Monday, December 20, 2004

sinousss sssstelll sssnake - the delhi metro, and anangpal tomar

rode the delhi metro today, the underground stretch from Civil Lines to Kashmiri Gate, a day after its inauguration.

was reminded of the legend of shesh-nag, the snake which lived underground, in the patal-lok under delhi.

the story goes that Anangpal Tomar, the founder of Delhi, had the famous Iron Pillar of Mehrauli sunk into the ground, where it stuck in the hood of the Shesh Nag, hence anchoring the shesh-nag under Delhi, and ensuring the stability of Anangpal's rule...

when Anangpal had the iron pillar pulled out, to examine it, the sheshnag didin't stick around. it left the tunnels under Delhi, and the iron pillar, put back into the ground, had nothing to anchor to. so instead of standing firm, it shook at the sligtest touch, and with it shook and crumbled anangpal's regime...

since the story is a welter of many myths, let me add my own -

with the delhi metro, the sheshnag, in a sinous steel avatar, has come back to the tunnels under Delhi.
it is a benign python with reverse peristalsis, first swallowing people and then disgorging them - and the first major step in easing the chronic chaos of the capital's traffic, and bringing its ordinary citizens an affordable, swift mobility that the current public transport infrastructure caanot give them.

with the shesh-nag back under Dellhi, times are likely to be stable for the ruler...

or so one hopes.

incidentally, when you get off the train at kashmiri gate station, and take the long elevator fifty feet straight up, you emerge at exactly the same point where the walls of Shahjahanabad were blasted by the British to get access into the city thru Kashmiri Gate, in 1857.

So it goes, so it goes...

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