Friday, March 07, 2008

Hey You B******, Don’t You Have Eyes, Train Animal?

This is quite common for all commuters of Bombay: just as the train is about to stop at a station there is a jostling crowd is waiting to get in, pushing, shoving, trembling, shaking all over. You must see it to believe it. Cool executives lose their avoirdupois, managers in the middle of furious corporate takeovers become like school children, and aged uncles try all the might in their osteoporosis-affected bones to wiggle in through the steel doors. This homily is directed at them:

“Can’t you be human beings for just one day? Just for one day can’t you stand back from the madness knowing that you will get a seat, at least, at the next station? That standing in a train won’t cause you any hurt, that being human beings for one day would be a nice change, isn’t it?”

But it’s their fears that get the better of them. They tremble at the prospect of not getting a seat, are hurt when another man returns their shove, are like animals (even worse) when someone steps on their toes, says the worst curses, all for a half hour of bliss inside a moving train. Yes, I am all these too. I do all that I mention above.

But think about it. Where do we get some free time to ourselves, in these busy times, except inside a train with strangers? Where do we get to sit and stare a little bit, or read that bestseller that we have been carrying in our bags for so long?

So I am back to being an animal inside the train. Anyone who grabs a seat in front of me better watch out!

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