Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scene inside Train

Short take today. Am indisposed. Felt woozy yesterday after the usual walk to the office. A nauseous feeling combined with lethargy. So spending time at home, writing, reading. No, not watching television. Television is addictive.

In train I observe people. However I try not to stare, I do. Some people might find this disconcerting, may even stare back. I am trying to imagine their life. Their families, their passions, their failures, their successes.

Mostly I find people in the depth of despair. There is this man boasting about how smart he is because he closed so many pending accounting problems, collected so much money. Bullshit, I say, you are nothing but a slave, doing routine stuff. But for him he is a hero and is doing a good job.

Another plump man his waist hanging out of his trousers like an over-ripe jackfruit is jabbering something. All I can hear is “jabber, jabber, jabber....” He is repeating some mantra as if he is losing touch. With life.

Another young man struggles to the straps of his knapsack around his shoulder. I know the problem. Stiff shoulders after so much time surfing the net. A sedentary life spent around a computer, doing nothing but tapping keys and moving the mouse. Mouse-and-key, mouse-and-key, mouse-and-key, so on....

Then I see him. He must be around seventy, wears glasses with a dark brown tint, looks a bit like Balraj Sahni and is a picture of old worldliness that I admire so much. He is trim, no inch of extra fat, a well composed face (though a few lines add to its gravity), he looks around with an amused expression, non-judgementally. When he alights from the train I notice his bag. It’s leather and neatly polished, as is his shoes.

I smile. I have seen perfection in the middle of imperfection.


Anonymous said...

Very nice - I was traveling too.
Thanks to your writing.

Grampa Ken said...

Neat observations John. So many in fast society are just a part of a herd trudging along with no sound purpose. We need to break away, read, reflect, look and wonder at nature.

Stephen Leacock on this, " How strange it is, our little procession of life. The child says, 'when I am a big boy'. But what is that? the big boy says, 'when I grow up'. And then, grown up, he says, 'when I get married'. But to be married, what is that after all? The thought changes to, 'when I retire'. And then when retirement comes, he looks back over the landscape traversed; a cold wind seems to sweep over it; somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone. Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour."