it struck me that we are wired differently. the bbywallas, mumbaikars, who use public transport, especially the trains.
i am at the over bridge in the afternoon. all is normal except one small thing, i have a rather heavy child sleeping on my shoulder, and two bags slipping off the other shoulder, and i am not in a hurry to get to any appointment.
i hear the announcement that a train is coming in to platform five,
and i run.
no appointment that i am late for,
heavy sleeping child,
the steps are far away from the ladies'compartment,
and the next train will come in 3- 6 minutes,
i dodge, i pant, i run
i reach my designated spot under the indicator
the train stops
i get in
i catch my breath
and look around PLEASED AS PUNCH
as satisfied as the child who completes her 12 piece jigsaw puzzle!
and we dont seem to mind looking like a clumsy baby elephant frantically running towards its food.it is abnormal, it is scary, but it is true, we are like this.
the only consolation, that she is slowly getting wired into this abnormality.
at 13 she can go with a bunch of her pals for a trip into town without being driven around by her parents,
at 16 she can come back from a late function in college, without a boy to escort her, unless she and he want that little extra time
at 20 she can come back late from an assignment without worrying about spending money on autos and cabs from the meagre stipend you get as a trainee
at 22 she can work till the wee hours of the morning, without fear of how she will get home, too proud to ask her male colleague to drop her
and i will tell her about the activist/filmmaker who bought a cigarette at the platform late one night and got harrassed, and attacked by a couple of policemen who claimed they were loose women. we woke up in the morning to read the news story. and tracked the case that the activist fought in court against the policemen. we were in college, and reading about the case made all of us college friends walk with a swagger, in our little heads daring the policeman or the groper to come close. many gropers were encountered, some were whacked, some were abused, one was dragged to the police station. and many got away. but we walked with a swagger, and broke into a run the moment it was announced that the next train was expected on platform number five.