I have been in love with trains since my childhood, I love the constant rocking, the vanishing site and the upper berth, cool blue seats! I love climbing up to my berth and coop up with a book and listen to the constant chattering, vendors walking and screeching wheels. I find trains to be the perfect example of living without excess as well the true emblem of class division. Though a three-day long train ride might leave one fatigued and a three-hour long chair-car ride with back ache, trains are in the end a necessity for all in this country. Nehru travelled a lot in trains where he would read, write and sell nationalism to fellow passengers and well Mahatma Gandhi was denied the luxury of first class once and look what the scorned man did?
When I am to return from a mini-vacation of books, drinks, pizza and cookies, my heart might be too an unwilling partner. To escape heat of my current location, I ended up in another hot place. The vacation in nutshell was journey from Fire to Frying pan, but of course the pan offered pizza.
All vacation must end, all migratory birds must return to their habitat and all students must return to their institutions. On return journey, I had to take three our long train ride. Despite being a supporter of classless society, my ticket belonged to the coolest compartment. Martyrdom like Summer never appealed me, its monsoon and chilled compartment that woo me.
Seventy-Three read my virtual ticket, the last seat in the compartment. Beside the foggy window I rested my buttocks. My red backpack was soon resting below my feet and my new found love for Milan Kundera was bursting in my hand. I had boarded the train half an hour before its departure time. By the time train began to whistle, I was already deep in existential crisis. Fifteen minutes or so later did I notice, my compartment was filled with girls on college excursion and the seat beside me was unclaimed. Hence my two tiny legs melted on other seat and the worm inside me cozied up. My backpack became my resting pillow and thanks to the rocking I was on cloud seven. The herd of same-sex walked past my seats, once combing their raven mane, once taking selfies, another moment secretly talking to lovers or haggling with jhaal muri seller. In other words, they all conspired to disturb me, unconsciously of course. I kept reading and they carried on with their antics. I have no right to judge them, had I been with my friends on an excursion, I would have been jumping around like a monkey instead of sit-dancing on Ladki Kar Gayi Chul like these good girls.
In three hours ride each girl was drunk on pure excitement, none of them were glued to their seats for much long, while I had made a single bed of my seats. I was tossing, curling, stretching on the seats to get a better read of my book. In middle of the ride the fairer sex was in midst of cracking jokes, laughing at expense of each passenger in train, I was not spared either. They must have found me like the green frog that hides in dark corner of my room, I say so because they kept peeping at me every now and then to end up in fit of hysteria.
The joke hit me when I went to washroom and saw myself in the mirror, my hair was messed up, my kurta was crumbled up and my trouser was begging me to give him a rest after constant abuse for a week. In simple words I was the example of what not to be on a trip or after the end of that trip- a messed up ball with glasses.
Finally, when we stepped down on the station I couldn’t help but wonder how come each girl was so proper, their trousers were happy, t-shirts un-crumbled, long hair resting elegantly on their shoulders and lipstick bright, whereas my lipstick faded into betrayal. For an appearance concerned human like me, I wanted to ask the beautiful giggling herd, “How do you manage to be so pretty?”
Sadly, the sun began assaulting our face, like a ninja each girl pulled out scarfs from her hand bag, in moments their faces were covered and sunglasses hid their eyes and my question met untimely death on my lips!
P.S- summer is drying last of my creative juices
thanking you to bear with me