2008-12-03

Going nowhere

I had a flight to catch. An early morning one at that. Early - a category, which for me includes the 8am flight which I was about to board. Because it wasn't just the time which the Embraer left the gate. It was the hour and half before that which one had to spend on the airport sitting on uncomfortable plastic seats trying not to nod off on the shoulder of the person sitting next to you. Add to that the hour and half of the train journey getting to the airport, the 30 mins spent walking to the train station, not to mention all the buffer zones. Such a mislabelling of the word 'journey' when getting there is more work than the actual flight. Kind of like the Pursuit of Happyness - if 'happyness' is spending two hours in a pressurized aluminum tube rebreathing the same recirculated air.

Anyway, it wasn't the journey I was looking forward to in the first place. All I expected was falling asleep in uncomfortable sitting positions, head banging against the glass window a few times and maybe a scalding cup of so-called coffee along the way. Thus I made my way to the train station, hastily packed bag in hand, at the ungodly hour of four in the morning. I was probably the only one boarding the train at my station, understandable, considering it is close to deserted even at normal times. I couldn't even fall asleep immediately because there was a transfer which had to be made about a quarter of the way in. Once I stepped onto the next train, however, I was looking forward to a little shut eye, especially as I hadn't slept a wink since last night. Even though it was July, early mornings are always chilly, and I invariably find 70F temperature controlled environments slightly uncomfortable. I tried to settle into a halfway comfortable position, wrapping my jacket around me like a blanket to get slightly toasty. I think I drifted off because the next thing I heard was twittering.

Now I know many people, especially men (and some women too) who have encountered interesting (read: attractive) members of the opposite sex on journeys, and spent the few hours of what was looking to be a boring journey in a slightly more memorable fashion. But that had never happened to me. Unfailingly I would be seated next to a fat man who called dibs on the armrest and overflowed into my seat or the fidgety 13 year old who wouldn't stay still. The twittering was a good sign. I half opened one of my eyes to see what was going on and sitting next to me, talking animatedly to her friend across the aisle, was a blond dressed from head to toe in diaphanous white. Well, not head to toe, more like plunging-neckline to mid-thigh. Interesting, I thought and opened the aforementioned eye fully. Of course my social ineptness meant that I couldn't ever start a conversation, and anyway the presence of the friend shot that idea to hell before it even took hold. So I settled down to observe.

Something I have always wondered and which to me gives credence to the idea of some women being labelled 'cold-blooded', is how can they wear such a small amount of clothing when its cold out - and not appear to be uncomfortable in any way. Perhaps I should offer her my jacket, I wondered, chivalrous thoughts obviously being the first ones to enter my mind. But opening doors is one thing and offering jackets is an entirely different level. Plus, it would be highly embarrassing for both parties if the rumpled, sleeping guy on the next seat suddenly offered his jacket. So I stayed put. Why, in an early morning train, with several thousand empty seats did she elect to sit next to the sleeping guy, I thought. Surely, something was fishy, very fishy. Either that, or I was completely invisible to the opposite sex, which is also a distinct possibility. In any case, there were too many permutations to consider and reject. As the spirited conversation continued - much too spirited for five in the morning, actually - with lots of gesticulating and loud laughter, I thought how peaceful and uncomplicated my life had been before this apparition had appeared and how much I wanted that back. The pressure was too much. Why me! Everything was going fine before! As this train of thought was catching up speed, the train I was on slowed to a halt, the last one. I stood up and extracted my bag from the overhead rack. I turned to look back and she was nowhere to be seen.

I had my old life back.

2 comments:

mak said...

chk chk chk... ladki dikhee nahi ke line lagana shuru!
asa karu naye, shahanya mulasarkha wagawa (ho, mhanje majhyasarkha)

Akshay said...

kidhar line lagayi dude .. ladki chali gayi to uske baad hi zindagi wapas line pe aayi ...

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