It was the summer of 1990. I had just completed school and was at Faridabad with Rohit Shorey when we decided to come to Delhi for a quick visit. We hopped on to the Parikarma Express, the green local trains which connected suburbs to Delhi. Seeing the seats taken we decided to sit in the door.
Parikarma Express has wide doors, to ease the movement of passengers. They stop often and passengers embark and disembark at a quick pace between the numerous stations such a train touches. We sat down holding the firm bar between us, our legs, knee downwards, dangling from the train. We were chatting animatedly. There are so many things adolescents talk about. Hazrat Nizamuddin Station was approaching. We could see it at a distance. The train was slowing down.
Suddenly, we felt a hand on our necks. I could see the fingers on Rohit’s neck. I felt one gripping my collar too. We tried to turn, but could not. The grip was strong. Then it tugged, pulled us so hard that we both fell into the train. We brushed ourselves, checked our purses, and stood up to confront who had humiliated us. It was one man who had pulled both of us. He was tall and very well built. Guess a pehelwan, wrestler.
The train was stopping. When we confronted him, he only said, ‘Look.’ We wanted to punch him on his face but we looked. The platform was not more than four inches from where we were sitting. The Railways had started raising the heights of platforms on its stations. While we recovered the man got down and walked away. He had saved our legs. They would have been crushed that day.