In search of something ineffable……

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Personal
“Why always we have to suffer”? I retorted as my colleague told me its 8:15 pm and still there is no trace of train. We don’t know when the train is going to arrive.  Victory can be defined in many ways. For a cricketer it means winning a match, for an engineer it means completing a project, for a doctor it means saving a patient’s life. I too learned a new meaning of victory in Kolkata. Finding a place to stand in Metro and local train is no less than an Oscar (in fact more than that). Somehow over the years even I have joined the league of the Oscar award aspirant. Getting into train and reaching home safely without being crushed in the stampede is the aphorism of everyday. People in local trains have a world of their own. They will hit the fellow passengers, use malicious profanities for getting a seat, curse the government and finally get into redundant brawl with hawkers which is like hammering the last nail in the coffin. This is what I see every day.
Yesterday was nothing different from it. It was just 15 minutes left for the clock to strike at 9. “Two hours of our journey and still we haven’t reached anywhere! Today Local trains are a national shame!” I was just venting out my resentment by blabbering such words while my colleague just kept quiet with a poignant face. The eagerness of reaching home has dulled and the excitement now has a pale shadow. There is no end to this struggle. I just closed my eyes and repeated this line. We saw a dull shimmer of light at a distance and we know the train is coming. Hundreds of people just like me got ready to jump inside while some of them are gifted enough to fly in even before the train stops or perhaps that is what people call EXPERIENCE. Nevertheless we managed to get a place to stand in the corner. My dad called me to inform there was some technical problem in the train may be that is why the train is late. At every station the train came to a halt and was motionless like dead body for more than 20 minutes. There was no movement of train but no one can stop the time. We were really late. My dad and I involved ourselves in a chain of uncountable calls where he just wanted to know whether I am okay or not.
I kept abusing the West Bengal (Paschimbanga) government for having such a poor infrastructure. Something stopped me from doing it. I heard a man talking to someone on phone that a 12 year old kid was smashed under the train just a few hours before and that’s what the protest was about on each station. All of a sudden people stopped complaining and looked at each other. Their facial expression changed. For the first time I saw some compassion and humanity in them. All my criticism fell short in front of a kid losing his life. I thought that if my father is so much nervous when I didn’t reach home on time then what about that boy’s family. I had nothing to complain now.
   Sure tomorrow morning I am going to be the same but for today I learned my lesson:

       “I complained that I had no shoes, until I met someone who had no feet!


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