By now you all would have read or at least heard about the death of a man at the busy Rajiv Chowk Metro station in New Delhi. According to reports, the man was hit by the train as he had crossed the yellow line and leaned forward to see the train’s direction. The yellow line is beyond which you shouldn’t step as announced often at the metro stations. With no offence meant to the deceased, I would like to delve deeper into the problem that exists in us – the common people.

I have been traveling in the Delhi Metro for the past couple of months. Like always, I have been of course listening to the announcements as they are made. But as I glance through the women’s compartment, I get a sense that the announcements on loop usually fall on deaf ears. As human beings, we make it a point to steer away from what is being asked of us. We make it a point to break the rules that are meant to perhaps protect us. But you know what’s worse? We don’t regret or feel guilty about being at fault.

The man who died at the metro station was to get engaged in November. Imagine the plight of his parents and fiancé? If at all he paid heed to the announcements of “please stand behind the yellow line” – and perhaps, been a bit more patient in waiting for the metro that arrives every two minutes, things would be different. He would have been alive alongside his now broken family. I doubt if this is a standalone case or ever going to be one. People just don’t pay attention to “public” announcements!

For how long can you expect the metro security guards to keep shoving you away from the platform boundary? The guards have to be on their toes all the time. There are railings being put on the platform to ensure people come in and out of the metro in a proper manner. But, we being the stubborn human species, detest the idea of decorum.

For once, can you indeed “stand clear of the doors” at the station; “stand behind the yellow line”; “do not push passengers before boarding or deboarding at the metro stations”; “not sit on the floor of the station/metro”; “not eat or drink inside the metro” ? For once can you come pull those earplugs out, listen intently to the announcements and follow it so that no more lives are lost?


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