I woke up this morning to realize it was raining in Chennai since last night. A much awaited phenomenon, considering the temperatures over the past few months has been above 40 degrees. I secretly prayed for the weather to be the same throughout the day. I also hoped the crowd in the train ride to office to be less today. I knew it would be less considering it is Saturday but you never know!
The crowd in the train was indeed less but not completely empty. I got a window seat for myself which on weekdays is often a rarity. It was still drizzling outside. I was in a mood to listen to my rainy day playlist and probably nap for the distance traveled (Yes, I am perfectly capable to wake up at 7.am and take a nap at 9.am). To my utter shock I realized I had left my headset at home! I usually never forget my music essentials but today, was one such day.
I had no other option but to sit quietly and look around, somehow passing the twenty five minutes of train time to my office. Usually on weekdays, the train is so crowded that I don’t even get to see the face of the person standing next to me. This every day journey of mine is a marathon session of continuous pushing and showings amongst the ladies in the women’s coach with one or two elbow kicks in my face one in a while.
The cold sea breeze slowly started hitting my face as the train marched towards the next station. My eyes and brain, having nothing else to do started observing people around me. The thin college girl sitting next to me was coyly talking to someone over the phone, blushing and giggling throughout. When I peeped into her mobile, she was talking to someone called Aircel. Next time if you have a secret boyfriend/girlfriend that you don’t want your parents to know, save his/her number as a mobile network. How many times these network operators call us on a daily basis?
“My mother-in-law has come to Chennai for a month to help us in setting up our new home instead, she is trying to assert her control over the house, my house!! She diligently instructs me every day and every second of my life on how I should keep my home and that today’s girls are utter lazy!” The woman wearing yellow kurta sitting opposite of me was venting her frustration on someone over the phone in Hindi. She is wearing sindoor and chudda in her wrist, she is recently married. She is not from Chennai I guess. I mentally decide to eavesdrop into her conversation to kill the next fifteen minutes of my train ride(what? haven’t you eavesdrop before?).
There were these bunches of ladies, who were close friends travelling to their office together. One was busy eating her breakfast of upma out of her tiffin box while the other was combing her hair with the other hand. The other two ladies were busy buying stack of imitation jewelries and other personal care products from the lady vendor selling all kind of sundries from one compartment to another.
At Mylapore station, almost thirty percent of the crowd got down with a fewer number of commuters boarding the train for their journey forward. One amongst them was this girl sitting two rows ahead of me. She was wearing a green kurta with her face and nose covered with a black dupatta. She had her backpack kept on her lap and she was rubbing her eyes every time as if she had cold. It took me few seconds to realize that it was not cold but she was all teary eyed and sobbing softly. She was rubbing her eyes everytime to wipe the tears that refuse to die down. It’s when the automatic train lady announced of the arrival of my designated station. I got down from the train wondering what would have happened to her on a beautiful morning like today’s that made her cry so much. As the train slowly drifted towards the next destination, I got to catch a last glimpse of hers. She was still wiping her eyes with the corner of her dupatta.