I don’t want to offer my precious, hard-fought seat to just about anyone who has a few more grey hairs than me or someone who just looks old, someone who has a congenital condition that causes too much wrinkling. I want to offer my seat to only those who are truly the elderly and for me, this demarcation starts at the age of 60 years. Anyone below this landmark should be able to sustain his bodyweight on his/her two legs. This creates quite a predicament. It isn’t always easy to make out the right age of a person.
If you have read my earlier posts, you will realize that they are quite a few fakers on the Delhi Metro. How do I differentiate the actually-aged from the just-tired, middle aged and exasperated and just malnourished souls? How do I absolve myself of the guilt of occupying the seat when someone with an actual age-induced medical condition stands right next to me?
Can people be trusted to disclose their real age?Should my criteria be just age of the person or am I supposed to calculate the overall health status of an individual by merely looking at him? The bottom-line is that all this requires too much thinking and my sole motive after gaining a seat on the Metro is closing my eyes and getting my breathing pattern right. Call it being stupid or pretentiously worried but the fact remains that this is how my mind functions. I am a thinker by constitution not by choice.
Updated on January 24, 2018: though I am not riding the Delhi Metro regularly these days, I keep hearing interesting bits from regular commuters like my sister-in-law. The horror stories about seat-grabbing still hold true. People, especially women, faking impaired body movements or sighing with their head held upwards, supposedly towards God, are on the rise. People riding to the shortest destinations do this with shocking ease. The act is easier to pull if there is a child involved or if you have some grey hairs. This applies to misusing the seats reserved for the differently-abled too.