WALA Metro Adventure: Movement, Distance and Anatomy of the City

This performance-event was in the format of a guided tour for vistors / audience / participants  who specially came for the tour and the incidental passengers of Delhi metro. The chosen route from Central Secretariat Metro Station, New Delhi to Huda City Centre, Gurgaon covers a range of experiences such as underground space travel to the eight-year old, unique, top-view perspective that metro allows to look at Delhi, which we one sees as an insider, a distanced view; the relationship between the horizontal expanse of the city with its verticality.

This performance/event is inclusive and sensitive to various elements such as behavioural change in everyday travelling in metro, in terms of seating arrangement of facing each other as opposed to bus travel. There is a change in ways of gazing the city and each other.It attempted to partake of historic fiction, mediating between reality, fantasy and falsehoods with interests in construction of this new mythology of the urban.

It is not just a linear relationship between centre and periphery that we are exploring. Infact, there is no center in our research and travel. There is a beginning point and a destination point. There is movement. Movement, distance and anatomy of the city.

Gathering. Central Secreatariat Metro Station. Photo: Hemant Sareen

We began the tour with a reading from Dante’s Inferno, expounding on our relationship as a guide and visitor to the nether world of underground metro.

“I think and judge it best for you to follow me, and I shall guide you, taking you from this place through an eternal place”. Photo: Hemant Sareen

“Were I a leaded mirror,

I could not gather in your outer image

more quickly than I have received your inner.

For even now your thoughts have joined my own;

in both our acts and aspects we are kin…”

The Sound Travelled. It was carried. Transported and carried. It was a kind of madness. To hear the sound and see the body.

The cold air that flows from AC ducts feels like feather touch on one’s skin. Photo: Subhashish Panigrahi

Invitations to join were sent out. The call. There were people watching.

Tirrich, city and collective illness. Photo: Subhashish Panigrahi

More readings from Uday Prakash’s ‘Dilli ki Dewar’ and ‘Tirrich’. Memory of the outside recalled, re-phrased inside, under the tunnel; in darkness, the labyrinthine city with unknown beast, marked illness, collective illness and death above, near AIIMS.

“Let there be light…let there be light….let there be light….. and there was light!”

Fellow travellers. Acknowledging oneness in destination.

Introducing a new landscape, a world in light, above, outside the city, into a new city. Seeing the rocky terrain while approaching the city.

Braiding the hair to a pole and the story of Ghitorni being told

घिटोरनी एक ब्राह्मण बहुल क्षेत्र था| शुरुआती नाम गर्द्दी था| इससे सटे गांव कहा जाता है आयानगर|

926AD में एक गुर्जर जिसका नाम दादा देवी राम था …. राजस्थान में चित्रागढ़ नामक जगह से घिटोरनी आया था| उसने स्थानीय लोगों के साथ लड़ाई जीत ली है, और ‘खेड़ा’ के रूप में गांव का नाम दे दिया| बाद में इसका नाम फिर से घिटोरनी में बदल गया था|

इस गांव में अब कई कुश्ती खिलाड़ी है|  ……  और कई अखाड़े… जिम है| खेल-कूद को यहाँ ध्यान भी बहुत दिया जाता है|

इस गांव की आय-संपत्ति का मुख्य स्रोत है …किराया …. वोह लाखों प्रवासि लोग जो हर साल नई दिल्ली में बसने आते है और शहर के बाहरी इलाके में घर किराये पर लेते है. दोनों वाणिज्यिक और आवासीय स्थान किराए पर दिया जाता है|

Blue line, red line, yellow line, violet line, green line and an open map. Photo: Subhashish Panigrahi

Cutting lines. Re-entering.

Huda City Center, Gurgaon. Discussion over tea. Photo: Hemant Sareen

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