It is not everyday that I feel the exhilaration and outright frenzy of a suburban train , but when I do its with obvious displeasure and reluctance.Yesterday, once more I was coerced into such an ordeal.In my part of the world, suburban trains are almost synonymous with long ques for a ticket and then performing acrobatic skills to get into a train over packed with fellow sufferers. As I was waiting in the platform fretting over the probable causes of misery awaiting me(they were plenty), I saw the locomotive hurling in, followed with choruses of rejoice and anticipation.Suddenly my animal instincts took over.I took a leap of faith and found myself grappling the door handle.Thereafter my jujitsu skills were put to test (a test I didn’t fail)as I pushed and barged my way in. Half an hour of mindless imagination, and I found myself breathing the stinky odour of sweat , my feet being trampled by a thousand feet as I was managing just about to hang on( needless to say like hundred others). Even then I managed to catch little snippets of conversation everywhere, “The heat’s killing me” complained a visibly unimaginative middle aged man. “Candy , cucumbers , roasted nuts , make your pick ” the vendor lured almost a dozen around him.Yes, commercialization has also found its way.Those who are fortunate enough to find a seat ,doze open mouthed seemingly unfazed by the chaos around. ” Two slices of cucumber please “, I suddenly ordered , the vendor obliged and there I was feeling drops of rain upon my face , the train rushing past, leaving cities and villages in its wake and my eyes scanning a different world , while munching cucumbers………………….
There’s a peculiarity about memories, they always turn sweeter with time and now as I lazily stretch out I am lost in such indulgences. A typical Indian summer noon always presents a picture of hot dusty streets with vendors and men with not much preoccupation dozing in the shade of trees ( Straight from Malgudi days you would think) So these are the summer noons I had always wished for, to those of you who have must have appreciated the beauty of these . My childhood was confined in a house upon a highway. I also faintly remember a pond on the other side of the house , now this area was one of prohibition for me and I never quite mustered up enough courage to deny the same . My bedroom window overlooked a dilapidated old house ,its plaster coming off and owing to its medieval grandeur had always enchanted me , and tickled the fancy of a child’s imagination , It seemed to me a place of adventure, mystery and childhood fantasies. At night I could make out a faint candle light in that building , although now I can’t really tell whether it was made out more of imagination or reasoning faculties . I seem to remember a bird’s nest on my window sill and tiny little blue eggs. Much of my childhood was spent upon that window sill awaiting the birth of a new life , a new beginning only realising after many years that the end was lost in the beginning………….
The Paper boat
There goes the paper boat,
With wind in its sails,
As the eternal rains roll down,
But the boat travels without fail.
Traveling through puddles it will reach,
The uncharted seas of east,
And delve upon golden mountains,
Or the land of mermaids at least.
It will meet the fairy land ,
Where Prince Rilian calls the day,
Or maybe the ancient lands,
Where kings and queens and princes lay,
Oh! But halt not ,for you do have,
A journey to accomplish ,a promise to fulfill,
And bring the flames of distant lands ,
That it may burn like a torch of pain and delight
When the most intimadating foe……..that white fanged , large clawed and inconsiderate devil incarnate……the Board Exam 2013 was finally slayed two rather peculiar thoughts crossed my mind.(It did gradually lead to 17 thoughtlets ) -:
1. Why must each man be excruciated to prove himself or why must he try and outdo others?
2. Do we truly value another man as a man?
While reading through Arvind Adiga’s White Tiger I was a pleasantly surprised to find a commonality of theme , the protagonist commits a grotesque murder and finds himself in a web of corruption to finally realise that morality has forever been a veil to deprive some of the privilidges and the truly right way is the way that works……”Right or wrong doesn’t matter , what matters is victory…….”
The authors pleads a chance to be a man and I couldn’t be more convinced……