Namma Metro as a study of the Indian psychology

Be it Delhi then or Bangalore now, there is something about the metro rail that seems to do something to us as a people. There is a sense of pride, a sense of ownership, a sense of participation—a sense of the “public”, like we are in this together—that instantly and inexplicably bursts forth and brims over.

Just what is responsible for this is not very clear or obvious.

It could be as simple as the plain relief that it promises from traffic hassles. Deeper down, it could also be the sense of awe at the accomplishment of something so neat, efficient, gigantic and useful—all in our midst, at the promised time and, what’s more, by our own countrymen and women.

The sense of “Yes, we can.”

Make no mistake, rare is the Delhiite or Bangalorean who hasn’t cursed the inconvenience caused by the construction of the metro or the delays. But once it rolls out, we do some very un-Indian things: we stand in line, we observe the rules (and glower at those who don’t), we cheer at it, we take part and proudly pose for pictures to say, “We were there”.

Photographs: Karnataka Photo News

Also readAfter all, a metro station doesn’t open every day

After all, an airport doesn’t open/close every day

Pujaris, pudaris and the people on namma Metro

Also viewThe complete Namma Metro photo portfolio

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31 Responses to “Namma Metro as a study of the Indian psychology”

  1. Mysore Peshva Says:

    O.K. But I still don’t know what “the Indian psychology” is or means.

  2. Devaraj Urs Says:

    yes It is true that we feel proud that we have accomplished inspite of all that happening around us like several scandals etc.and still there is some hope in this country as great souls like Shridharan have been responsible .If Sheshadri iyer was responsible for bringing power to city in the beginning of the 20 century we are happy that these great men made bangaore the place where pioneering things happened.Thank god Maharajas of Mysore extended patronage and gave support for all development initiatives . Will that happen again?

  3. the colonel Says:

    there was a comment posted in one of the newspapers on the metro showing the psychology of the person who wrote ” these paan chewing north indians will spit all over the place”

    did he see the delhi metro?

  4. Nastika Says:

    People waiting for metro are as excited as those waiting in line for a roller-coaster ride …..

  5. babuds Says:

    There are no seats only side benches with their backs to the windows. One can not view the scene outside as his/her back is always to the windows. Unless one does the ‘exorcist’ trick there is no chance of viewing out of the window from a packed bench. Space is optimized for packing standing passengers like sardines in a can, obviously to make profit for the service provider, whoever it is. If not for the benches it could be mistaken for a cattle wagon. The seating design is taken after the ‘Vendor’ compartment in the suburban trains of Chennai, which I had the opportunity to board 20 years ago. It is truly cattle class. I hope Bangaloreans ignore this indignity perpetrated on them and the bus is still the best bet as far as seating is concerned. For those who traveled abroad in Tube, the absence of seats will be a shocker.

  6. Nastika Says:

    Every metro I have tried in New York, Singapore, Calcutta, etc have same seating arrangement.

  7. karihaida Says:

    it is designed in that way, so that people can enjoy the sights and smell of beautiful armpits… didn’t you see that advert on TV?

  8. Jay Says:

    Dude, all metro trains around the world have the same seating arrangement. I have personally traveled in the New York, Boston and Singapore metro. It is really fascinating how we love to trash any development work done in India.

    My suggestion: Do some friggin research before commenting and making yourself look like a complete idiot!

    @Mysore Peshva:
    I believe babud’s comment is the answer to your question!

  9. Rastrakoota Says:

    The Metro in Jo’burg, South Africa called Gautrain has proper seating arrangements.

  10. Nija Says:

    @Guys advocating a neatly ironed, look-alike of ‘Metros across the world’ can we spare a few moments to think about what is it that we actually need? We’ve talked enough about what we want – and that is to, by some means, have a metro running and quench our chapala of living in a city that features a metro. In fact metros from a couple of other countries do differ in their interiors & upholstery, perhaps for a reason, not apparent to some?

    Extending my question, I ask, how does one define a Metro? If the current trains in Mumbai and Chennai are not called Metro, what is so not local (other trains are called local) about them? That these new flashy looking trains have the central govt. feeding money into their making and eventually have Hindi imposed unfairly down the throats of a people – be it Kannadigas in Bengluru or Tamilians in Chennai (yes Chennai Metro is already stinking of Hindi imperialist enterprise)? Do we need our tax moneys wasted on such (redundant) projects in our half-urbanized settlements, all eventually ending up in the center’s cupboard of Hindi imposing instruments?

  11. Vinay Says:


    It would be nice if you could actually travel in some metros in different parts of the world before jumping in here to make a fool of yourself.

  12. KishoreOnShore Says:

    I gotta second Jay in every point mentioned…. but with more subtlety ;)

    By the way… I am going on metro tomorrow… :) Excited… not because it’ll be my first time in Bangalore’s metro… but I am just glad we made it !!! :) Once completed, it’ll work wonders ! :)

  13. amrita Says:

    I still don’t understand how the reaction to metro in the two cities of Bangalore and Delhi, is generalization to the larger “Indian psychology”.

  14. BB Says:

    I think unnecessarily people are bashing babuds here.
    Paris does have very good seats.

    Namma janarige america bittu berenu kaanodilla

  15. Ankur Ganhde Says:

    The metro is Good. And efficient. And fast. And a boon for people who like drinking in pubs but not drinking and driving. :)

    @Nija – What defines a metro? and no, Mumbai local is not one. No idea about Chennai. Also, you seem like one of those pseudo intellectual south Indians who will bring up the north-south divide issue anywhere without relevance.

  16. babuds Says:

    @Vinay :

    I have used the tube in Atlanta where proper seats are there. Dont be fast coming to conclusions and prognasis.
    @ Jay:

    Pl read my reply above and those of Rashtrakoota and BB and decide for yourself who is the idiot.

    If some idiots designed such benches in the bygone era it does not mean we should follow the same. Have you ever heard about a subject called ergonomy?

  17. Nija Says:

    @Ankur – if I look that way, guess what you’d look to me. But I’ve stopped categorizing people my way and look at the natural category they belong to – thats what drives my thinking. So if I see a project calling itself ‘Namma’ Metro ending up showing no signs of being ‘namma’ alone, I have to complain – regardless of whether I am a south Indian or a south African. Do you have a problem with that?

  18. mounaprasad Says:

    Even NJ Transit has seats that allows you to look out …people riling on Babuds do not know what they are talking…Standing in the metro rail should have been an option…not a mandatory thing….it is unfortunate that pin heads are deciding things like this…another example is the poorly designed BIAL…it looks more like a huge mall with airplanes as a side attraction….

  19. rag Says:

    Well the metro first phase looks awkward with a huge gap from yeshwantpur to mg road. the areas of some splendid residential ones like judicial layout , yelahanka newtown , and towards HRBR Layout which are just 15 kms to radius of mg road/majestic are completely neglected . A proper planning should be equally spaced radially placed areas. and then increasing radius. Hope these are included immediately.

  20. Vinay Says:

    Babuds and mounaprasad:

    And most metros have similar seating to this one, worldwide. Picking up 1-2 isolated examples might make your moaning and whining justified to yourself, but it is still pretty idiotic to most sane people.


    I hope you know that the “gap” between Yeshwanthpur and MG road is being constructed currently. Of course, we can always keep saying that the construction should have been faster, but that is how it is. Expecting everything within “15 km radius” of Majestic to be “included immediately” is a little over the top. You need to wait a bit.

  21. rag Says:

    the gap i was talking about was circumferential absense from north west to east and not the connecting one. hope you understand.

    and the way you conclude things makes me wonder why you are so sadistic or is it american narcissism as ‘BB’ says.

    One Murthy angadi makes VISAS to america and the whole state follows pied piper – Aadidde aata Helidde english paata

    Please learn to look wide world. They are not isolated cases. They are well made and proved beyond suspicion by native designs and not bringing both bogies and design from German, Japanese and American companies . You are isolated.

    One of the many disadvantages of english medium education People get narrowminded.

    Hope there is no molestation cases since there are no ladies compartments. People from Madurai , Ludhiana, Vishakapatnam and Bihar are known for that.

  22. Vinay Says:


    The moment I see unrelated nonsense about Visas, Murthy Angadi, English medium education, etc., I realize that I am talking to a twat, and prefer to get the hell out of the conversation..

    Or, there is a distinct possibility that you are another avatar of “Murthy”, the quasi socialist retard who used to comment here frequently some months back.

    Certainly, it would be nice to have circumferential routes, perhaps on outer ring road. But then, with our limited budgets and all the other issues we create in such projects, it is never too easy.

    Apart from that, what exactly is your issue though – that the stuff is not “native”, and that we have purchased rolling stock from elsewhere? Is that your problem?

  23. mounaprasad Says:


    Just becasue somebody does not have it in other countries does not mean we should not be the first one to do it..there is something called innovation….if BEML have designed these coaches then no chance they will think out of the box to design some thing innovative…

  24. Vinay Says:


    Why all the talk of “innovative”, “thinking out of the box”, etc.?

    Let us look at what is actually necessary here. What will be more convenient, what will make more sense, what will provide maximum convenience to most commuters, what do most commuters want, etc.

    Most people are perfectly happy with this way of seating. You and babuds are in a minority. So why all the talk of “innovation” and “thinking out of the box”? Just for the sake of it? Just because you don’t like it?

  25. rag Says:

    ahh i see. so many people are behind you . and i think its obvious if you call people names without reasons.

    i mentioned visas because the way you generalize that all the metros have same seating arrangements is laughable ( mostly you have seen delhi and some other similar ones )

    the problem is not with the exposure since everyone learns till death but the way of interpretation.
    things which angadi workers often make like:
    1. english is universal language
    2. westerners are gods and indians are slaves
    3. miniskirt is ok,long untied hairs are ok,cleavages are welcome but men – ties and belts are must.

    when this is put into brains and brainwashed over a number of years you will start telling
    “all metro trains are like this”

    see what has happened due to this.
    Murthy has become laughing stock on everyday basis and his company is facing visa irregularities in US.

    that’s it else you are a good adolescent if i am not wrong. i wish you get married soon. i have seen it helps a lot of people.

  26. mounaprasad Says:

    >>Most people are perfectly happy with this way of seating. You and babuds are in a minority. So why all the talk of “innovation” and “thinking out of the box”? Just for the sake of it? Just because you don’t like it?>>


    Did these people tell you they are perfectly happy with this way of seating? Anyway I was talking about extra space made for standing passengers by designing bench like seats…which you completely missed. Have you traveled in trams in Calcutta, I bet as per you those people are also perfectly happy to be traveling like that? I remember long ago when Ambassador and Fiat were the only cars produced in India, people used to say, Ambassadors are the most suited cars for Indian roads…totally forgetting the flip side of the argument was that Indian roads suck…I hope now you see the fallacy in your argument.

  27. Vinay Says:


    it is not a question of generalizing “all metros have same seating arrangements”. On the contrary, most people who criticize and comment here, wouldn’t have seen a single mass transit in their lives apart from BMTC, and get vexed when they see a metro with different seating arrangement.

    I am the last person who thinks in terms of “Westerners gods and Indians slaves”, and I am not an “Angadi employee” in the first place. And anyway you are an asshole to link “Angadi employees” and “all metro trains are like this”.

    And what’s with all the bullshit about cleavage, pants and belts? Are you pissed off because you can’t display your cleavage in public? Go ahead, no one will stop you….



    I visit many blogs/web forums where Namma Metro has been discussed to death. Most of these forums have hundreds of members, and I have been visiting and contributing to these forums from 3 years. And this is the first time I have heard someone complain about the seating. Therefore, it is a fair assumption to make, that you are in a minority. Agreed?

    Let us remember that most journeys in the metro will be comparatively shorter; Not like typical road travel, which we are used to. And also, air conditioning makes a difference. It is easier to stand in an air conditioned metro than in a BMTC, with traffic noise and pollution, heat and dust. And then, the lurches and jerks and braking cannot be compared to BMTC. My point: standing in the metro isn’t really that bad.

    Finally, let us look at the number of passengers that can be accommodated, with ‘bench seating + standing’, and ‘normal seating’. Remember that the metro is not a private service, so it is not about “profit to the service provider”. Rather, it is about making the mass transit available to maximum number of people.

    What I have written above, are facts. I have put forward points to state why the system is not bad for our conditions here. No point simply castigating authorities for “lack of innovation”, when there is really no need to “innovate”. You just have a different opinion from most others.

  28. DailyBread Says:


    105 Rands is a rip off for Sandton to OR Tango by Gautrain, however there were only 6-7 people per car on-board whenever I have traveled. This kind of money gets me a good sleeper class ticket to erstwhile capital of Rashtrakootas which is 650 Kms away from Bangalore.



    This is a functional metro, and I think this is what namma city requires. Palace on Wheels versions will have to wait, we can always palm off this rolling stock to Raichur or Bidar when they get their metros.

  29. Rastrakoota Says:

    @Daily Bread
    Wow…..Absolutely Yes! its a rip off from Sandton to OR Tambo.If you do the conversion and feel it shud be a lot lesser!!!!

    It takes around 1200 INR on a taxi from my place to Airport in Blore. Thats a lot more than 105 Rands eh! .And please add up to the 6-7.I have seen more. Its expensive only on that route. The trips to centurion /Pretoria/Hatfield from Sandton is a lot lesser. Btw considering a taxi fare of approx 500 Rands(from Sandton to OR Tambo) which is 4 times more than the train fare, it remains a more affordable way to reach the airport! Well….Everything is expensive around Sandton.EVERYTHING!

    Anyways the trains there have proper seating arrangements is all I said.I have seen Babuds and the like being trashed for their opinion. Even I am of the opinion that this Namma Metro is what a functional metro for Blore shud be. But people have their opinion. Isnt it?

  30. Faldo Says:

    I think getting a functional metro is a welcome first step. Now efforts should be made to improve the arterial connections, so bus and auto services can be coordinated with the metro. Otherwise a significant number of people who do not reside within a reasonable distance of the metro lines might avoid using it. I hear some steps are already being taken by BMTC and BMRCL for this. The ulocal trains in Mumbai and the Delhi Metro should provide enough pointers on how arterial services can be developed.

  31. twistleton Says:

    The inexorable march of “progress”. :D

    We ‘can’t want what we want’, after all. :)

    The litmus test of ‘easing traffic congestion’ remains to be passed.

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