Monday, January 3, 2011

A day at a railway platform....

I really like the railways. I mean really really like. Though you'll often find me complaining about long journeys, backaches and deplorable food, the truth is, there's no real break in your schedule like a long train journey made alone. These moments, rather prolonged instants, are the only times I find myself without internet, phone connectivity or people I know. Just the constant dhud-dhud dhud-dhud vibrations of the train. The contemplative power of this time is unparalleled. There's obviously a lot of rubbish in my head too, that keeps popping up like..... a pop-up window. So amidst the thoughts of Shiela vs Munni, Blackberry vs iPhone, and which universities to app to, my mind somehow thought up a few stories that are related to - yes- the railways. So here's my first tribute to the arteries of Hindustan, the lifeline of India, the only thing every Indian seems to want 3 months in advance (People here can't plan pregnancies but trains from everywhere to everywhere are advance booked)

A day at a railway platform....

I awoke with a yawn as the first ray of sunlight hit me. Another wonderful day on planet earth begins. I took a deep breath and let out the oxygen. Or is it carbon dioxide?? whatever... chemistry was never my forte. It was chilly and as the 6 am train swept past, the wind blowing through my arms, a shiver ran down my spine. It has happen countless times, but every gust of wind that the morning train brings just sweeps me off my feet, makes me feel... elevated. I sometimes wonder if it's dumb to enjoy such trivialities, whether it's my goalless meandering through life without any thought of purpose or higher meaning that lets me enjoy the flutter of a butterfly, or the smell of fresh roses. I sometimes wish I had more to do than just inhaling and exhaling all the time.

Everyone around is so busy these days, either on the phone or their laptops or just lost in thought. There's always a weird look on their faces, I can't quite describe it. It's like they're constantly trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle. Peace eludes them. It wasn't like this when I was younger. Then, I'd often see people simply enjoying the breeze, gamboling down the platform, some would even hug me and I'd hug them back. They never seemed to be worried or annoyed, though in hindsight their problems were bigger, much bigger. Tattered clothes, tanned faces and toothless but hearty grins. People have surgically sculpted radiant teeth now, but what's the use? Every smile seems to have a hidden cryptic meaning, there's no bliss.

A eunuch walked past. People are just terrified of him... or her... or it. I wonder why? It's just another human being, what's to be afraid of?

I've heard that there are those who spend 5 days of the week being miserable, so they can spend 2 days having fun. Crazy I say! What sense does that make? They take up hobbies, go fishing, drink at parties, just to return every Monday to more misery. It makes me wonder who it is that lacks purpose.

To my left, a one-legged beggar was pleading to a young lady, who sympathetically fished out a couple of coins from here purse and handed it to him. Just then the station master came out of his office. The 'cripple' sprinted past a couple of youngsters chasing their train, a second foot simply sprouting out of his bandage. The look on the lady's face was worth a million bucks.

A pretty little girl walked up to me and smiled. Ahh... how I love kids. I bent down and pecked her forehead. Her smile widened. Her train arrived and she was whisked away by her mother. Until the train was out of sight, her eyes never left mine. I wonder if I'd ever meet her again. Probably not, but it would be really awesome right! Of course, she'd never remember me. But that doesn't matter, I never expected much from people. I was always taught not to.

The clock says 6 pm, and the platform is deserted. Soon all the shops will close, all the gamblers and drunkards- the human bats- will come out of their hiding and begin their show. I wonder why they're called anti-social elements. They seem more social than everyone else.

There goes the sun. I look for the switch... where the hell is it? Everyday I do this and everyday I forget where I kept it. Maybe it's my lack of a central nervous system, that I am so forgetful. I guess other trees must have the same problem. Guess I'll never know.

About Me

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I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.