Metro Diaries - An unheard tale





Mumbai Central – Mandira read as she got down from the taxi that had brought her till here. Yet another journey… she thought as she began to take out her bags and moved ahead to pay to the cab driver.



However tiresome they were, she simply loved the journeys. She was the regional head for a leading investment bank and her profile required her to travel 20 days in a month. And she thoroughly enjoyed that time. Her job role never gave her a minute to sit back and relax for almost 11-12 hours a day while travelling gave her exactly that.



Being in nothing-ness” that’s what she called them. For she was not at one particular place when she travelling she was travelling somewhere in between where there was nothing. And thanks to the non dependable mobile networks she luckily managed to get a break from her constant ringing phone too. Imagine having all the time to yourself – to be spent with a nice book, listening to music, thinking, dreaming or simply just writing… now isn’t that a boon in disguise. No wonder Mandira did not want to give up her job for anything in this world!

Journeys are like windows to a new world altogether!


She had gotten used to all the chaos and crowd at railway stations by now. The coolies scurrying past with heavy luggage, the vendors screaming to sell their wares, the loud train whistles, the boring nasal-twanged announcements that echoed throughout the station, wailing kids, the mish-mash of various dialects with people coming to say a hello or a bye… all these noises merged into one to conjure mayhem.



She waded through these noises to reach her compartment and at the end to her seat. Stuffing her bag in the luggage chamber she made herself comfortable on her window seat with her book and iPod for company. Just the way she liked it, how can you not have window to admire all the beauty that you passed by in every journey that you make!



As she was busy rummaging through her handbag for her headphones an old lady slowly made her way towards the seat opposite to her. Neatly dressed in a simple cotton saree she had a grace on her face which was difficult to be missed. Mandira smiled at her once and got back to her reading. After settling down with her luggage that old lady sat staring out of the window. The curious writer in her, made Mandira keep her book aside, plug her players and continue looking at that old lady.


Carefully parted grey hair, with vermillion smeared liberally in between, neatly pleated plain cotton saree, big round bindi, simple gold studs with a long black beaded mangalsutra adoring her frail neck. She looked to be in her 50s. Her eyes had a very haunting look in them. They looked tired and had wrinkles around them yet their sheen was not lost. Was it a witness to a life well lead? Mandira wondered. She could see love, joy, sweet memories along with a longing in them. The love seemed to derive from her children and now grandchildren, the joy brought by the smoothness in the otherwise bumpy road of life and the sweet memories were the ones she had managed to save from all the storms of life.



Her hands seemed to be worn out. Must be doing all the household chores herself yet they seem to be still full of love. Their softness intact in those crevices making you imagine its caress on a hurting heart. Looking further she saw the red and green bangles on her thin wrist, a symbol of married woman in India but here it reflected more of a habit she had grown used to now. She saw a huge scar on her elbow, one that you get when you have a bad fall. Mandira tried to imagine this lady trying to ride a bicycle when she was young and falling down.



She further thought, she would also have had her own dreams at some point, list of things she wanted to do… what must have happened to it.  Her heart pondered if this lady had ever known love in its truest form and experienced heartbreak. Just when her questioning mind increased its pace that lady turned to look at her and smiled a smile which said it all.



It seemed to say “Yes, I have done it all. Loved, dreamt, had my heart broken, fallen down only to get up again, faced storms and then learnt to dance in them, broken hearts, cheated, collected broken remnants and started all over again, given birth, taken birth each time with them,  cared, played, smiled, cried, succeeded, got wealthy, lost money, lost loved ones and friends too, met people, made best friends, created families, built homes, moved countries, travelled across the globe and through all this lived my life to the fullest. So much so that if tomorrow I were to meet my maker I would proudly claim “I used all that you gave me in the best possible manner that I could.”

*-*-*-*



P.S: This was a random thought that came to my mind in one of my travelling journeys. This is exactly how I write stories. I look at people and search for stories, more often than not I am successful in getting one.




 

Comments

  1. wow
    just wow..
    thats the way to live life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much dear :)

      Yess... this is exactly how LIFE needs to be lived!

      Delete
  2. Lovely, Me! Love the way you add so much detail to your stories that just livens up the reading experience. A very important asset to a good writer- keen observation and a knack of penning it down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Uma :)

      I guess we all become once we start blogging... what say?

      Delete
  3. Very well summarized...life is a smile.

    ReplyDelete
  4. awesome!I loved it!
    each face tells a story..all you need is an observer to describe them!you are one among them !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much dear for stopping by!!

      And yes I agree each face tells a story.

      P.S: Appreciate your follow sweetheart <3

      Delete
  5. Nice observation of people. Lovely story. However, one thing I noticed. Regional Head of an investment bank going on company business is travelling by train? May be she did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SG - sample this. One way plane ticket from Mumbai to Baroda Rs. 12500/-. Two way train ticked from Mumbai to Baroda in 1st class coupe costing total Rs. 3000/- : Which one will the company prefer?

      :D

      So to answer your question, yes she did travel!!

      Thanks so much for loving it as always <3

      Delete
  6. I am amazed to see how discreetly you have managed to describe an event. Love the story that engulfed me totally. Keep it coming me. I have always loved your works. You're an amazing writer, awesome narrator. May god bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sayantini... this comment truly means a lot to me.

      <3

      Delete
  7. Enjoyed the post. Truly a life well lived :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. You know Me, when I read the first paragraph, I knew that Mandira was none other than you. :) I loved this one! A life well lived is the only gift we can give the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :D

      Ha ha ha ha... I made it so evident? But then trust you to find me from anywhere...!

      Thanks so much!! <3

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, you can trust me fully on that one!! :D

      Delete
  9. Yes Privy. This is the way even I weave a tale when a I see,watch and observe people. But all the tales are in my head and I should put it down on paper. Nice story. Loved the detailing of the old lady. If possible write a sequel to it. The old lady will open up and tell her story.It would interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kalpana :)

      Will surely try writing on those lines and please do start putting it all on paper... I am waiting to read them

      Delete
  10. This was serene. I just loved the ending lines. <3

    I love journeys, especially train journeys! Getting to read a book with no one to call you up for some chore, just staring out of the window, and not to forget- observing people and the surrounding. It's lovely! :).

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was just so wonderful. Love the way you write :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very beautiful post Me. Loved it. Just that 50s seemed to be a little younger age group to call someone an 'Old Lady' :D May be 60s or 70s would sound really old :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooppsss... very truly said Jaish :P

      Need to keep that in mind henceforth!

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, as always!

      Delete
  13. Well-elaborated.So me,you also will live a live life at the fullest,I presume.God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes Rudraprayaga... I will live a life like that :)

      Thanks so much dear <3

      Delete
  14. The last para is thought provoking. Each one of us has to go through all this in our life. And after all this, we emerge as a new person, with a new perspective!
    Loved the simplicity of the character, yet the effect she made on the Mandira and us! <3

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

~ Every word that you leave behind is an imprint on my soul ~

Popular posts from this blog

Metro Diaries - The Last Kiss (Part #1)

Sending my love