lovely! What things you notice! Write more often. :)

  2. good hai! update was loong overdue :)

  3. I knew things were goin' on in the Metro, but never been so observant. I need to pay more attention.

  4. Nice post. Hope you would write more often

  5. That is a great observation .. I can not say that I am a regular in metro but yes I totally agree with your insight. :)

    Like Malcolm Gladwell says "To be a writer assume that everything is interesting and you can get a story out of it" .

    Very well written :)

  6. Though I have never travelled in a metro, enjoyed reading this. Hope to see more of it coming!