You’ve had a long day in class or work. A stressful day indeed with the piling course work, projects and activities (and if you’re working, the stressful and boring meetings, the hilly dally of meeting clients and colleagues) and all you want to do is for the day (or work) to end.
You’re the first person to step out of the Uni (or office), rush to the nearest bus stop like a mad dog infected with Rabies. You push your way through the horde of bodies, all just as tired and stressful as you are just to grab a seat in the bus. You forget about morality, about humanity, about hunger and pain, about chivalry, about politics, about family and home, about assignments, about what’s happening in Palestine. It’s do or die for that one seat (which most of the time is faulty). And sometimes, well most of the time, you’re just unlucky as me and end up standing throughout the whole journey to the nearest (about 20 minute journey) KTM station.
Infront of you is a girl, also standing. You make sure that your crotch is not touching her backside. And if there’s a tall Iranian girl next to you, you make sure to not hold on to any railings of the bus for support just incase she gets a waft of your manliness. And, sometimes, there’s a dude standing infront of you. You make sure your crotch is atleast 10 inches away from his backside lest someone thinks you’re queer.
Most of the time, you get unlucky because when the bus moves, there’s lots of movement in the bus as well. Sometimes, when you’re standing next to a person seated on a chair nearby, your crotch accidently brushes that person’s shoulder. If it’s a girl, you smirk and grin in your mind and then snap out of it lest she thinks you’re some weird horny Indian dude. If it’s a guy, you start feeling like shit and you wish you could just disappear.
20 minutes later, you arrive at the train station. You buy your ticket and stand waiting, dripping with sweat (and if you forgot to use cologne that day, you stand polluted with body odour) for the train to arrive, only to hear the droning of an elderly lady (no, she doesn’t sound good at all over the speaker for that matter) claiming that your train will be late and will only arrive in another 20 minutes.
It’s bad news. But it’s alright, because you start thinking to yourself, you start talking and reassuring yourself by saying, “Relax, in another 20 minutes the train will arrive.” So you pop in your headphones, deafened yourself up with The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, away from the world, hoping that the 20 minutes will pass fast in 20 seconds (and 20 seconds passes really slowly in a train station mind you). But yet, you control and discipline yourself to be patient. You might light a ciggi (although the signboards on the platform clearly states that it’s a No Smoking zone. But who cares, you’re running late and all these are testing your patience, so you just need an anchor to calm you down) and puff away.
And that’s when you start observing people and your surrounding, because really, if you don’t have a good book to read with you, all you do is just stare into open space, consistently zoning in and out. If you’re lucky, you might catch an attractive girl waiting for the train as well. You start scrutinizing her from head to toe because, really, you have all the time in world now.
She catches you staring at her and you look away, pretending that something else caught your attention. Then after a few seconds, you’re back looking at her.
Some people choose to make full use of this time. To call their long lost friends (or girlfriends). You can hear them speak, “Hey! How are you? Long time no see! Yeah must meet up! Me? Well… I’m doing nothing, just waiting for the train..” Perfect time to call someone whom you’ve been dying to call all these years.
20 minutes into waiting, and the numbers on the platform blink to signify that the train is due. You stand up, stretch a little (maybe adjust your chafing underwear without anyone noticing (in my case)) and walk to the edge, over the yellow line (who cares, you’ve been waiting way too long). And after about 5 minutes, the train’s still not there.
Well, back to observing people again…
Some businessmen even make deals in a train station. Some find a spot to sit, prop up their laptops and start typing away madly. Some start smsing. This continues all the way home.
And some, like me most of the time, just stare mindlessly into the open space and walk in tiny broken circles. It’s really random. If you’re lucky, you might catch them humming to a tune, or singing to it (I caught an African woman once singing away loudly to Beyonce’s Single Girls). Some might do a little jig if it’s a funky song. I do it a lot. At times I don’t even realise my shoulder and head shaking, and10 seconds later, i catch my self off guard, and stop myself. And then slowly, I look around to see if anyone spotted me.
Most of the time I’m unlucky. Someone HAS spotted me. So I pretend not to care. Not to to notice. And just to reassure that person I’m okay (and that I’m not mad), I cough. Once or twice. And if that person’s still looking at me, I light my ciggi.
And that’s when the train arrives. Just when I lighted a ciggi (and the last one I have left at that). With great difficulty I have to put it off and sadly walk into the welcoming mouth of train’s insides only to realise that the train has had too much in it’s tummy.