Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hapless in London’s underground

I enjoy my daily commute to work and back thanks to London’s tube network. Not more than 40 minutes passes between the moment I lock my door at home and the moment I reach my desk at work. 40 minutes commute is a luxury over here. And those 40 minutes lets me dig into my book of the month or just close my eyes and slip away. Sounds like a happy story right?

It was happy until yesterday. It was just like another day until after work I got ready for my ride back home in the tube. It is usually crowded during rush hour and it does get quite difficult to find a place to sit; sometimes it gets so busy that you might not even get one of those hand-rails to hold on to which results in a ride where you’ll have to apologise profusely to your fellow passengers for having shoved your purse or an occasional elbow into them. Not that they mind – everyone in the tube puts on a glass-eyed-look. It’s almost as if everyone stops being normal people who can talk and smile as soon as they get into the tube.

Yesterday was different just because it was crowded beyond the usual. It was the first time London underground brought back unpleasant memories of journeys dared in Mumbai local trains. Consoling myself that with the sweaty-Mumbai-local-experience under my belt, enduring the well-mannered London tube crowd would be child’s play, I got into the tube and found myself being pushed into the middle of the tube standing area. This is the only place in the tube where there are no hand-rails to hold on to.

My right hand busy with my purse, my left hand went on to arrange some rogue hair that had strayed around blocking my vision. I patted my hair back in place and in that 3 seconds, even more commuters had managed to cramp into the tube coach.

Visualise this. I, a tiny woman, am at the centre of the tube standing area, with nothing to hold on to, people towering all around me, my nose is squished against a gentleman’s bicep, there is no space to move a finger and on top of all this – I had my left hand still raised high above my head and there was no way I could squeeze it back to where it normally belonged.

Now all I had to do was shout Jai Hind and it would have been a perfect execution.

And oh, I had to hold that awkward pose, squished nose and all for another minute (felt like forever!) before we pulled into the next station.


Anonymous said...

ha ha :) Can I have a pic of u in that pose please? :P

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Yeah right!

Deepak Panigrahy said...

ha ha ha :) I was reminded of the jam-packed car scene of Bhagam Bhag movie....

Girl With Big Eyes said...

I haven't seen it, so can only imagine. And no, don't think it will come to close to this.


Anonymous said...

How abt drawing a pic in that pose?

Anonymous said...

Good that u got a refreshing memory of Mumbai...not to mention the Jai "Hind patriotism"