train

Everyday

It takes me about ten and a half songs to reach my office. Half because one of those songs were hindi and they are longer than english songs. I miss about 3 locals everyday because they are too crowded for me to get in. I catch the 9:37 Ladies special. On first sight it looks like patriarchy has been overturned because I see more women than men travelling through public transport. It is the same everywhere. In the bus I used to take earlier, about 5 to 6 seats were reserved for women. But it hardly served any purpose because all the other “unreserved” seats were actually “reserved” for men. Even while I was standing I stood near the reserved seats like all other women because those were reserved for you so why would you want to take the normal seats. The one time that I took a normal seat, a guy beside me commented on the clothes I was wearing, telling me to adjust them.

Well, so that is how everyday journeys turn out to be. Hoping for some real changes in the future. Though even I am doubtful about how they should be implemented.

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True Incident (Lame) (Don’t Read)

During my last vacation when I visited Kasol, I was on the Hauz Khas Metro Station waiting for the next metro. An Anglo-Indian looking woman (sorry for the stereotyping but she had blonde hair which looked natural) was standing right next to me. Suddenly she dropped her I-Phone 6 and it bounced and fell on the tracks. The station wasn’t very crowded and 3-4 girls just looked at what happened and went back to doing their work. I told her to rush to the office and call some men to pick it up. Thankfully she didn’t try picking it up herself. I had once seen a man doing this at Kailash Colony Metro Station where you can’t even see the train coming because of the curve in the tracks. So, she told me to look after the phone while she went to fetch someone. I waited and waited and waited and missed 3 trains until she came back. She thanked me for about 2 minutes and then until we waited for the next train she asked me where I was going. I had a small backpack (I pack really light). She asked me first if I was coming back from school (It’s been 5 years out of school now). She also had an accent. I told her I was going on a vacation and she thanked me again for helping her and told me how her whole life was on that phone. We soon said goodbye and she wished me a happy journey and I told her to keep her phone safe (being the awkward self that I am). I don’t know why I am retelling this story. I just felt like it, I guess. And I really like Train Stories – be it the local, the metro or the Indian Railways. Few more coming soon. Wait for it. 😛

Beds

I know it’s a strange title for a blog post but this is very very important. It is a journey. A journey traced through beds. So as told earlier, I have been travelling a lot and here is a description of all the beds I slept in.

Hostel Bed, Mumbai –  So that is home for now, my comfortable little bed facing a window where I sit with my laptop all day owing to the amazing internet connection with a cable charging my phone through the laptop because the architects were dumb enough to place 10 electric sockets at one single point in the room. Super tiny bed, but I like it because it’s mine. Best bed for now..

Friends’ Flat, Mumbai – I doze off on the sofa, I am told to sleep inside the room. Too sleepy to argue, walk like a zombie to the bedroom, put my mattress near the friends’ flatmates’ mattress. There is some shoving and pushing in the night and I think I slapped that person in my sleep while turning over. Well, very comfy bed, room is a little humid, but never mind.

Train Berth, Side Upper, Mumbai Rajdhani – A bag lay at my feet because I couldn’t leave it anywhere else because it would get stolen of course – Indian Railways, duh! Very uncomfortable, very cold, must remember bringing own blanket next time because this one had bed bugs and smelled strange.

Hostel Room, JNU, Delhi – Shared a bed with a friend in her Hostel Room. I sleep like a log because I am always tired for some reason or the other. Super comfortable and super clean bed – very much unlike mine. Friend keeps getting conscious that I am not comfortable and I have to keep reminding her that I sleep like the world doesn’t exist. Only con – No power point nearby. Network access only at the head of the bed. Yes, JNU is weird like that.

Another Hostel Room in JNU – This one was on the ground floor of another hostel, very cool and the corridor was very silent. No crying babies in the morning. Took my own blanket, power plug at the head of the bed, where network was available. Brownie points to this huge ass bed, I could only cover 25 percent of it.

Hotel Room, Kasol – I take up the best location on the side because hello, elder sister. View on waking up – of the mountains. Blanket is a little smelly, curse self for not bringing own blanket. All in all, satisfactory.

Friend’s Flat Delhi – Yay, a bed of my own. I clean it and make it and sleep on it. It takes me half an hour to spread the sheets properly and constant nagging at people who step over it, to keep it clean. Second best bed for now! 😀

Train to Home, Lucknow Mail – Side Upper again – This time the emergency stop alarm thingy is right next to my knees and whenever I turn it bangs into the walls and makes a loud noise. Thank God I brought my blanket. Indian Railways is lame. Sorry, not sorry.

Home, Lucknow – Back to the most comfortable bed, logically but it takes me so much time to sleep on it, because I am not tired anymore, because Home and Maa ke haath ka “healthy” khaana. Will give it two more days.

Good Night! 😀

Another Journey

Long ago, a friend wrote something about living out of boxes. This phase of my life is all about that. Every other month I am packing my bags to go home, to go on a vacation, to visit friends, etc. And of course right now I am writing because I can’t sleep in the train.

Goodbyes are hard. Specially for people like me who get all sentimental and awkward. To leave one place and to go to another brings with it a million changes. From keeping your brush on a different table to using somebody else’s toothpaste. Everything is so new, but it is so easy to adapt. When people ask me why and how I pack so light, I think it’s because I always use lesser than I have. Be it in terms of money, food or whatever.

I adapt to places as well. I think that is also because I have been to so many in my life. I am not a vagabond, though I would love to be one. I know this is really random but isn’t this what this blog is all about. I also noticed that as the posts get more personal, you really have to know who I am to understand the context of what I am saying. I have always been so bad at giving context. One of my friends says I would become a good stand-up comedian because of this and my roommate constantly chides me for not explaining things to her properly.

See, it has happened again, stream of consciousness. Well, so long for now. Will try to sleep once again. Otherwise there’s another random shitty post waiting to be posted. 😛

-S.

Trip to Udupi

I am on the train journey back to Mumbai from my trip in Udupi and I am pretty sure I have never had such a scenic view from the train window in any of my previous train journeys. I just crossed a board saying ‘Gopi River’ and the train went over a bridge with the said river running below it. The quaint river with pristine water so pure that you could clearly see the bed below it.

The grass and fields are extraordinarily green, the kind of green that I haven’t seen in a long while and the paths are the completely opposite hue of dark and rusty red. There are backwaters along the Konkan coast appearing after every few minutes with colorful boats either standing on the shore or with fisherman at work who are putting out their nets for the day.

There are several year old huts with slanting tiled roofs that remind you of a village straight out of the pages of Malgudi Days. They have huge verandahs and the doors are always open like any other friendly hamlet. There are a few newly built houses as well painted in bright red, orange and sometimes even yellow. Though they would have looked put of place anywhere else, here they compliment the greenery around.

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Golden Udupi Sunsets, don’t mind the angle… clicked while on a moving scooty. 😛

There are tall coconut trees, framing the sky with its beautiful leaves and towering over the water like a shield from the pretty sky above. The sunset is pink which slowly fades into violet hues. There are small patches of water puddles which reflect the sky. It feels like pieces of the sky have fallen to the earth and all I want to do now is get off the train at some quite little unknown but beautiful station where crescent shaped leaves cover the ground near the fences, to sit amidst the green grass under one of those coconut trees, reading, sipping coconut water, having fried fish and sailing on one of those boats towards the end of the horizon where the sun is sinking!

-S.

Lyrics Part 2

Today I will be translating the song “Tu Kisi Rail Si” from one of my most loved movies: Masaan. Coincidentally this one is also sung by Swanand Kirkire and the lyrics are from a poem by Dushyant Kumar.  have also taken help from Varun Grover’s translation of it.

The lyrics go like:

Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai
Main kisi pull sa thartharaata hoon.

You cross like a train and I am your bridge.
And when you cross you reverberate in me.

Tu bhale ratti bhar na sunti ho
Main tera naam budbudaata hoon

Even if you don’t pay heed,
I keep murmuring your name.

Kisi lambe safar ki raaton mein
Tujhe alaav sa jalaata hoon.

On those cold nights of long journeys,
I burn your memories for warmth.

Kaath ke taaley hain,
aankh pe daale hain,
Unmein ishaaron ki chaabiyaan laga.

The locks that the world has used,
to sheild my eyes;
Use your keys of gestures to unlock them

Raat jo baaki hai
shaam se taaki hai
neeyat mein thodi kharaabiyaan laga.

The night is yet to get over,
since evening I have been waiting,
let us have a little fun, let’s be a little sly.

Main hoon paani ke bulbule jaisa
Tujhe sochoon toh phoot jaata hoon.

I’m like a water bubble,
When I think about you, I cease to exist.
or
As your thought crosses, my mind touches me and I cease to be.