Transit Trails: Part Two

If you find yourself a seat next to the window, it is the best thing that can happen to you inside the train. As the train slowly rocks and rattles away, the breeze induces sleep in you and you doze off. But not for long. You suddenly hear the distant voice of the fruit seller, making you stir. As the voice comes closer and closer, your sleep is gone, and you are wide awake. The lady insists on dangling her covers of fruits right in front of your face until you buy them or answer with a really firm no.

With the sleep gone, you plug in your earphones and start looking out the window, waiting for your station to come, slightly nodding your head and tapping your fingers to the music in your ears. Out of nowhere, you suddenly hear some different tunes, not in sync with your music. You turn around and see a blind couple, the man playing an old and worn out percussion instrument and the lady holding a wireless mic in one hand (have never figured out how they got that), singing in full voice, songs of Him and the other hand stretched out for alms. You take a minute or two to look at and listen to them, and by the time you realise that you haven’t given any money, they are already at the other end of the compartment. You feel bad about not having been able to help them, and you take a minute or two to be grateful for the good life you have been lucky enough to have.

As is common among all, your mind, never at rest, races from one quick thought to another, rewinding and forwarding certain events from your life. You look into the distance with the eyes of a dreamer and think of that one person you have a burning desire for, or that wish that you badly want to be fulfilled. You reminisce, analyse, judge yourself and your life. Your past, whatever is the story, catches up with you, and in sync with the constant sound of the wheels, you replay incidents, which have now been altered by your mind.

The train slowly chugs down as it approaches your station. Someone, somewhere around you mentions the name of the station, and you snap out of your reverie, pick up your belongings in a haste, compose yourself and stand by the door for the train to halt. You get down and plunge back into reality. Dreams and memories fade into the back of your mind, waiting to be set free another time, another outlet, another journey with the chugging companion.

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6 thoughts on “Transit Trails: Part Two

  1. I am happy to read your follow up to the last post.Keep udating and i am sure i will be coming to your blog often.
    -Sai Krishna

  2. There has never been an uneventful train journey in my life. You may call some of them as boring, particularly if you are travelling long distances for days together (I heard that it takes up to 7 days to reach a lot of the north east destinations like guwahati) but the shorter ones are full of surprises at very turn and bend.

    Always wondered about how people get on with their lives when they are living perilously close to the rail lines, be it the average slum dweller or the relatively better people with some semblance of wall protecting their homes from the perils of the proximity to tracks.

    Another thing that comes to your mind, if you had just returned from a trip to the developed countries, is the callousness and utter disregard for safety laws on the Indian roads. If you had not made this foreign trip and look at the chaos on the Indian roads, you have better acceptance of the utterly insane behaviour of people on the roads but not anymore after the first foreign trip.

    Whenever we get to host foreign visitors to our IT offices, they comment that we are living in two parallel worlds, one life of forced confinement within the four walls of those air conditioned plush offices and the other exciting, eventful, occasionally dangerous and insane one on the Indian roads.

    The most amusing sight on the roads, according to them, is the cattle sharing space along side motorists, pedestrians and chewing intensely , unmindful of the traffic snarls they are creating unintentionally, unlike the often deliberate and sometimes stupid contributions from the living beings of higher order.

    The next amusement for them is the sight of a family of four travelling on a bike with the lady sitting side wards while having squeezed an young boy or girl between her and the husband. The youngest of the family is perched on top of the fuel tank of the bike with a cheap cooling glass that reminds them of the darth wader. The icing on the cake for them is the audacity of the entire family in not having a protective head gear.

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