City Life – Listings for Living, Local EMU Trains
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Perhaps you too have noticed that the advertisements on those nice air-conditioned Metro coaches tend to involve big companies or big-budget movies?
That can’t be said of informal advertising flourishing on rundown EMU local trains. These ads might be surreptitiously affixed to the ceilings and floor, or the backs of seats.
This afternoon in the Kishenganj-bound EMU, for instance, an outfit’s poster is looking for “anpar (illiterate) se graduate ladke (boys)” for a dandy “directorate job.” Whatever that might be.
While a rooftop poster offers this enticement: “Males/females are required who have their own laptop/mobile…no interview, direct job!”
You’d need to devote some time on EMUs to study these informal flyers because they do tell us something about city life.
A tattered printed sheet clinging to a seat back offers airport jobs in Hindi to young “illiterate” men and women. A “helper” can get as much as 18,000 rupees with free “rehena + khana+ medical” (housing + food + medical).
Can this be true?
There’s also a notice for a monthly satsang (prayer) service in West Delhi’s Vikas Puri.
Perhaps the most useful flyer heralds the services of Guru Pasha Bangalore. Yes, that’s his name. He offers a comforting hand for “Lovers hurt in love…I won’t let your love break. My promise.”
Then there’s Baba Usmani ji’s publicity, offering counselling for manchali shadi (love marriage) and sautan se anban (tiff with husband’s girlfriend).
Are these ads really noticed? At this very moment, on this EMU, practically everybody is glued to their mobiles.
Life on the tracks