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I often travel through a land of backpacks, ironed silk suits, Hawaiian slippers, colorful shirts, low-waist jeans and outfits that do not even have a name. This is a land where shoes are worn and pants are stained with adhesive, where tie knots are just so and fingernails are perfectly polished. This land is simply the microcosm of the world where all types of people from all backgrounds travel: The New Delhi Local Metro.

The first time I travelled in it, the one thing that intrigued me was the silence in the train even though it was packed with people. Each and every person was reserved, self-contained and absorbed. It was like a peaceful chaos moving slowly through time, like a single unit, where the only sound was that of the voice on the PA system informing us about the next station, as if reminding us of the reality waiting beyond the bubble of our consciousness.

Every corner contained a new character; one holding his smooth leather office bag tightly to his stomach as if nervous before his first job interview; another looking out of the window at the moving blurred landscape lost in reverie. These characters that I encountered each day filled an emptiness in me. I always characterized this emptiness as a lack of...

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