The much-needed cyclists.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Five young women and men are sharing three bicycles between them. One evening The Delhi Walla spots them on the tree-lined Bhishma Pitamah Road.
These green bicycles are labeled ‘Delhi BRT’; the initials refer to that ambitious Bus Rapid Transit system that was opened in 2008 to tame the city’s sluggish traffic. Apparently, the scheme failed, and the year 2016 has begun with the dismantling of the BRT corridor.
Perhaps these BRT bikes will live on. They were introduced along with the aforementioned corridor—the purpose was to gently nudge people to opt for the environment-friendly option by renting these bikes parked at the especially-built stands at a dirt-cheap rate of 10 rupees for four hours. However, I never ever saw any Delhiwalla on such a cycle. That is, until now, when BRT is entering history.
Coming to a stop, the bikers introduce themselves as students of Delhi University. Joyngam Vashum, Rinyochon Lunglo, Well Kasar and Worchanphy Ngachanso spent the day in Lodhi Gardens and they are headed to Khan Market.
Soon, the cyclists move on one after another. Ms Ngachanso, with a picnic basket on the back of her cycle, lags behind as her friends effortlessly cross the road and reach the market. She struggles with the traffic. The fast-speeding cars go past her. She gets down from her cycle. A minute or two later, the young woman manages to reach the other side of the road and is united with her waiting friends. It is a beautiful moment.
The ideal Delhiwallas