Everytime I board a train it feels like I am entering a space with some 70 stories spooling every second.
There’s always a man on a call with his sweetheart trying to promise how he is going to be back in 8 months (which according to most men is not that too long! or atleast this guy believed it was just another mile…) and then there is a paranoid mother trying to pull her kid from ever bar that he is trying to hang from. There would be old men, who think they own the train and although in not more than 13 minutes they would have adjusted themselves quite comfortably with a cup of chai, some nasta, newspapaer and a bottle of water. And here I was trying to struggle through all these dozen youngsters where number 48 was!
While I searched for number 48! my brain took a quick run of events of the day (when your bags are really heavy you think of crazy things) – A splittling headache, a rocky auto ride across the rajhdhani and then a movie all by myself in the big bad world called “Delhi” – where noone seems to find themselves safe! After the movie I had 38 minutes to run and get my bags from the hotel and rush to the station…
And ya back to the number 48 which happened to be a side berth (a smile – i like that! – I feel I have my space and am not squashed between 6 passengers)
Not a very happy sight. A man sat there, after having pushed all his luggage under the seat, not leaving any space for my little bag. I did not have much patience or niceness left after the crazy day so I simply pointed to the bag and he got the point. WOW – I call this “the powers of a mad woman!” I did feel bad using these powers as he seemed like a simple gujju boy returning from one of his first work trips. Plastic bags with presents for all. While I settled down with a book I saw him saying his prayers quitely. I like this simplicity some of these people possess. I wondered to myself, must be saying “Hanuman Chalisa!” I said to myself. I felt glad it was someone who would not be nasty or rude.
I tried to concentrate on the underlining stories in the 6 berths next to us. Oh there were students coming back from an interview! There is always a amusing story there! There were two young fellas and one of them had come along with their mum and dad. All for the MBA colleges. Both of seemed to be happy returning after getting through some college. Their mum was grinning at every one around her as if her son had just returned from the Kargil war. Now that her son had made it to an MBA college she thought she had suddenly graduated too! She rattled away some names like NIMS, IIFT, Symby! Oh! I thought these names were common lingo amongst the budding MBA brand – But this had now become a new Mumma fad. I was almost wondering when would this strike my mum and she would try and understand a few things that I do. While the guy sitting next to them caught my attention. Yet another lover boy trying to remember this sweetheart’s cousins names and ask, “how they were doing?” Interrupted by a work call he had to hang that conversation half way through and say, “Haan ji sir!”
Just then a bug ring tone rang not very far away from me. Oh the simple fella had a snazzy ringtone and oh my god the mobile was even more snazzy. I was thinking Gujju’s are becoming pretty conscious about the mobiles they carry and colors were a bit too odd to find in a simple place like Ahmedabad. He continued his prayers. I thought to myself about how his mother would have asked him to do his prayers when the train took off.
The phone rang again, he stopped this time and said “Salawaalequm bhai jaan!”
My thoughts took an about turn. Ahmedabad makes you a paranoid being in such times. After having seen buildings catch fire almost as if someone was lighting dias in diwali, you tend to become conscious with certain names around you. The brain feels an heavy alert, I started to think what if those bags had a bomb. The next second I cursed myself for being biased, opinionated and in some way thinking shallow…” Life is precious and there are fears you plant for yourself. But is this what the human brain is for?