Project 365: Day 60 — Observational Lens

I wrote briefly about my love for train journeys, but I generally enjoy walking around before I get home. There was a time when I would get off the auto I would take from the railway station, 10 minutes earlier. I did that today after a long, long time.

My current boss usually drops me off close to the railway station closest to my office and I need to walk for 10 minutes from there. He also offers to drop me near a closer railway station but I’ve found myself rejecting the offer because taking the latter route means I have to take the metro, which is crowded, which effectively means people, which also means dealing with them — pushing, shoving, talking, asking to be excused, etc. The first option is better — I get a virtually empty train compartment in ladies first class (the one I travel by) and I am prone to indulging in the immensely satisfying Bombay habit — placing my feet on the opposite seat when it’s empty. It’s annoying when I think about it, as someone who may be getting into the train at the next station, that my presence would be met with irritation by the person putting their feet up, having to put their feet down and deal with the other person. It’s a very Bombay habit I might add. In Calcutta, people actually frown at you and ask you to ‘sit properly’ with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Personally, I prefer sitting pretty much anywhere (including good restaurants) cross-legged; I’m sitting cross-legged even as I type this.

Anyway, I was talking about walking. I walked through a market area after a long time. Looked at random hawkers hawking their wares. Waded through a sea of people to reach the station. Plonked myself at the window and yes, I did put my feet on the seat opposite me. I got off my auto 10 minutes earlier than I should on the way home just so I could walk into a bookstore and browse through bookshelves. Watched two customers blasting store employees for not putting up the right sign (they announced a sale for members but at the payment counter, claimed that it was for the premium members only). Walked back home while having a phone conversation with my best friend who is in her hometown, Calcutta currently.

I’ve realised that I need to get back to this daily dilly-dallying habit. It’s such a lovely thing this taking time off to observe things and people. It puts me at peace with the world. It also helps me brace myself for the onslaught of people I face at home (FYI, it’s just myself and my parents). More or less, it helps me just recharge my batteries and make funny mental notes about the day’s highlights.

Do you have a recharge mechanism too? I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for reading!

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