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For Delhi Metro Riders: How Old is ‘seat-worthy old’?

Finding Seat in Delhi Metro | Animal Antics
During my many sojourns in the Delhi Metro, I have realized one thing that no matter how much Delhiites are ridiculed, they have some degree of respect towards the elderly. One thriving example of this is the fact that men and women of all ages are more than forthcoming when it comes to vacating their seat for an elderly person. However, from a personal perspective, this trend confuses me besides making me feel good about my city. For starters, apart from the folks who are extremely old and look weathered and worn-out, how do I always know about vacating my seat?
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.



1 comment:

  1. Jan 19, 2018: last time I traveled in the Metro, from Dwarka to CP, I used the Express Service and it is way ahead of the usual Metro boogies with a Shatabdi like layout sans any seat snatching games.

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