City Hangout – Foot-Over Bridge, Indraprastha Metro Station
Disconnected from the world.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Buried in antiquity, the legendary city of Indraprastha is thought to have thrived near the Metro station bearing the same name. Archaeologists are still puzzling over the clues to this key city that appears in the epic Mahabharata.
The Indraprastha Metro station itself feels as vague as the ancient city, with a footbridge suspended over a busy highway crammed with motorists trying in vain to get somewhere quickly.
By contrast, there are people strolling across the bridge as languidly as visitors in a public park. Every so often, they spot glimpses of those silver-grey Metro coaches that appear unapproachable from this vantage point. Indeed, the bridge feels totally disconnected from the rest of the world.
The barely acknowledged landmark has a charm, because it seems to be in the middle of nowhere. It isn’t close to offices, markets or colonies. Even so, it is a world unto itself, a landmark in its own right, with so many constituents: the handful of pedestrians who actually use it, while the great hum of Outer Ring Road traffic forms its armour.
The station, also quiet, features Ajay’s fresh fruit stall, complete with plastic roses, just beside the staircase. The stall’s carrot juice is recommended.
The bridge mostly stays empty save for occasional commuters on their way to the ITO Crossing or to Sarai Kale Khan bus stand. This sun-soaked moment on a winter afternoon, a man is walking with a little girl dancing silently to some tune in her heart. They are followed by two women carrying wood on their head; they by a nun in grey tunic. Then nobody appears for minutes, all is still and secretive. Suddenly, it feels as if it has gone the Indraprastha way.
A bridge in Mahabharata