1:14am, 30th June, 2016


5 min

The Delhi metro has a railway track extending on 213 kms across NCR. Proudly it makes around 2000 trips daily from morning 5.30 to 12 midnight. Each trip has only 1 ladies coach allotted specially for ladies. And the total population of Delhi is approx 1.7 crores whereas the population of ladies only in Delhi is 80 lakhs. Calculations states about 50% are ladies across NCR. Read out what happens when the metro is delayed and how it adjusts such a number in its ladies coach.


“When I think about life I think of – Life is not in the destination. It is in the journey.”
Well, not anymore… Journey my foot!

The other day I walked into a overcrowded platform on a metro station seven stations away from my place in Delhi. Normally a journey from there to my station which is Mayur Vihar Extension would take not more than 20 minutes. But today it seemed like there had been no metro for a long time. The platform was so crowded that people had now begun to queue down upto the staircase leading to the platform. Clearly there was a technical issue with the metro. I waited for another 10 minutes before the train arrived.

Scene I

As soon as I got in they started playing a pre-recorded announcement in the metro …
Male Voice (In Hindi): ” Is seva me thoda vilambh hoga. Asuvidha ke liye khed hai. “
Immediately followed by the same in English –
Female Voice (In English): “There will be a short delay in this service. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
I parked myself next to the door right in front of the one I came in from. The platform for my station arrives on the other side so its convenient to already be next to the door when it opens. That’s about my destination which apparently is not important! What’s important is the journey… but my journey refused to begin. So the doors of the metro remained open. All the possible crowd on the platform, beyond the platform and on the staircase had now boarded.
Me (thinking): What the hell are they waiting for ?
After 5 minutes in the stationary metro… Again …the pre-recorded announcement-
Male voice: ” Is seva me thoda vilambh…. “
Female Voice: “There will be a short delay…”
Me (thinking): Fineeee… Now move…
It finally started moving after another 5 minutes. It only managed to pull itself upto the next station. Obviously, when the entire nation is inside one train how can it move faster than that? We’ve not developed that kind of technology yet. As if one nation was not enough as soon as the doors opened another nation-full of people barged in.
Me (thinking): Hahaha… Somebody tell them the train is not moving. They look so happy to squeeze in!
Male voice: ” Is seva me thoda vilambh…. “
Female Voice: “There will be a short delay…”
The same repeated from station to station. The announcement kept coming at periodical intervals pissing the hell out of me and everybody around me.


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Scene II

By this time I could hardly move. The crowd was overwhelming. Moreover I was in the Ladies’ coach – a no mercy zone for girls. Normally one would get breathable space in a general compartment becuase they are cautious of a lady being around. In the ladies coach the only mercy is when men enter the compartment and refuse to leave. One can call the women safety number and register a complaint.
Here it was bad. Overcrowded. Can’t move. Can’t breath. Some girl behind me broke the ice …
Damsel-in-distress 1: “Someone please call the women safety number.”
Damsel-in-distress 2: “And say what?… There are too many ladies in the ladies’ compartment?”
Silence… Announcement :
Male voice: ” Is seva me thoda vilambh…. “
Me: “Somebody punch this guy who is announcing”
Chorus from the ladies: “Yeah… Yeah… Punch him man! Just shut that thing!”


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Scene III

Next station: More ladies try to push themselves in.
In general from the metro crowd: “There is no bloody space in here. Don’t … Ohhhhhh… Ohh… Damn”
We are squeezed into each other’s faces. Two friends standing together got separated inside the metro because of the crowd.
Damsel-in-distress 1 (lovingly to her friend): “Monaaaa…”
Damsel-in-distress 2 (a.k.a. Mona): *No response*
Everyone in the metro is looking for Mona now.
Damsel-in-distress 1 (lovingly again): “Monaaaa…”
Me (thinking): Where the hell is this Mona?!
Damsel-in-distress 2 (a.k.a. Mona) (very lovingly): “Yeaaaahh…”
Damsel-in-distress 1 (lovingly again): “Monaaaa…”
Fists tighten in the crowd.
Me (thinking) : Punch her!
Damsel-in-distress 1 (continues): “How long until Yamuna Bank Station?”
Sniggering in the crowd. *No response from Mona* … More sniggering.
Announcement- Male voice: ” Is seva me thoda vilambh…. “


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Scene IV

One station away from my station.
Me (to those closer to the door) – “I’m getting off at the next station. Do you want to reshuffle so that I can come in the front? “
Girl-in-the-front: ” Umm… I prefer breathing at regular intervals. It’s my hobby. Do you mind adjusting next to me instead?”
Me (Moving next to her) : “Yeah… I’d like to breath too…”
Now a girl two rows behind me wanted to get off as well. She was trying to make her way closer to the door in turn pushing all of us forward. Then as she failed miserably –
Pushy Girl (to the girl right behind me): “Are you getting off at the next station?”
Girl-behind-me (As rude as possible): “No. But you please get off!”
Pushy Girl: “How can I get off if you don’t let me move forward.”
Girl-behind-me : “I don’t know that. But please do get off.”
Finally when my station arrived and the train came to a halt I saw that there were more ladies waiting to board the only train that had arrived on their platform after ages. I announced in general to the girls around me:
Me: “I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’m getting off.”
They all glared at me. Fists tightened. Before I could get punched the doors opened and I leaped out in relief. Destination sweet destination!


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