I moved to Mumbai almost 10years ago. One of the most intrinsic part of this city is its local train..its lifeline.
The routine is such that people catch the same local at same time every single day. While doing so they become a key part of each other’s life without even saying a word! It’s interesting how we recognize the face, their stations and sometimes, unknowingly, all that is happening in their lives.
I travel in the female compartment and I don’t take any particular train..blame it on my sleep habits or the fact I am way too lazy to get up early. However, I too had a traveling companion, probably she was like me, lost in her own world, and never really took the same train. There was something about her that we would often bump into one another, exchange glances but never speak. But I know she acknowledged my presence. How? I will tell you that later. Her face beamed with happiness every time I saw her. She blushed & laughed while talking over phone. There was something beautiful about her eyes.. They were full of life.
Like many people I too have seen her texts or whatsapps and I kinda know who she was dating..his name I mean.
I bumped into her again that morning. But she was not herself. She was lost but not happy. Her face was dull, eyes sad and she ignored my presence. I let it go. Everyone has a bad day sometimes, I thought.
Surprisingly, next day I found myself a place to sit in the local I took. Next station, a girl sat right next to me. It was her! But this time again, no glances were exchanged. She was disinterested and constantly chatting with someone on whatsapp. I knew something was very wrong but it’s none oy my business, right? Wrong! It’s always somebody’s business in the local.
I was curious. And just then I peeped into her phone. She caught me. I looked at her as tears rolled down her cheeks. “Sorry”, I said. She gave me a broken smile, as tears continued to roll down her cheeks. “He broke up with me. Everything changed overnight. He doesn’t have feelings for me anymore”, she said. I was embarrassed at what I did. I didn’t utter a word. Just then she laughed and cried at the same time, and quickly got down at her usual station.
It has been almost 2.5months since that day and I have not seen her in the local. Or maybe we don’t take the same local any more.