Saturday, November 7, 2009

The journey

There was a deep sense of distractedness in my mind. Each breath of mine was pushed away by the rumblings of a mini quake, the epicentre of which was right next to me, in the train berth occupied by an old man. The train within the train took me by surprise. The spate of train related accidents came to my mind flashing through with the help of a view finder. But never would there have been an accident within, because of a train within a train!

The drive to the station was like a joy ride on a giant wheel in a fair. Everything seemed exactly the same, unless one chose to look with intend. Then faces became clear and with it lives and stories were revealed in a matter of seconds. It was the usual grind: paying the auto driver, walking to the station, passing through the detector, spotting the train platform on the screen, buying water and something to munch and then walking to the train, checking my name on the chart stuck to the train bogey and then placing myself on the booked seat. It was one chain puzzle, neatly put together and played to perfection.

Bodies lay strewn all around. People were shouting, ‘get down, down.’ Just as you thought it was all over, came one more shot and then a volley of shots. How does it feel to lie on your tummy and wonder, ‘what the f*** is going on here?’ and ‘will I get out of here alive?’ How does it feel to be derailed even before one boards the train? So many prayers went up that day to a variety of Gods, all asking for divine intervention and a fortunate ending. Was this the end of the world? The faces of my loved ones came to my mind in a flash, so fast and furious that I felt like a turtle in an F1 racing car.

I got up with a jolt. Where was I? In the train, sleeping safe and sound in my berth, listening to the divine snore next to me. How I wonder, a few moments ago the snore sounded like a quake and now after what seemed a salad of a dream, the snore became a sweet sense of awakening. An awakening of being alive and okay. The sense that everything was back to normalcy.

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