i was in the railway station this morning to receive amma (mother).
as i walked, i seemed to absorb everything about this place, even though it was the nth time i came here..??
the people sleeping in their make-shift sleeping spaces in a wait for their train to come and take them home;
the chaiwallah making for a fresh start to so many;
the coolie in anticipation of his early morning wins;
the sleepy-eyed, hair tussled passengers tugging along with fatigue and luggage;
the cartloads of 'goods' lying unceremoniously that are to be hauled onto the next 'goods train;
the newspaper and magazine stall with a just-now lit incense that wafts strong aroma and a thin, amoeba-like smoke ( i try to follow it but it vanishes into the air...)
the enginge honk and the chuk bhuk of the train that is changing tracks and the slow grace with which it carries its vast structure;
across the platform a nomad sits idle, gazing into nothingness;
the dog wags its tail and comes close to many. only to get shooed;
a train or two arrive in an announcing fashion, of its arrival..
the sound of its movement, the momentum of the moment, the intensity of the engine, the roar of the honk consume me completely.
what is it about trains and me?
on those long train journeys the speed and sharp direction of the train and the way trees and lakes, houses and mountains run past you (even though its me running away in the train), the sheernees of peering down that lake right under your feet!!
at most times its the people you get to see. their mannerisms and colloquialism,
what they speak and what their bodies speak, the way they eat make for an interesting time for any keen observer.
but its something about the train and me i cant figure out what.
wait a minute. could it be that it probably embodies for me, travel? new places and new people? a discovery of sorts?
i guess i quite know, now, why my heart leaps everytime i see a train pass by....
chuk bhuk....chuk bhuk...
hey, there i spot amma!
sleepy-eyed, hair tussled amma tugging along with fatigue and luggage??
Len Deighton - The Bernard Samson series
1 year ago