Delhi Metro – Jahangir Puri, Yellow Line
The final frontier.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One cold morning The Delhi Walla travelled on the yellow line of the metro train and got off at Jahangir Puri, the route’s last destination in the north-west.
At the exit gate, the overhead metro station took the form of a gigantic industrial complex, and the commuters who walked out of the escalators mutated into newly-constructed robots. A vegetable seller pushing his cart under the station’s pedestrian bridge provided the sole confirmation of humanity.
By this hour, the GT-Karnal Road, teeming with Delhi Transport Corporation buses and auto-rickshaws, had expanded into a ribbon of dust. I parked myself on the adjacent street. It was bordered with factories; their tin sheds had rusted to shades of golden-brown. The upper reaches of the air were punctuated here and there with blackened chimneys. The area smelled of nail polish remover. I started to walk, scanning the near horizon for some familiar scenes.
Not far away an elderly man in a cream shawl was having aloo parathas at a cart named Nirala Vaishno Bhojnalaya. A fresh juice vendor was reading a Hindi newspaper. Unaware of the machines of life operating around him, a homeless man was fast asleep on the metal bench of a bus shelter; its wall was covered with torn posters of job vacancies.
A child walked past. He was wearing a man’s sandals. Carrying a small polythene packet filled with garbage, he was looking down – perhaps in search of more refuse. Further ahead, a bicycle mechanic was sitting by his pavement stall. His little tools were arranged on a white sack.
On the other side of the road appeared to be a residential neighbourhood. On the roof of one of the houses, a woman in a red cardigan was looking down at the buses.
I soon reached the point where the elevated metro track ended.
The border region
how completely devoid of beauty and comfort ! Jahangirpuri is an unmitigated civic disaster.
What surprises me is the thread of uniformity and consistency that runs through almost all urban centers of India ( North India to be more specific, since they tend to look more dusty). Minus the metro, the place could be mistaken for a township situated in Meerut, Ghaziabad or Bhiwadi. The same rundown,bleak landscape born of carefully nurtured civic apathy and execrable living standards. No one cares about the place because they are not going to stay there for long. That is the downside of having a large ‘floating population’.
Comments are closed.