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The Great Leveler, Humbled by the Metro & Work-life

Image of Delhi Metro Culture Travelling to Office
I don’t ride the high horse of belonging to a niche section of the society that cannot bear a single drop of sweat on their mighty foreheads However, my childhood unfolded in a manner that could be best described as ‘arrested development’ despite growing a typically middle-class environment. As a result, many hesitations about people, places, and being in the outdoors got imprinted on my psyche. I am no Different—though I hold the bare minimum of typecasts that overwhelm many of us, some have passively filtered into my mind and corroded its judgment. Like any other true Delhi resident, I too often bitch about the fact that how the out-of-stationers are overcrowding our city or how our tax money is being used for creating facilities that we seldom use ourselves. However, this discussion is more about how public transit systems can instill some humility in you and how being humble can help you live perhaps a better life... 

The Realization is Here: a few weeks of regular traveling on the Metro made me realize that many of my anxieties about public commuting were unfounded. My reluctance to intermingle with a certain “type” of people really had no grounds. The realization has come upon me that for most people the Metro ride is akin to a lifeline. I had once heard someone say that there is a difference between “making a living” and “earning a living”. Many of the regular Metro-riders seem to be a part of the latter category and this can never be disrespected. I also realized that working hard was very different from being a workaholic and being work-obsesses was severely different from being a workaholic and still having a rocking personal life. This work-life balance can be achieved but you need to pay your dues, apart from the Metro fare!


A Lesson Learnt: in order to traverse through the swarm of humanity in and around the Metro, it is indispensable to exit the corridor of comfort within your mind. You need to be persuasive and adamant at same time. For me, this has been like gaining an essential life-skill. Some folks might opine that this suggests giving-in or bowing to a situation to save upon daily transit expenditures. Yes, this is also true…no arguments here but what I am trying to share here is the change in my perception and the few notches of greater acceptance that I have acquired by riding the Delhi Metro.


Follow-up Discussion, February 1st, 2018: speaking of being humbled, not just the Metro, I learned some valuable lessons about people management, emotional restraint, and in managing how to network across employees who you know are not going to be there for a long time, in my current profile. Yes, the working setup is not the greatest in the world, there are hopes of occupying a new place soon and there is also some gratification in helping me master managerial skills across a wide landscape of company policies. It would be stupid not to count to positive outcomes. I am trying to put a positive spin on things and this itself highlights a turnaround from my former self. Grudges you ask? None - not against the system or the people!

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