We run to catch trains
Particularly, a 7.42 Borivali slow
People swinging outside in teams
Like troops of Tarzans on iron roots
Arm over arm and foot over foot
But the closer you go
You will know
The train has more place than it seems.
You don't climb into the train
You are simply pushed in
An unwanted massage to your muscles
A week's workout in a min.
You adjust and adjust and adjust
Till you find that half inch of an empty space
for your haversack (well, mostly for your own supply of oxygen)
which has been cussed upon by dames
with their faces wrapped up in scarves
to shield them from the fragrance of other underarms.
You move with the train, the train moves with you
You yawn and dose and sneeze
You bump and curse and squeeze
You stand till you no more feel your knees
Tissues too deep in your pockets for a wheeze
Sweat trickles down your dust clad cheeks
Praying to the Gods for a fine gust of breeze
But throughout all the adversities
All the mental abuses you hurl
All the bones that have been turned
You will find these few women,
chatting, laughing and sharing their tiffin,
Buying trinkets and key chains and earrings by the dozen
Not just for themselves but for their train cousins
Who travel everyday and catch the same train, at the same time
Stand beside each other (or sit, if it's their lucky day)
Showing them on their phones what their kids did the day before or
expressing their annoyance towards their mothers-in-law
And how every other woman has a story to share.
Some in sarees, some in salwars, some in burkhas, some in jeans,
some in crop tops and dresses,
some in stilettos and well kept tresses
They all wish for someone to speak to.
Someone to vent their worries out to.
Someone to laugh and empathise with
Even when their bums ache to sit
amidst all the chaos and mayhem,
all the stealthy nudges on my arms and the nerves that cannot keep calm,
if I just observe carefully,
really really carefully,
with an open eye and a positive mindset,
my 45 minute train ride can certainly be quite refreshing.