itself, and Carrefour, the hypermarket giant, ducks in the background. Outside these splendid edifices is a narrow street selling chowmein, popcorn, chana, and clothes at throwaway prices. The enormous station square is deserted, so is the mall, but that narrow street’s packed.
The Metro has made Delhi easier to navigate, brought down pollution levels, made travelling safer for women, and maybe even civilised us a bit (thanks to announcements that tell us to wait for those coming out of the train before walking in, not to talk to strangers, not to play loud music). But this symbol of progress and connectivity has also brought in less perceptible changes. From turning commuters inside the train to consumers outside it, the Metro, it would seem, has facilitated business, and development of outer parts of the city. It is not a leveller of society, nor can it be —but it is a space where the city loses its rough edges, and becomes, in the time that it takes to travel from Green Park to Rithala, a more welcoming place. It has made us more anonymous, yet more open in our interactions. And while it has had its share of mishaps (100 deaths, including workers and commuters), the Delhi Metro has become a lifeline for the city, a stage where its transformation unfolds every day.