Thursday, March 24, 2005

Trains and me

My tryst with Indian Railways continues unabated. For sometime now, she has been annoyed with me. As a consequence, whenever I am on time, the train is late and if I am late, the train is on time. If only she would understand, that being late everyday isn't exactly making me very popular among my colleagues, perhaps she would take pity upon me and commiserate. I have now come to accept that being packed like a molecule in the train is normal and days when I do get a seat in the train, I sniff the air with suspicion. I have realized that days when I am hungry, no one will sell 'jhaalmuri' and just when I call for the man who sells those pretty hair clips, he will get off the train, in search of greater fortune. It has now become a practice to give away my seat to nameless strangers, whose suffering seems far greater than mine and while away my time listening to the tales of sorrow that my co-passengers recount.

It has been raining all day and last night too. The trains were late last night and they stopped running this morning. I came to office in a car with a gora (a guest of Baba's) who insisted on being informed about my salary, 'working' hours and how many days a week I 'worked'. It is difficult to explain to someone who has been installing heavy electrical machinery all his life that I earn my livelihood by pretending to work.

The weather has undergone a drastic change. No one would have imagined that it would rain so much at this time of the year. There is a new building coming up, next to ours and because of the rain, construction work had to be stopped. We took a walk this afternoon among the muck and it was fun stepping into the puddle, getting my clothes soiled. How I wish we'd never grow up, never have to behave like prim and proper adults; never have to wear the right clothes for the occasion, the right expression on our faces as the situation demanded.

Its Holi tomorrow and I don't think I’m going to take part in it. None of my friends are here. They're all gone in search of greener pastures, yellow sunshine. Is red the colour of success? Maybe, blue is the colour of confidence. Green should be the color of ambition. Yellow for joy. Whoa! Its spring time and its raining- what greater misery could there be?

1 comment:

Oirpus said...

You and your trysts with the trains at 7:32 are melancholic and yet such eyeopeners. You should start and compiling all your works.. It is a lovely read. Especially the one that seems to stem out of your deepest realizations:

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and
Company doesn't mean security,

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head
Up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult,
Not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure . . .
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.And you learn and you learn . .