Friday, April 24, 2020


"Three minutes to the train" thought Rakesh. It had been a tiring day for him. His job at the dockyard which was initially hard on him had gotten easier with time. Earlier it was a strange caricature of decay and resurrection but after his first salary credit a few days back the same structure turned into sweating smell of hope. Somehow he had found home in blood metal sound of machines and ocean blue water and skies. He did not particularly enjoy coming to the railway station though. The railway station always made him envious of lives other people had, Families, saying affectionate goodbyes, girlfriends holding hands with their boyfriends, a group of young men cackling with laughter and merriment. It was this envy that made him buy an expensive new smartphone with his first salary. He wanted to be more confident amongst the crowd around him. He had already imagined himself standing beside the pole of Mumbai local train, earphones in his ears and the wind blowing through his hair. The fact that he owned such an expensive piece of technology made him beam with happiness and joy. He had touched his front pocket jeans countless times, to feel the phone partly because he wanted to be sure that he had one and partly just to enjoy it's feel from the pocket.

"Pooooo..." whistled the train. Rakesh looked up towards the arriving train. Finally he was going home. He raised his suitcase over his head so that he could fight his way into the general coach of the train. It's amazing to see how quickly people coalesce to get into the general coach of the train. Rakesh nudged around his elbows as he tried to get on board.  In the midst of elbow kicking and chest foreplay, he saw a familiar face of Mr Patloo. Mr Patloo was a 40-year-old man with 5 strands of hair on his head. He wore a colourful t-shirt and tight fitted jeans. You did not have to look closely to understand that he was a textbook example for mid life crisis. Oblivious to his bizarre sense of fashion, Mr Patloo greeted me with a wide affectionate smile as both of us fought our way through the crowd. Somehow we were lucky enough to be inside the train. The general coach of boogie is a different type of caricature in itself. As you pass, you can smell the different body odours mixed on the boogie. You can