Thursday, August 23, 2007

Strange Affections

Yesterday, after working the whole day at my friend’s place on the second last project of my course (thank God for it being almost the second last one), I was on my way back home. I checked my watch. It was 9 pm. And I checked myself! I was dead tired. I was waiting at the station for the freaking train to arrive. As it did after due testing of my patience, I entered the second "second class ladies compartment" with some difficulty.
There are always these women in the train who think they are traveling in their private jet and thus they sit comfortably at the door blocking the way of all those who want to board in!! I was pretty annoyed at this as I entered but did not say anything as I never like to mess around with people of such great honor!!!! . There were a couple of empty seats in the train, but I always preferred standing near the door, listening to the music and enjoying the cool breeze as it hits you… Mind you I stand at the door but the moment a station arrives, I step back to let people enter and not behave as if I owned this moving property..... . But sadly this time my pleasure of enjoying the breeze was taken away for the obvious reasons!! I stood on the so called “second standing seat” inside the Mumbai trains. Soon I heard the cop acrimoniously shouting at the women near the door. These cops have their duty to be in the ladies compartments after 9. He was telling her to get up but she made the excuse of not being well and feeling puckish. She told the cop that she needed to sit there so that she could easily vomit out...... "Yuk!" my mind and my expressive eyes said....imagine what would happen if they were to actually fly in a jet! Where would they vomit…..never mind...I like keep getting these crazy thoughts… The cop too made a grumpy face on the woman’s bahana no. 47 (though innovative enough) and decided to let that women enjoy her "jet ride".
I looked at the cop who was standing diagonally opposite to me. My eyes went first on the name plate. It read "Vijay. Pra. Dhadke". It took me a while to read it, as it was written in Marathi. Then I looked at him. He must be in his forties. He was dark yet his features were simply adorable. There was this
” aggressive yet kind” look on his face which revealed his dual personality of being a ‘strict angry cop’ at the same time a ‘loving caring man’. For a moment I thought “What crap!! Why am I observing and analyzing no one but a cop!!!! Why am I doing his work?? Hehe!” But there was something about him that made me just look at him, think about him. He was not like other cops who merely stand there like titular heads! He seemed a cop who knew his duties and responsibilities very well. He was a “concerned cop “in the true sense of the term. I felt a deep sense of affinity towards him. There was an eruption of emotions in my heart. It occurs every time I get sentimental and foolish (both together). It would be very filmi to say but I felt as if I knew him since years. I felt like going and pulling his cheeks, calling him ‘my sweet uncle’ and talking to him. Amazed and abashed at my own feelings, thoughts and imagination I decided to abort this aberrant thought. (Hey that’s alliteration (all A’s)).

I started listening to the radio to divert my attention but it was an abortive attempt. As he was standing right opposite to me, it was impossible to not look at him. Just then my thoughts were disturbed by shouts of this young girl selling bindi packets. She was hardly seven-eight years old and was carrying a basket on top of her head which was full of these bindi packets. She was persuading each and every woman in the train to buy at least one packet but all her attempts were in vain… I was feeling sorry for her … The cop too was noticing that girl. (Vijay uncle- wish could call him that.). He summoned the girl. He asked her to show some bindi packets from the basket to him. It was very strange … I mean imagine a cop buying bindi packets!!!! I don’t mean that they can’t … but we have these stereo typical images of cops being this brave, strong, no non sense kind of attitude and all….. And here was my uncle (the cop)! Buying bindi packets for his wife…. How cute!!! He would surely be an ideal husband.
After he bought the packets, he saw me... Unable to hide my emotions I gave him this 360 degree smile trying to convey how much I appreciated his purchase for his wife… he smiled back at me. I liked that.
My home station soon arrived and I was all ready… geared up to jump out of the train (u jump out of the Mumbai trains… not alight!!!) I turned to see him the last time. His eyes gave me a blink and waved me a good bye. I smiled and got out…. Walking past the platform with a thoughtless brain and an emotion filled heart…………….
YES! My affections were strange but nonetheless they were pure and serene……..


Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

That's a fine piece. The affinity one feels towards a stranger. It's more intense during the times of a crisis or tragedy. But why posted under short stories since it's a real life experience.

meonme said...

Good one!!