On Monday, while travelling in the Metro, a strange thing happened to me. I got to the station just in time toboard the train. It was one crowded coach of a crowded train that I boarded! There was just some space by the door where one could stand. I went as inside as possible (which wasn’t even two full steps) and then held onto the left side handle by the door. There was already someone standing, leaning against the left side map and so I had to stand partially blocking the way to the door.
Then, probably at Yamuna Bank Station (enroute Pragati Maidan to Noida City Centre), a lot of people got in (A lot of people do get in at Yamuna Bank station, I am not sure about what I am going to jot down next). After the doors closed and the people inside the metro shifted to let the crowd settle in, a man, dressed in a very nice black suit, blue shirt, with curly hair like those of Bobby Doel, asked me to get a little aside. He had easily spotted probably the only one spot in the entire metro that wasn’t crowded - just in front of me, unfortunately, also just before the metro door. And it was just enough to accommodate one person.
When he asked me to move aside, I wanted to remind him that the spot he was aiming for, would be the spot used by passengers to board and exit the train, but I decided to go with the better decision of his, and stayed silent! However, for anyone travelling on that route, even I know that the stations that follow are the major stations where people get off. And nothing was different that day either.
For few stations that followed like Akshardham, Mayur Vihar I, Mayur Vihar Extension and Ashok Nagar, the crowd getting down is not much and it could be managed to move aside to let a couple of people board or exit the train. But for Noida sectors and the stations that follow, this is something that seriously isnt possible. The exit doors are so much crowded, that you just cannot stand there.
I stood right behind this young, handsome person watching him get hesitant a little, at each station. For the earlier stations, he was in a situation of a fix, for there is hardly any place to move near the doors. There was a girl to his left and another man to his right. He had to move nearer to the girl every time someone boarded or exited the train. There was a very confused expression on his face that amused me. At each station, as soon as I saw him have that look, I couldn’t help smile remembering how badly I wanted to warn him against this.
For the next crowded stations, I saw him get down at every single station to let the crowd from the Metro exit and then enter back into the metro. Every time he got out of the metro, he wouldn’t let go of the handle, in case he missed the metro. And his hesitant or confused expression changed to one with worry and irritation. Every time he exited the metro, I couldn’t help supress a giggle.
Before moving ahead, let me share something with everyone - something has gotten into me these days and whenever there is even slightly funny around me, I couldn’t help laugh hard; even if I am in public!
So I laughed… thankfully, I laughed silently.
Finally, at Botanical Garden station, where to the joy of the poor, cute fellow, most of the metro gets empty, you just had to see his expression. He got down in the good gesture and the moment he stepped on the platform, he kept trying to get back in but the number of people getting down at that particular station is so high that he couldn’t even get space to keep his single foot onto the train. I was still laughing.
While entering in (FINALLY!), he saw me supress at laugh and he smiled too. It was a very sweet and modest kind of smile nonetheless, it was great.
He spotted a seat and went to sit. I kept on laughing (it is hard to stop when once I start laughing). We exchange one or two looks with smiles, before people started looking and suddenly the sweet turned into awkward. I don’t know about him but I tried to get a look of him every time I could but after that he wasn’t looking.
The next day, I boarded my usual ladies coach and it was rather crowded. Again, I stood near the door. There was an instance where I had to move aside to let huge crowd deboard and there was no option. So I deboarded to let others get down and then board back. As I got down, I remembered the guy I had seen the previous day, do the same and smiled. That was when I knew this is going in my blog.
There are several instances when you meet a person and you just don’t like them. Or a stranger says something that might offend us. But there are very few moments when a stranger affects you in a positive manner. There are very few strangers who leave you with a smile. This particular guy, was one for me.
Not only I remember him for his good gesture or the laughter I enjoyed, but he was a stranger with whom I shared a small and sweet instance.
While travelling in a metro, it is often that we step over someone's feet, push somebody or the seat fights, but how often have you given someone a sweet smile? Or a sweet memory? For that, this stranger will always be a special stranger. He is definitely one person, if you find, you could befriend!