Saturday, January 14, 2006
I have been very impressed with the Delhi Metro. I've been riding on the new Line 3 aka 'Blue Line' to office after parking my car at Patel Chowk. But this picture I took a few months ago, shows what happens whenever the train stops at the CP stop in the evening. Getting off is near impossible. Chaos theory at work, and the Metro is far more organised than the roads where the uncertainity principle 'you can only ever know the speed or the direction of the Blueline bus/Maruti Zen/Motorcycylist ahead of you but never both' comes into play. The concept of letting people get off before you get on is difficult to understand. It somehow works in Bombay (barely), unless its a Virar Fast pulling into Churchgate. The concept of order seems to be beyond us, unless there is a guy with a gun forcing you to do something.
But bring religion into the mix and all hell breaks loose. Its not just the Haj, every Kumbh Mela there is a near riot or almost riot or stampede. And the authorities are helpless against religious fanaticism, which somehow always means crushing the young, old and infirm underneath you.
If we breed (and we are breeding a pure-male race at that) like rabbits this is what will invariably happen. So, actually I sympathise with the Saudi authorities on this matter, there is not much they can do. The next time you read of a stampede at the Haj, don't be surprised to read that the maximum number of dead are from either India or Pakistan.
By the way, did you see how Shahid Afridi blasted Bhajji in that over. Madness!