Friday, June 7, 2013

Ride the first metro.

(The Brunch magazine last week published some fascinating articles about - 10 things you can do on summer morning in Delhi. I've posted these articles at Motley Delhi for the people who do not read the Brunch magazine.) Stay connected for more.

Catch the coolest public transport in Delhi at dawn

Even the heat wave was taking a breather it appeared. On a hot week-day, when I took the first Metro on the Violet Line, the latest colour in the rainbow of hues which is the Delhi Metro, boarding the train was a breeze.

On most lines (Red, Yellow, Blue, Green etc), the first train starts between 5.25am and 6am (as is the case on the Violet Line). In the morning, smiling CISF personnel haven’t yet acquired the 5,000-yard stare they get after frisking thousands of commuters. The noise levels inside the coaches are tolerable. So, you see a student taking down notes on Modern Indian history and a senior citizen browsing the classifieds section of the Hindustan Times.

Every day, close to 1.5 lakh travellers ride the Violet Line (launched in 2011), taking about 30 minutes to cover the 20-km stretch between the cluster of sarkari offices near Central Secretariat, to Badarpur on the periphery of the city.

Since Apollo Hospital is en route, you come across people carrying breakfast for patients. A solitary cricket player with the intense look of a future Dhoni, deboards at Nehru Stadium station.

A few hours later will be the frantic rush hour, when laptops clang against tiffin carriers, elbows plunge into shoulders and the throng of humanity begins pushing you. But at 5.45am, workers going to the Mohan Industrial Estate patiently wait for the first train. Devotees alight at the Chhatarpur Temple. If you are not so devout, but still want to experience the calm of the Bahai House of Worship at the Lotus Temple, get down at the business district of Nehru Place, the closest station. It is the right time of the day to practice Zen and the art of meditation, Metro-style.

  A stress-free ride, it’s the Metro at its calmest.