Saturday, October 2, 2010

Strangers on a Train

Just an hour left before my short break at Home finishes. I like visiting home even when no family member is there. It still is home and I feel relaxed. I decide to pamper myself with a steam bath before I leave and so I go for one, close to my house. My insides feeling drained and relaxed, my skin can breathe. As I stroll back home, I notice the Colony Park has been renovated and there are new swings. I can never hold myself when I see one. Guess it fulfills my wish to fly high in its own little way. And so I did.

I picked up my pace slowly. My legs thrown in the air. My back curved. My head, now just looking at the dark clear sky, with shimmering dots that we call stars. The moon, I could not see, the barks of a big tree came in between. If you ever want to see me genuinely happy and smiling and laughing to myself, place me on a swing. I laughed as I got higher. Kids who thought they were playing and having fun, looked at me and thought twice. The young boy talking to his girlfriend as he walked around the pathway, smiled in a I-am-Happy-to-see-you-Happy way. The kid next to me decided to compete on the swing with me, but I, I was just oblivious to it all. All, I could really see was that sky, I wanted to touch with my feet. All, I could feel was my heart floating, a smile that would substitute a silent laugh, the cool breeze filling my hair. Sigh! It was just the perfect end of a short sweet holiday at home, I thought.

I was late, rushed to the station to catch my Train back to where I (do not) belong. I reach in time and settle. What I hate about Train traveling alone is other weird men traveling with you and ogling at you. I can not even run away anywhere. This time, it was different. I decided to settle myself and tuck in with a book before anyone else took their berths to avoid any kind of contact. I make my bed and leave to get a bottle of water, I come back to see this decent looking young man settling in. After settling he sits and does the usual passenger thing, talk endlessly on the phone, making calls to several people, talking about how he has been offered to perform in the South Asian Festival, how he needs to get back and finish designing the poster, etc., etc. (No. I was not eves dropping. You can hear when someone is sitting almost beside you.)

Despite being engrossed in my book, my interest was divided. I thought many times as I flipped my pages to ask him what I was most curious about. About his profession. It was performing arts for sure, but which one? The train had started and the other four passengers who had to apparently join us in our section did not exist. Ours was the only section with only two berths taken, his and mine.

Finally, I kept my book aside when he kept his BB aside.

"Excuse me? Are you into theater?"
"Yes."
"From here or there?"
"Here."
"Oh! What group, if I may ask?"
"Dadadada. Have you heard of it?" (No, that is not the name. I am just playing my anonymous self. :P)
"Actually yes. Is it in association with xyz NGO."
"Yes."
"My friend runs that NGO."
"You mean TC is your friend?"
"Yes. TC and there was this other guy VS."
"Yeah. He has now moved abroad."
"Yes. I am still in touch with him and TC is getting married next month."
"Yeah... Wow. Small World."
"Indeed. Infact I remember I was once looking for theater artists for some work once and TC had made talk to somebody over the phone from probably your theater group itself."
"Are you LSL by any chance from xyz?"
"Yeah."
"Now, I recognize you. You were there for these events too, right?"
"Yeah. I was. Whoa!"
"You have now moved away?"
"Yeah."

And that was just the beginning. We spent hours discussing theater, literature, our fields of work, the limitations and aspirations. The entire train was asleep and our lights were all switched on. One thing led to another. We shared stories. Reviewed them, discussed them. Discussed works of others and our own. The conversation got intimate by the minute. We talked about personal problems, passions and wishes. Frustration, Hope, Love and Comfort, all mixed in that conversation of ours.

"OMG! Its 3:00 am."
"What?"
"I did not even realize."
"Same here. I guess we should goto sleep now."
"Yeah."
I smiled, "Good Ni..."
He interrupted, "Do you smoke?"
"Err... Yes."
"Do you want to come out for a smoke?"
"Most definitely."
We talked some more as we lit our cigarettes. The conversation outside continued about arts and interests. We lit another one and then another, until we realized we should really be sleeping now. We moved back in.

"I am actually a night person."
"So am I. It is hard to put myself to sleep in the night."

And that was just the beggining of another conversation. Now, the lights had been switched off. We both were tucked in in our berths, with almost shut eyes and talking endlessly about just theater, about my interest in the same. About our writings, about cinema. He shared how he wanted to weave a story around something and we spent the night giving that concept a rough shape, making a story about the concept he had. He had narrated some six scripts he had worked upon, to me, now. I narrated some of mine too, but obviously my story telling lacked the theatrical expression he had.

He performed, acted parts from the script he narrated. There was love for arts and theater pouring out of his body with every silent expression, with every word he spoke. I could marry him at that point of time just being mesmerized by his true love and focus for what he really wants to do in life. By now, we could see some light from the window.

"Freak! Its morning. We must sleep a little before our train reaches our destination."
"Yeah. Good Night."
"Good Night."

We just lay looking out of our windows, knowing neither of us was sleeping or even remotely sleepy.

"You know there was this script by so and so about... "
"If you narrate me one more story, I will fall asleep."
"Uh Okay. I am sorry."
"No. I did not mean its boring. Its just so tempting to goto sleep when someone is narrating a story."
"Yes. It really is. In that case, you listen and you will probably get some sleep too that way."
"Mmmm. No. I'll listen without going to sleep."
"Believe me its a nice story and you will love to sleep listening to it."
"Uh. Okay. Thanks!"
"So, there was this...."

His voice soft, his narration vivid. With just a smile sticking to my face, I do not remember when I slept. Next day, he woke me up because I was still sleeping and our station had arrived.

"It was really nice meeting you."
"Really. Same here."
"It is really nice to meet people with similar interests. I have friends but none who may like to talk about these things as such."
"Hhhmmm. By the way, I am sorry about last night. The story was really so sweet that it put me in a slumber."
"Its okay. It was my pleasure."
"But I still have not heard the entire story."
"I noticed you went of to sleep, so I stopped mid way."
"Did I start snoring, by any chance?"
"LOL. No."
"Phew!"
"Whats your number? I'll inform you when we are performing here."
"Yes, please do. I would love to come and see your work. Its ..... Just give me a missed call so I can have yours too."
"Got it?"
"Yeah. I am sorry, I forgot to ask you your name?"
"BP. Nice meeting you. All the Best."
"Nice meeting you too. All the Best to you for all your work and International festivals."
"Hope to see you soon. Bye."
"Bye. Take Care."

We walked out together till a point where we shook hands, bid farewell with a smile and turned in opposite directions.

We have all dreamt of having long conversations with strangers you may never meet again but they remain on your mind for long, sometimes forever. I am glad it happened. It was random. It was strange. It was special, in its own way. It was only now, that my short sweet holiday was over. God had been kind. :-)

Love 'n' Peace.

Hugs.
Kisses.

21 comments:

Insomaniac Junkie said...

Whoa .. extremely well written... :)

Jeweliot said...

1- happy-to-see-u-happy smile. wow. loved the expression.
2- I have a crazy urge to sit on a swing right now after reading this!
3- where i ( do not ) belong <-- loved!
4- very nice narration, loved it.
5- i hope there's a sequel ;)

Scribbling Girl said...

wow what a narration :)
No doubt ur my fav writer :)
And what an experience :)
Ru really in theatre? If so i am already too much in awe to say more :)
Some strangers on train are all so fun :)

And swings :) I love love love them :) and ride whenever i get time its so refreshing and liberating :)

XOXO

Americanising Desi said...

sometimes i wonderrrr and then then your smile puts all those wonders to rest :)

i love your post (u ll b hearing a lot of that) and i m glad this is my first read on monday morning!

inshallah looking forward to more smiles from you

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Dear Insomniac Junkie,

Thanks! :)

Kisses.

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Dear Dip,

Thanks!

Lets see if there is one. Though (secretly) I hope there is none. There is something about such meetings that kills the special thing in it if sequels come in. ;)

Kisses.

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Dear SG,

Thank you Sweets.

It really was an experience. Fun.

I know. Swings have this amazing refreshing and liberating feel to them. :)

Kisses.

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Dear AD,

Wonder? What?

I am glad I have been able to put a smile on your face. Hope it dashed out the Monday Morning Blues. :)

Kisses.

Rashi said...

Hi, a very well written and described piece..

Good to be here.

Pesto Sauce said...

I would love to have such random conversations but the opposite gender is rarely forthcoming. This guy shared your interests and hobbies thats why you got along well. Kudos to you too for taking it easy, after all how many girls will smoke with a stranger

I too hope there is a sequel

sawan said...

i loved reading this post, maybe for the same reason why u luvd writing it :)

its so amazing to see how people could connect to each other!

may u be in peace. always.

Alpha Za said...

haha, I had a friend who used to get her 'Uggers' on whenever she had to take the train, she didn't like being ogled either. It was actually quite brilliant, wig, bad makeup and smelly foods.

I loved the post, the random conversations and chance meetings aren't really chance are they?

Keep writing; You're awesome!

Anonymous said...

Reading this was like as if i'm wandering through one of my own dreams...i've always been in love with the idea that i'll meet a stranger on a train/plane ride..and it'll be sort of mystical...even used to look around for any such possibilities ;) sigh* never happened..but when i read this today, i realize this is what i would've felt too...so, i sort of lived one of my dreams(if i can call it that) thru your experiences..

hats off to u girl! u r quite like the person i wanted to be in life...but never had the courage..and it's too late now... u will go places...bless u!

N

sulagna ™ said...

you know this is the kind of stuff i would love to hear durign a girls night out, all soaked in liquer and spirits and i can totally imagine myself going"oohhh wowwww"

P@ul@mi said...

love to see you smiling now and forever.. :)

Ria said...

Oh i love striking interesting conversations with ppl, especially if i am traveling. Isnt it wonderful to meet a random stranger whose passions match up with u so well!! I loved the post. Reminded me of all such strangers that i have met during my journeys.

rainboy said...

we want net part :)
loved it ;)

Jack said...

L S L,

Read 2 posts now. Previous one is so motivating. Unless you open your mind it is not possible to see the true colours of the world around you. This one, again unless you extend your hand you miss out making some good humans as friends. I am so glad that you still enjoy the child within you when on the swing.

Take care

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

I am late, too late I guess... but the train is still moving isn't it?

Beautiful narration.
Beautiful incidents happen sometimes.

Cheers
Blasphemous Aesthete

rainboy said...

come on now...Did you call him again ?
I so want to know I am checking your blog every other day...

UPDATE>>>

take care

Som said...

Well, as they say Strangers are the Best .. Because they are strangers ...

Very well written, rather extremely well written. I love it when it is in a format of dialogues, it adds a different dimension. Reminded me of http://soms-blog.blogspot.com/2009/03/test-and-tryst.html

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