Delhi’s lifeline aka Delhi Metro is back on track after exactly 169 days… although running in a calibrated manner for now. So what’s the POA for people who made the metro rides fun? Remember the popular Metro Doodles or Books on The Delhi Metro… are these creative minds who thrived on this public transport also set to get back on the tracks?
Well, if you get to spot goofy aliens or lil monsters resting on the metro station, and a full-on monsters party happening at one of the stations then worry not, this isn’t Mars Attack but the virtual world of Samar Khan aka Metro Doodles! His illustrations are going to have a new protagonist ft Coronaman, who shall take centre stage as aliens don masks, and spread the message of following safety norms such as social distancing, increased stoppage time at stations, etc.
“With the metro reopening, it’s an opportunity for me to turn the new scenario, in the pandemic world, into new doodles.” – Samar Khan, illustrator
Khan has been kicked about riding the metro post lockdown, but not “so frequently” he says adding this is a temporary plan till things settle down, and hopes that people get the message of how important it is to ensure hygiene, through his illustrations. Talking about one of his illustration depicting a ‘bored Coronaman’ waiting outside a metro station gate and another one featuring a lady travelling wearing a mask and travelling with children looking out of the train in awe of flying dinosaurs , he says, “I’m definitely going to include Coronaman in a few more scenarios. I still have to go out and see it for myself, but try to help out and spread awareness whenever it’s possible through my illustrations. At the same time, I’ve to make the sketches quirky and entertaining. With the metro reopening, it’s an opportunity for me to turn the new scenario, in the pandemic world, into new doodles.”
The 27-year-old artist is known to induce humour even in the grimmest of circumstances. “Everyone is used to the ‘new normal’, but Rajiv Chowk won’t be the same; for a while at least. I’m going to ride the metro and capture as many scenes as possible. That’s the plan. I am going to experiment more and bring out more of Delhi in my work,” he adds.
But not everything that’s imaginary will be revived with the return of Delhi’s most loved public transport. The literature enthusiasts or reading nerds can rejoice too. The popular group Books on The Delhi Metro is also planning to get back into action, and leave books as free gifts while indulging the bibliophiles in a treasure hint sort of clues to find where they have left the surprises while on the Metro.
“We don’t want to rush into things right now. But, we have plans to restart our initiative that had become really popular among people of all age groups, travelling in Delhi Metro.” – Shruti Sharma, founder, Books on The Delhi Metro
Shruti Sharma, founder of the group, says she and her volunteers are waiting to resume the secret surprises as soon as things settle down. Sharma adds, “The plan is not to start immediately since metro has resumed running in phases, and surely there will be lesser number of people taking the transport for now. So we don’t want to rush into things right now. But, we have plans to restart our initiative that had become really popular among people of all age groups, travelling in Delhi Metro. Nearly all our book fairies are students, and most of them have also gone back to their home towns, so we will have to figure out how to go about leaving surprises at various locations… We definitely want to come back and resume to normal conditions that we had prior to Covid-19.”
And the travellers in the train aren’t any less excited to know this. Take for instance Gurugram-based entrepreneur Yatin Wadha, who is a metro regular and says, “I loved finding out books on Delhi Metro, and can’t wait to retsart discovering those precious gifts again. During the metro journey now, we will have to follow strict instructions of social distancing and can’t really talk with fellow passengers, so there’s nothing better than using the time of the journey to read a book. And if I find the book during the journey, then it’s cherry on the cake!”
Author tweets @Nainaarora8
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