Just Queue much!
In my hunt of ‘What Next’, I landed this cool assignment with a Healthcare app, but at a 20 km distance away from home. So with coolness came the hotness of the weather of Mumbai and the dreaded travel via public transport. Sheesh!!! Those who’ve lived in the city would know what a deadly combination that could be.
The saving grace only this time, was the travel by the #MumbaiMetro life-savingly air-conditioned. Even then I dreaded the travel at peak hours. On my first day with a prayer in my heart and pace in my legs, I took that first step out of the local train and into the metro station.
Long queues (Queue 1) of atleast a 50 people x 6 queues awaited. De-motivation happened instantly. But to my amazement, the queues moved at a quick pace and in no less than a minute I was onto the metro station.
Then came (Queue 2) the entry point and swipe of the metro card to get to the platform. Done in just 15 secs.
I strode past the many ‘metroites’ and hustled my way to reach the escalator only to see people waiting patiently for their turn to ‘de-escalate’ (That’s a word I think I just created) I was pre-prepping mentally now for the ‘push and shove’ move that I have practiced and rehearsed over the years, during my local train travel.
As I de-escalated confidently, ready to do the ‘push and shove’ jig, I see a sea of people waiting patiently in marked queues following the instructional arrows signalling the way to get into the metro (Queue 3) I SHOCKED!
The metro arrived and people were allowed to exit and then the others entered. ‘What is happening? Where am I?’ I thought to myself.
The space inside the metro was now filled with sweaty beings yet almost silent with only low, muffled voices to be heard. It was like the air-conditioning made everyone calm and peaceful. I am convinced now, more than ever that AC = Calm.
Even more enthusing was that anyone not following any of the lines or speaking aloud, were an aberration to the system and drew dirty stares.
The metro stopped and everyone exited making a dash for the escalators and lifts. Me for the lift. I scurried for the lift and there it was …not shockingly now (Queue 4) two rows of people standing, 4 in each row (because 8 is how many people the lift was probably made to accommodate) glided into the lift in heavenly order.
So I now exited and was at my destination..mesmerized, stunned and totally appreciative. Whatever Reliance may have screwed up otherwise, this was something they did a swell job off, not forgetting the maintenance of the train and stations.
I also vouch now that we Mumbai-ites have the potential to follow rules if world-class infrastructures that are maintained demand the same of us. I’m witness to it.
‘Metroites’ are a tribe for study. They are the same people who go beserk in a train and then follow queues — systems and processes. What happens to them in an environment that’s just 2 minutes apart? Any thoughts?
On another note, great way to brand a metro station as Magicbricks Western Expressway. People just ask “‘Are you getting off at Magicbricks?” What brand doesn’t want recall like that every minute of everyday?