I went on the Delhi metro today. I was so aware of the fact that I was going to be 20 feet underground. I checked the map. I bought the 10 bucks token and showed it's face to the scanner at the multiple entrances to the platforms. I got into the train waiting for it to make the usual train sound. Dhadak dhadak , dhadak dhadak. It made more of a swooosh sound and moved ahead like a plane picking up speed on the runway. There was a helpful electronic moving sign which announced the next station. A woman's voice repeated the same information. A sikh man unabashedly kept staring at me till I finally stared him down.
The train came to the last station. I didn't jump out of the train. I walked out, that felt truly alien for someone used to the mumbai locals. The level of the train floor is exactly the same as the platform floor. The floor of the platform is absolutely clean. The train floor is absolutely clean.
I went up the escalator. I dropped the token into one of the multiple exits. I got out into the open...and took a very long, deep breath.