18 April 2019 was one of the most remarkable days in Indian history, especially for Namma Bengaluru. It was the day of the national elections. At times, we fail to realize the importance and the value of our votes. But that’s not me! Technically, it was a government-issued holiday so that everyone could keep aside their work-related commitments and exercise their right and duty. But at work, we had deadlines to meet and pending projects to complete. This meant that I had to head to my office after voting (sigh!).
Thankfully, my office peeps had decided to let us come to the office leisurely once we had exercised our duty. The positive point – here no crowded metro for my morning ride! The day drifted by with political discussions and other election freebies (people who voted got free idli in Bengaluru. I know right!).
But, it was the evening ride that got very interesting. Why, you ask? Because the metro was empty! So empty, that I got a seat when I boarded the metro at 7 in the evening. No wonder it was raining in Bangalore at that time (that’s another mess to talk about another time).
So here I was, boarding the train (pinching myself again) and comfortably enjoying my evening metro ride. What I noticed was there were other people equally surprised with the rather empty ride. My regular bunch of people (giggling girls, head bobbers, saree clad aunties, etc.) were looking at each other, puzzled at the empty metro. A voting day can do wonders!
And that’s not all. Most of the men (yes, specifically men) didn’t realize they were boarding a six-coach train. For all those who aren’t aware- when you board a 6 coach metro train in Bengaluru, the entire first coach is exclusive for women. So when the nearly-empty metro came chugging into the station, the surprised men boarded right into the ladies compartment.
Puzzled women started giving the surprised men their killer angry looks. Few of them realized their fault and quickly ducked into the other compartments. The others were- well, they were just surprised at the empty train and lack of regular pushers and pullers!
Do you want to know what I was doing? Well, I was busy writing this whole thing. And finally, when I was done with the observations, we had already covered three fourth of the distance. What I also observed was that empty trains tend to go faster (hey, this has no connection with “empty vessels” and “more noise”)! Within no time, it was time to get off. But my happy-surprised expression remained with me for the rest of the night.