It’s been almost a decade since I have been using the Dubai metro as a daily commute back and forth work, and I say this with utmost sincerity that sometimes we meet the most interesting people within this journey. I like to call it journey because it holds much more depth than any average trip to work.
Throughout the years, I’ve met dozens of people. Teenagers preparing for their board exams in high school, youngsters in their 20s returning home all flushed out from work, middle-aged people going to the mall for their wedding shopping and elderly who are on their way to their place of worship.
I have witnessed happiness, grief, love, hate, belief and hopelessness amongst people around me. I have seen two people exchanging an intense look of love as they sat across each other. I have felt sorrow as a woman beside me talked to her friend about how desperate she feels after she losing her mother to a terminal illness. I felt ecstatic overhearing a student call up his father to inform him about the scholarship he received. And of course, I have experienced a tweak of pain as I get elbowed in the crowd by people trying to get off their stop.
A burst of emotions on this countless journey in the metro makes me ponder over the fact about how ignorant we are of someone else’s emotions. Someone who is sitting right beside us without knowing what they are feeling. While we cannot possibly act meddlesome and interfere in their lives — something that is completely normal for desi people, what we could do is have a simple conversation perhaps. With kindness and empathy, you could make someone’s day a tad better and it doesn’t even take a lot of effort.
Always looking forward to many more metro rides and interaction with strangers, especially with the guy in the red hoodie today — hope to see you again in between those stations!