A bit of free writing…
This is something that I happened to write when I was waiting for my train on my journey back to chennai from bangalore.
Date : 25th November 2005,
Place : Bangalore City Junction Railway Station.
It is 22:45, railway time, almost an hour for my train to chennai. I’m in this dirty common waiting room, with a caricature of an unexceptionally ugly man painted right on top of the entrance. It glaringly proclaims that this waiting room is for men, and also is accompanied by a big board which screams out “GENTS”. But I see a considerable number of members of the fairer sex, in all shapes and sizes, discussing the finer points of life, or so I presume. “good, that this infiltration is limited only to wating rooms and not toilets” I say to myself.
Piqued by curiosity I take a sneaky peek into the “LADIES” waiting room. The first thing I notice, in cotrast to the one I am sitting in, is that its sparkingly clean. Is it just my imagination or is it that us men are inherently dirty creatures? Then I see my empty coffee cup sitting near the foot of the chair. Brushing aside the rising feeling of guilt, “Men are inherently dirty creatures” I conclude, and continue with the book I was reading.
The pangs of guilt overcome my inborn quality of care, or lack thereof, for public cleanliness and I force myself to dispose the cup in a dustbin. I search for it all over the room and not being able to find one I take it out of the room. I finally find a dustbin and deposit the cup there. I should say the nearest dustbin is quite a walk away from the common room.
I am on my way back while a burly guy comes up to me and offers to check my bag. On replying that I am fine with the contents of my bag, he presses on saying that he is a police officer. He suspects me to be there to blow up the station, or atleast a train or two. As it is usual for the police in India, he acts in a high handed manner, refusing to show any identification. “Nice way to build public trust buddy!” I say to myself, silently. I have no choice but to give up my privacy. I convince myself that it is for the sake of security (my own, from police harrassment mostly). Is it coincidence or providencial power play that this just happens right after some mentally orgasmic intellectual arguments on “The Police State Vs. Civil Liberties” by simon singh in “The Code Book”!, I wonder. Oh! look at the time 23:30, I have a train to catch!.
After all, Life is the place to be, and the time to be in!