Midnight musings of the meandering mind

At a familiar railway station on 29th June 2006 at 12.00 am

11.45 pm: She leaves home for the railway station.Its raining heavily
"How could I have traveled if it were not for 'Dad's big car' ?".

12.00 am : She reaches the railway station, walks to the window to buy a platform ticket for dad .There were atleast 50 people sleeping on the floor near the window

"Boy !Its raining cats and dogs and these people are sleeping sound, when I am hurrying up and down to reach pune tomorrow to make it to office on time. Money that I have -can afford a 3 tier AC journey of 500 Km and peace that they have-makes them absolutely indifferent to people like me"

12: 15 am: She gets the ticket and thereafter reaches for the station master to inquire about the arrival of 0673 DN Yeshwantpur Express. He tells her its further delayed by 1.20 minutes.
"Indian railways- this the biggest public enterprise. Manages a mammoth volume of passengers and freight every day.In weather as such, the train is bound to be late.How can someone blame the railways ? Each system follows its own maturity curve and so will the railways. The progress is visible in the internet based reservations and otherwise affordable passenger fares."

12:20 am : She took the overhead bridge to reach platform number 3. A group of young lads were gambling on the bridge.
They beg or work all day, cleaning cars on stop signs,cleaning floors on train compartments, selling water, tea , etc and when the night dawn they gamble on the sweat. It that the purpose of earning , is it pure entertainment,a chance to prove your skill with a pack of cards, or a attempt to dominate. Whatever it be, there was an enthusiasm in the group, a joy! Their way of ending the day in laughter and satisfaction.

12:23 am: She finds herself a seat on a lonely bench on platform number 3
Recollecting all the college days -I traveled unreserved in general compartments for years. All the trains , railway stations and hawkers seemed so trivial then . Alas! Now there is a new perspective to those elements. There is a 'what can be done to ease passenger comfort on trains ?', 'How much this the ROI of hawkers on the vada pau?'. Its just so much more than a
railway station - a sleeping ground, an earning place, a betting field

12:45 am: A Frontier Mail train zips through the Track no 1.
Those three seconds are the best definition of speed. As it rushed pass the track, it quaked the platforms and took with it the some rags and polythenes. How effectively does power pull and disturbs ! It virtually forces the inferior to follow its travail in action and in thought over time.

12:50 am: A couple of Platform residents pick up a quarrel. She watches from a distance as drunkards blabber and get in position to beat each other. Just then another rowdy character rises to dominance and settles the dispute.
Sure he was the king out there, one of the card playing lads who grew up to be the leader of the gang. Amazing that he didn't ignite further fights. Just settled the whole thing in peace. I thought peace was the business of the UN and the center piece of summits.

1.00 am : A Freight carrier rattles away along Track 3. A colourful sitting of Maersk's and Hanjin' pulled by a dull slow engine keep her eyes still for 3 minutes.
The track is the same and so is the engine power. Different things designed and destined to run at different speeds at different times. Freight trains run slow - Its a prejudice.Why ?Aren't there are freight carriers that have priority over the fastest of trains. Exceptions presenting themselves to an otherwise biased mind !

1:20 am : She hears a computerized voice announce -'The train arriving on Platform no 3 is 0673 UP Ajmer Yeshwantpur express '
Finally it will be time to catch up some sleep on S3 Middle berth no 2. Hope the train reaches Pune by 9 without further delay.

How amazing are the trails of thoughts ! She is me and the station is none other than the one in my hometown. I'd lived in the town for 18 years and had been to that particular railway station innumerable times in the last 25 years and I never noticed the life it bred or the saw a perspective it had to offer. It was not about the station. Just a maturity of sight and thought

Beyond concern

In our day to day dealings, we hardly take time to think or rather feel the little tasks, such as boarding a bus or talking to one's milk-man, that we undertake. Running through some of these hectic days, I have myself paid least heed to such miniscule events. It all becomes so in-grained in the urban mind - to wakeup at dawn, rush to office, juggle with keys and mice and head back home, surf around the TV and then back to sleep,that the grey cells are rendered incapable of lateral thoughts about people.

Just day before yesterday, I gave up the keys to the maid so that she could clean up my home as per her availability. Hectic schedules and Odd office timings made it impossible for me and Vanita to adjust our schedules. Its been months that I have talked to her at length about what needs fixing and cleaning in the house. Affected by the urban syndrome - lack of empathy towards people you know, I never took too much time to understand her thoughts ( Let that alone, I never made a conscious effort to talk to her). She was just my house-maid and I an employer. I'd been thinking all week long on getting my place in order but it never materialized. Finally I gave the keys to Vanita so that she could manage the place on her own.

After a hard day at office when I got home,I could not believe the job Vanita did. The whole place looked as if I had arranged it ( I suffer from an obsessive compulsive cleaning and organization disorder). The kitchen, the hall and the beds ; everything was done as I would do it. My mind went blank for a minute. It indeed was one of those moments when I realized that there is a lot beyond urbanism, fat-pay cheques and fancy parties. Though I never went out of my way to help Vanita, she had invested the last whole year in understanding my lifestyle and my preferences. What was her incentive ? Apparently nothing. I hadn't promised extra wages for knowing the preferences. The pay increase I offered would account for any extra work she had to do but not atleast for the investment in my lifestyle.

Reminds me ,how unempathetic we are to people who run our day to day lives? Imagine a day when the milkman doesn't turn up or when your cable operator cuts out telecast.,we get enraged so easily and yet there are people like my maid who do more than they should for no greater incentive.She did something more nobler than taking care of your loved ones or donating to relief funds and that makes me feel 'lucky'. To give is satisfying but to receive is bewilderering

Nostalgia and Life in the cup

Parle G ---- "No one can eat just one"..
(The quote suits Parle G better than Lays )
Ah that's all i can say when the aroma of a parle G dipped in 'aadhu ni cha' engulfs me. Ah ! it reminds me of the good old college days. Mohini corner !! ( for all those who have been in GCET, you'd know what this is ) Its been close to three years that I graduated from college and at times in the busy corporate life, (so called...) it feels like its been a long time. Office life and 'the next carrot' keep us so busy that it takes trivial things like biscutits and one moment of consciousness to understand that it was not long ago when i slept over till late afternoons and spent the rest of the day running around the town. Naah !! now i am sounding like the million others who write about the cherised college days in sweet tones and beautiful words.
Its not just the school or the college that is creates nostalgia. A myriad of instances come alive in a cup of tea or coffee.The cup of tea or coffee has grown specially close to me since it witnesses all my plans and prospects and dreams. If those cups could speak, write ( blabber.. is the right word), they'd right out a journal of all the 'wise years' of life.
Some time in leisure it would be nice to see how one grew up with coffees and teas.

Its not the water, its the leisure

My first visit to Pune was about a year and a half ago. Its still as fresh as this drop. At 1.30 a.m Parihar chowk was dark and lonely yet very close to the heart. The smell of the earth and the scatterd light of the street lamps wiped out all fantasies of Marine Drive.
Monssons can never be better than Pune. This is one place where I have my books, a window that opens to various shades of green , a perfect cup of coffee and the leisure that encompasses all of these elements into a single frame. Although monosoon , Marine drive and corn is a killer combination in itself, it doesnt produce the aura that a freshly brewed coffee aroma can in a solitary place in Pune.
With mountains surrounding the city, and sufficeint green pastures ( Thanks to the Pune universtiy campus, Kirkee, Pashan, etc ) and a luxury called 'Time' that Pune offer to most of its inhabitants,it is one place to relish.
As i look out of the Office window and gaze at the river and distant hills,i am as thankful for the leisure as the rustic Vidharbha farmer is for the rain. " Its in the subconsious, more than it is in the cloud", I guess.