October 14, 2010

The Train

You are in a local train, which is speeding past the trees and sewers and huts and bare behinds of people early morning, taking a crap. Behinds are safer to bare than faces, aren't they? I always thought of it that way.

You are a piece of the mangled mass of humanity, bruised blue by everyday contact that you do not desire, from strange faces and bodies that travel with you to unknown destinations. Every face your eyes fall upon has the rawness of happiness laced with pain writ large on their faces, every face has a father, a mother, a sibling, a lover, a husband, a wife, a neighbour, a teacher, a boss and occasions to celebrate every few days. Every face has the reflected glory of the past, bottled up concern for the future.

In this mass of humanity fused in together in one bogey, how is your face? Empty? Curious? Does your face show wonder at the train that ties you all like a common thread that holds flowers together on a garland? Flowers from different cities, with different fragrances and colours, but flowers nevertheless? Are there faces you see everyday, that you forget once you step out, never think of again? Do you know them, the lines and wrinkles on their faces, the gentle limp in their gait perhaps, the slightly broken symmetry of their person?

Do you think that if you ran into them in a different city or country several years from now, they would know you and recall and smile, perhaps, laugh maybe? maybe even come and talk to you? Are they strangers, really? In an alien city with no known faces, wouldn't they know you more than anybody else in the city? And the only thing that connects you with them is a train, and silence spent inside it for hours, glancing occasionally, intentionally or otherwise?

Perhaps, next time, you will do more than glance, then? Perhaps this time, you will smile, offer a seat or even ask them their name. And you will then have another point of family in a world where its so easy to get hopelessly lost. Perhaps.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

i love the first paragraph.
the whole narrative has a somewhat haunting effect.
your writing is magically woven together, Reema. I'm still waiting for a book! And you're going to make it big through writing, i just know it. :)