Diary of an unreliable train commuter.
See yonder, for thy neighbour might be peeking
I write this piece while I sit in the train and the gorgeous old lady sitting next to me suspiciously peeks into my phone and intrudes to see what I am doing, but needless to say, she eventually gets bored with what I am doing (which is writing this) she turns away for her internal mind might be muttering to her how banal and uninteresting I seem to be. Or it could be that she read this text and realised how it would be weird that I am writing something about her and might have felt unusual or eerie for someone to write about this. After a few seconds, she turns back again in a swift motion to stare directly into my phone screen now without a hint of being discreet, with a stern look on her face and a hooked brow reflection staring at me through the screen. My mind hinged as I felt a pang of guilt for the poor lady who had now become the subject of my abjections and the main course of entertainment for me as well probably that of the readers. Her angry expression stared at me with a piercing look and her face quickly turned to stare directly at me now, which lead me to be greatly uncomfortable but yet to avoid an impending quarell with a random lady, I looked directly into my screen with all my concentration, and tried to ignore my nearby nemesis.
See the thing is, I have always been an extremely friendly person in my life with a series of amiable gestures one after another. But this slight tackle brought a new kind of rebellion within me which wanted to break the good girl image and step out as a badass. I know, you’re probably wondering what I drank or smoked before writing this, because this seems incredibly vague, but this lady and her staring contest reminded me of everything and everyone I had listened to, and obeyed without saying a word. So I did not mind her reading all of that which I wrote about her as she was about to have a piece of my mind soon enough. In my mind I had planned the various ways in which I would insult her and the various ways in which she would retaliate and how this huge tug of words would turn into chaotic train fight where people from different compartments will stare at the both of us expecting a huge cat fight to occur. But the encounter, though not as chaotic as expected it to be, turned out more entertaining for all the other members of the compartment than ever imagined.
The lady soon confronted me, with a gentle question and a sly smile, saying "Are you going to publish this, child?" Startled at such a cordial statement, I turned to look at her and saw that her brown eyes had a hint of kindness and her huge unibrow had softened without an existing furrow and all the fury from her reflection which I saw through the screen had drained out. "I don’t know. I am not a professional writer, I might publish it on medium."
"Oh so you do write, and your words, they seem to have a certain charm to them."
"Uhmmm, thanks...?" I replied, unsure of what to make of the statement. I noticed that her eyes now showed a new emotion, comfort. Her big brown eyes were laden with khol in an attempt to make them appear smaller but to no avail. I paid deep attention to each of her features ( now I realise, may seem creepy, but did not seem creepy at the minute) her mouth was small, with magenta lipstick all over them, which had spread ever so slightly to the corners of her mouth giving her an erratic lip shape. Her khol ridden eyes were slightly watery which I assumed was because of the black which lined her eyes. Her nose was long and had a beautiful stud at the end of it. And her voice sounded a bit savvy with an almost fake accent and her (you might be wondering why I am giving all this information, but trust me, it is important) and what she was wearing was not noticed by me because I was too mesmerised by her face and voice that I hardly seemed to notice her red salwar kameez and her bright golden chunni sweeping the ground and the grey brown dust accumulating on her drape.
"I work with a publishing company."
My heart lit up, also an eager apprehension crept into my heart by the words she just uttered, as it lead to thousand thoughts which started streaming in my head with the lone dominating discernment about the fact that she had said this to me in a context of my writing and maybe what she meant was that I could make the cut in the dreams of myself being an established writer. Some part of me was heavily disappointed because what I had thought of her in my head and what I thought would say to her had was all diminishing, and the most important duel (and probably only duel) in my life was now being brought to crisps with her witless friendly approach. But my heart still racing of the fact that she mentioned a publishing company brought within me an unending joy, and I responded to her in a moot affable gestures which now that I think of, might have seemed extremely fake and made up. But nonetheless, I started out with a new enthusiasm for the apprehensible lady whom in my head had cursed a million times because of her new chummy approach and belittled her with a question which reflected by angst towards her in a peculiar fashion,
"YOU work in a publishing agency?"
which came out a bit more harshly than I had intended it to be with a certain doubtfulness of the statement which she had just said before, with a bold emphasis on the word "you" as if to mock or as if a tune of uncongeniality was being sung to her indirectly. As I instantly regretted the words said to her, her comforting eyes showed the deepest reflection of anger and her face flushed to a deep shade of pink, as if someone had insulted her enitre family and her great grandmother was being dishonoured. But nevertheless, her anger lasted for only a miniscule of time and her face returned to her previous glory of the time before.
"Yes, I work in a publishing company. Does that surprise you?" she said, with her words showing a promiscuous glory as her words echoed with the deepest of rebuttal intended towards me. In my head, her eyes glowed of a fiery red colour and her nose and ears left steams which I could distinctively see, but later as I contemplated about this situation at home, I realised that my petty brain had stretched the situation a bit and it was probably just a tiny bit of annoyance which was resonating in her voice. But in the spur of the movement, I expected her to pull me by my collar, and dump me on the tracks from the moving train, and much to my dismay, it did not strike off another argument thankfully.
So now that my heart was pumping at an extraordinary pace and I had done my tiny dance in my head with jiggles and all, I proceeded towards my next question, which was - "wow, what do you work as?"
"But I must tell you something, I just got fired from the job.", with that statement burst out a dam of free flowing years which without grace and with khol landed on her blushed cheeks, and died all my hopes and aspirations with that lone tear falling off her cheek. My entire sand castle of dreams was quickly washed away by her black, hot tears. Her entire face rhythmically contracted and expanded according to the nasal sound her face was making ( oh my god, I am so rude) and thus began, an excruciating long period of my life, with me comforting a random stranger on the train. whom I had never before seen, and her sobbing vividly into my chest as she wailed and wailed about her lost profession. And on and on she rambled on about how amazing it was to work there and how much she learnt from the job. As amazing as this writing showcases me to be, I was truly only interested in her recommending me to the head of her publishing company and yes, I know it sounds extremely wrong and juvenile to comfort a traumatized person for my own good, I did it, and I am being completely honest here. After about 30 minutes or so, god sent me a sign as she decided to get off the train as her station had come and stopped crying and wiped off the black smudge all across her face aggravating the khol situation.
While getting down, I simply or I really don’t why, just asked her what her job was there at the publishing company. And what she said, gave me all the answers I needed to know.
"I was the female security officer of the complex."