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I owe it to my 8 months young son
Nov 27, 2006 01:30 PM 6077 Views
(Updated Nov 27, 2006 01:49 PM)




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My 8 month old son is giving me lessons so quickly and so effectively that sometimes I wonder if he would have been there when I was 18 something I would have saved good 3 to 4 lacs by now. So latest was a CT scan which needed to be done to find out why his head, despite being within range still, showing a faster than normal growth.

Though there were options for me to get this done somewhere nearer to my place in Gurgaon, I decided to get this done in Sir Gangaram Hospital (Central Delhi) as a surgery to repair his cleft palate is scheduled to take place in this very hospital later this week and it would be a good to get all investigations done in the same hospital to avoid good old comment from doctors of big hospitals “no we do not trust reports of any other place”.

After a mild sedation showed it effects the scan was done and now it was time for the report. Elephants might not know but common men also suffer from a syndrome which says “my patient is most important” and everything related should be processed first. Driven by this syndrome I insisted that I be given reports immediately. No matter what dilbert series say about middle management in corporate sector, I have personally benefited to learn the art of convincing others even in the matters where you don’t have much ground. So after much persistence and explaining different complex angels the receptionist agreed to give reports by 5 in the evening. Since we were not prepared to stay this long in the hospital, I am sure the stock of milk and diaper would have given up by than, I asked my wife to drive back and I decided to stay over.

If you have ever been to NCR I do not need to tell you how much pain it is to reach Gurgaon without your own vehicle. After my wife left I thought for a moment may be it was not all that wise to insist for the reports. Soon, worry gave way to the craving which was a result of almost a “nirjala vrat” (fasting even without water). I decided to go to Karol Baug for my lunch which is at a stone throw distance from this hospital.

My eyes got lit with joy even before I took my lunch as I saw Karol Baug Metro Station on my way. Hey, why didn’t I think of it before? I can very well take a metro to Dwarka Sector 9 (last stop on this route) and their I have friends who are friend enough to drop me at my place. Besides, I have never traveled in the metro before. Chances are grim that I will get this opportunity soon again. Yes, I will take a metro today.

Sharp at 5:15 I was climbing the stairs of Karol Baug station. To say I was a little nervous, is understatement of sorts. I forgot to throw the cigarette pack before entering stations premises, I thought I will not be allowed with a lighter and cigarette pack in the metro. When a cursory look did not present me with a dust bin in sight I though let security object and I will throw it there. They must have one there. So much for the security that they did not even bother to ask me what I was carrying in my pocket, a cell phone a cigarette pack and a lighter is enough substance in one pocket of jeans for somebody to touch and get suspicious about. I think they are more worried about the nuclear sites of country now than a certain Metro train.

I do not have any idea if there will be a vending machine to disburse tokens or there will be a manned window. Much to my respite it was like any other railway ticket counter, make no mistake a thousand times cleaner and plush, I just had to tell the destination and I was given the appropriate token.

The adrenaline rush was increasing, I very cunningly gave way to a couple behind me in the queue to ensure I am not doing any mistake which can announce loud and clear that this moron is a first timer. I noticed what they did with their token and I followed them to the second level where a lean Saturday crowd was waiting for the metro to arrive. The clock was showing the time remaining for next train to arrive and I like any other always-criticizing Indian forgot to appreciate the elegant and amazingly clean station and divulged in the fun of okay-let-me-see-the-precision of this system. If some seconds here and there do not bother you except when it is a rocket launch than it was precisely on time.

I had a hard time positioning myself on the platform because I wanted to ensure I am not standing at a place which is earmarked by metro as an all ladies section, only to realize later there is no such system in metro. Anyways, doors very elegantly opened to welcome me and I was happy to board the metro for the First Time In My Life. From Karol Baug to Dwarka there are about 15 stations with average travel time of about 1.5 to 2 minutes between each station.

You can hear announcement regarding next station, which side doors shall open etc.. Thankfully they do not play music like they do in Shatabdi’s and Rajdhani’s. After a couple of stations I felt more comfortable and started noticing things around me. The train was clean, unscratched and to an extent swanky. No creaking sound nothing which might tempt you not to travel by it again. This was the time I noticed that despite fare being only slightly higher than the road transport a particular class has stayed away from Metro. No offences meant to anyone but I think this is largely the reason for Metro still maintaining it’s interiors.

Coaches are designed to ensure there is proper seating with enough space for people who prefer to travel standing (Yes I mean it, after Dwarka modh station when half the train was empty people were still standing). Over and above the announcement which you can not completely trust (yes it goofed up after Shadipur station on my journey to Dwaraka, ever wondered why trouble starts only after a word Shadi get introduced?), you have display boards which keeps you updated about stations to come. Technology being technology and if you are the sorts who like to carry a umbrella with the raincoat there is route map on top of the doors. In a country where flyovers take years to complete you can be sure that they have not come up with a new station before this map get outdated.

After about 40 minutes of this all-elevated-stretch train reached the destination and whoever was left, including me, disembarked. A couple of minutes of frenetic searching helped me retrieve the token which got lost in the same pocket carrying pocketful of goods, but not before I panicked and called a friend to find out what do they do if somebody is not carrying legitimate token. However, all well that ends well. I decided to check out their lift to go to the ground level. Now this in itself is a certificate and acknowledgement for the experience, comfort and assurance they have given, for me being a claustrophobic who don’t mind taking stares (till about 4 floors) until and unless 99% sure lift wont break down in between (you can’t be 100% sure in these cases).

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Delhi Metro Rail Corporation