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[THOUGHTS] The Train Instance

It’s still fascinating to look out the window and see the tracks changing, the homes and huts passing by you in large numbers, creating a beautiful landscape every passing moment. The journey of train, for the same reason, might sometimes look physically tiring but can never torture somebody mentally.

Last evening, when I was standing in Delhi Metro heading towards my destination – Dwarka Sector 11 station, this illusionistic fascination struck me again. I had forgotten my earphones at home, so the only way to pass the time was to stare at the people in the coach. It might sound silly, but most of the people do the same for most of the time.

Most of the faces looked similar and delhi-ish. Similar, not ine the sense that I knew them, but that I knew those expressions. Their faces told their stories. Like, the three guys I saw laughing together. They were asking each other about what happened to that thing which you once had? Do you still go to that place? Do you still have pics of what we did together? and so on… Probably, these were some close friends, who had taken out some time out of their busy schedule to reunite, to relax, revive and relive the moments. Those memories are always sweet. I smiled and moved my eyes to the people sitting beside them. And, they were the earphone people of Metro. These are the people who enter the Metro alone and leave it the same way, lost within them, the songs and their life. So, I didn’t waste much time on them and turned in a very sophisticated way so as to not make any one conscious of what kind of face-spying I was doing. Just opposite to those 3 guys was a family. The family consisted of a grey bearded grandpa, the curious father, the mother and the super excited kid. The grandpa looked tired, his eyes weighed down, his face and hands covered with wrinkles, and an expression of no interest in whatever was going on. The family had 2 V.I.P suitcases with them. Probably, he wasn’t happy leaving home. It does get a bit difficult moving out, even for holidays, or he might not be feeling well, or probably, he got a scolding from his son, one of the saddest truths of society today. While, he was just sitting there stationary in the moving train, and moving life, the kid’s parents were busy checking the list, to make sure they’ve not missed anything. All this was still not as eye-catching as was the kid alone.

He, at first, jumped all the way round a pole of the Metro. His father told him not to run around here and there, but who listens to someone else in his childhood?  He then made an almost successful try to climb the pole, which would have reminded many people of a pole dance if they would have seen any. Then, he tried posing as Superman, probably having the feeling that he can stay stationary and straight in a moving train, a great achievement. Then, sir stood at the center of two poles and stretched his hands horizontally to touch the poles. I don’t know if he was trying to bend the poles or what, but he grabbed the poles with clenched fist and all his power. All through this journey of the family, he had a continuous smile on his face….probably for being the way he want and not caring for anyone else’s opinion, judgement or views.

As the family stepped out of metro, 3 seats got vacant. The metro was already vacant enough for the kid to perform stunts, so I took one of the seats. I was, only halfway through with my journey. As a summer dusk was approaching, the sky turned bluish orange and it was quite a stunning view watching the birds flying through the sky, catching with the speed of Metro, and seeing some children colouring the sky with kites in this early summer. As the Metro stopped at Dwarka sector 14 station, that’s 3 station before my station, a guy with a polo tee and denim stepped inside, carrying a heavy backpack, probably full of 4″ wide books, that could be guessed by the FIITJEE tag on his bag. He couldn’t find a vacant seat, and so, rested himself on the side glass near the doors. He was standing inside Metro, but roaming somewhere else in his thoughts. His eyes were sticked to one location only, not moving a single millimeter in the 5 minutes I saw him. He looked a bit worried too, don’t know, about his family or girlfriend or studies. The last option seemed most probable for the guy sweating inside an AC train. I remembered my days, when I used to go up and down by the metro to and from my IIT institute Narayana. I used to rest on the side-glasses too, just like him. Then I’ve been one of the three guys too, with my school friends. We do reunite and share the happiness, and joys of our lives again, whenever we can. And, I do remember doing silly things that no one stopped me from, in trains when I was young. I remember being at those places, in their shoes, living the way they’re doing. It’s one nostalgic feeling that makes your day.

When I came back, that night, after coaching, I was again gifted with a vacant seat which I rested upon. What I saw was my hometown, wrapped within lights, who let me grew in her lap till the time I left her. The realisation that my Delhi is more beautiful than the polluting and more melodious than noisy and more lively than quiet brought up a smile on my face. I’ve stopped carrying earphones now.

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