The train just crossed Ghaziabad station. It did not stop there, just slowed down, as if giving some kind of second chance to those who had taken off on the wrong tracks. Life rarely offers such second chances, yet it is so much like this train.

I love writing in transit, be it a flight, a train or the metro. (Our roads generally do not allow me that luxury) Its tough to put the actual feelings in words, but I guess its got something to do with the sweeping visuals, which are like so many worlds, so many stories, moments, and the emotions they evoke within- of being just one of so many, of diminishing self importance, of realization, that we believe ourselves and our problems to be of higher magnitude than they are, and that there are infinite ‘us’ everywhere, trying to get some advantage of that unknown imaginary power.

Writing, anyway, for me is like a recording tape, to safeguard my memories, my feelings, my reactions. To be able to recall how I felt at that particular moment, what were my doubts, problems, dilemma, at a particular moment, a phase, a transition. I fear losing my memories. What if after all these years, I don’t remember that feeling, of first love, of the first kiss, of heart break, of insecurities, of accomplishments, of longing, of craving, of life. It will be such a terrible waste of everything. Of those drops of rain, those swoosh of leaves, those waters gone dry, everything which had once become a metaphor, a synonym, for things as varied as a rejected proposal to an accepted admission. Events we anyway remember, but the feeling, the moment, the moments, are what I want to cherish, for always, ever. I can not imagine how it will feel, at the ripe old age of 70, to open my diaries and read about the first time I discovered sex, the first time I felt love, and all the things of life. They would probably make me laugh (maybe an oh-i-was-so-stupid laugh.). I can’t imagine; I don’t want to. Or maybe I would die before reaching that age, and my kids will get to read my life. I hope they will not judge me, and…

Ude…khule aasmaan me khwabon ke parindey,

Ohooo, kya pataa, jaanaa hai kahan…

Yes, I‘ve never quite known that, unlike this train, though both of us have rarely had a smooth or as-was-planned ride. The rickety-ricket sound after some time gets a little too familiar, forcing me to put on the earphones.

Na main samjhaa, Na main jaanaa…

Yes, best things in life have happened accidently to me, mostly when I was not craving for them, while the mishaps have almost always hinted their arrival, though mostly I have been too naive to detect them. I can’t decide if love falls in the first or second category. But either way, some things just effect you too much, and in an irreparable way, to judge them as good or bad. Five months ago, a similar journey, on the same tracks, was perhaps the longest of my life. I had to give up my job, my first ever job, and my self-respect, all within a couple of days, and was going back to I knew not what. December 2011 was perhaps the coldest of my life, mystified by the added chill of uncertainty, not knowing what lay ahead, I could be numb a moment, and then explain myself, regain a soul, and spend some peaceful moments, and then again back to forgetting the explanation. But happiness finds its way through all the circumstances, I realized, even if it came from awkward situations like watching The Dirty Picture in a multiplex with your parents.

And today, this journey amazes me. How the tables have turned! The fortune has rained on me, and still the world feels the same. And thank God for that. I remember reading somewhere, that happiest is he who can make himself feel the same in the good and bad of times. i so agree.

The train just passed by a station called ‘Maripat’. I remember the station from the journey in december, when it had a little hut outside the single tin shed and a dysfunctional toilet and a room (which constituted the station!). It is the same even now. The toilet seems functional now though. The little hut near the tracks vibrates as the train vrooms along, causing the little chickens to flutter around in a fury, and a little boy running amok to catch them.

Paate hum hain Zindagi ek baar, kyu na karein hum use pyaar..!


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