Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Faith and love in a child's eyes

Now that I travel by the local trains everyday and travel for quite a long run, I have decided that to record my extraordinary experiences in it. One day is funny, one day its touching, one day its sad, one day its frustrating and one day its frightening.
So I present the new series: "Chronicles of a train traveller"

Chronicles of a train traveller - Part One

Yesterday, after college finished, me and my friends proceeded towards Churchgate Station. When we reached there, we saw that a train was departing in 2 minutes which was a Borivali Fast, meaning that it was good for me (Since all trains stop at Andheri anyway) and my friends who stay at Goregaon.

We had to reach the First Class compartment at the far corner, hence i urged them to pick up their gait and run. I was in the front a few paces ahead of my classmate L and behind her was my friend Pt, slowest coz she was wearing a salwar kammeez. When the train started, I had reached the compartment, but the rest had not. L asked me to hop on, coz i was getting late and had a student waiting for a dance class at Bandra. I hopped on, and noticed in my flurry that Pt was nowhere to be seen on the platform, she had hoped onto a male compartment.

So I was without my friends sitting in a nice corner window seat from where I could observe everyone. I tucked my headphones in my ear and put my MP3 player on. I fished out my novel to enjoy my peace and solitude. The train stopped at Marine Lines and a plump South Indian woman with a small girl walked in. The girl was decked in all her south Indian glory, in a cream and gold chaniya-choli and red and diamond flashy, big, imitation jewelry and big almond shaped coal black eyes with the trademark dark, chocolaty skin.

There was only one seat left in the compartment. The mother asked the kid to sit there while she hauled all her bags (she had many) on the carrier. The girl said, "Mamma, you sit no..". Mom patiently said, "beta there is only one seat, how can both of us sit in it. You sit and I will put the bags up. OK?".
"No you sit" her lower lip is jutting out now.
"Beta sit no baba. Let me put these bags up. They are heavy."

The kid sits down hesitatingly. The child is so beautifully innocent that the entire compartment is observing the proceedings now. Mom puts away the bags and the kid pulls at her duppatta.

"Mom, sit"
"Beta" she says exasperated.
"Mom please you sit" her lower lip is quivering now. Her almond eyes are like two huge pools of water now, which might overflow at any minute.

The mother finally sits on the seat and parks the little girl on her lap. Both are visibly uncomfortable coz the woman is so fat that there is not flat amount of lap to sit on.

The child asks her mom sweet little typically childish questions which a kid of her age always asks out of their new found curiosity. She has questions in her eyes but also the faith that her mom will answer all. The mother periodically affectionately plays with her daughter's hair, tucking it behind her ear, and kisses her on her ears. They are the perfect picture of pure love.

After observing them till my heart grew too soft for me to handle, I turned away to look out of the window. Kids always make me long for mine, if and when in the far future I'll have some. But wait, when I was turning away i noticed one small thing.

Tucked behind the little girl's ears, hidden by the fronds of her soft silky hair is a small skin-colored semi-circular device.

I was dumb-struck. The girl had a hearing deficiency. The girl with faith enough to cover for the entire nation, was struggling with her own lacking sensory functions.

And in that instant I fell more deeply in love with the pure love that exists between a mother and her child and more in love with children, brave enough to overcome problems hurled at them at such a small age and still have so much love and faith in their eyes. Heart-rendering.


anu said...

its true wen its said people see the complete human nature in d local trains..u see absolutely every kind of people thr..their interactions wid others in the train says a lot..whether wid people they know or the strangers they meet on the train..their personality,their attitude in general..i havent ever travelled by train..but everything ma hs told me of her experiences in d trains n nw urs,makes me believe this..especially coz people hv the time n wid nothin to do they end up observing others..

Anonymous said...

i love this post. its very refreshing. considering am sick worried that the most beautiful girl in the world aka my lil sis has to travel daily in mumbai's landmine like environment..

J said...

Its really heartening to learn abt this child. Yeah sad and true there is this element of reality in life. But life goes on. Mumbai local train. Well there is a lots to it. Running, catching wrong train, slow - fast, hanging, climbing n People. so much. Cool, well go ahead with the series n write more abt ur experiences.

Aniruddha said...

very touching story Pragni ..

Mitesh said...

sorry to barge in like this. regarding your comment, ya i could have left a comment here. I thought you wanted it as an email w/o the blog. misunderstanding. :-)