Ten Minute Journey

‘Sometimes one life is not enough to live a fulfilled life and sometimes a moment is enough to live a thousand lives.’

I left around six in the evening from office and was mindlessly trudging across the road, to the platform and found myself the train. Just like everyone else, I too wanted to get home as soon as I could.

Too tired to even think, I shut my eyes as soon as I boarded the train and decided to take a five minute nap until I reached my destination. Suddenly, a very beautiful yet familiar smell woke me up. I looked around and saw three women in their forties sitting on the compartment floor making gajras from the lovely chameli flowers.

I tilted my head to have a clear look at them. One of them was effortlessly tying the flowers around the thread and at the same time talking to her friends. I wondered if they were as delighted with the smell as I was. Had the chameli lost its charm for them, this being their daily routine? I wanted to ask them but felt stupid and looked away.

The train stopped at a station and my eyes were now fixed at two men, a father and son, who were looking down from their balcony apparently witnessing some unusual activity in the street.

The sun shone on their white kurtas and the dark alley was complementing the light from the setting sun. Though I couldn’t see their faces, I could sense some anticipation from their body language. I felt as if I have been here before and knew what was happening in the street but couldn’t recall. I was curious to find out but the train left.

On to the next station, the train sped through a kaleidoscope of architecture. A beautiful conical church made out of brick was hiding behind the dense trees. A little ahead, a white chiseled Jain Mandir was shining in its all glory. My eyes moved along the landscape and I noticed a Victorian penthouse standing tall among the concrete jungle.

Running parallel to the tracks was a railway shed, beyond it a field ran infinite with tracks lying across it. Two women were relaxing while their kids were playing in the evening sunlight. I had an epiphany as if I had seen the place before. It reminded me of some English countryside and it felt soothing as if I was home.

Coming out of my dreamy state, I stood up and went near the door as my station was next. Looking across from the train, I saw a young woman having her evening cup of tea leaning on the window of her home. Serenity it seemed had come to on her face. Maybe she was tired of her daily chores or office work. Maybe this was her time to get a few minutes for herself before she went back to the routine.

I got down at the station and left all those strangers behind me!

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