The air was hot and sticky enough to make one sweat like a pig within a matter of seconds. He had grown used to it over the years. Commuting everyday for 2 hours in a train with no place to stand was enough to push a man over the edge, quite literally. Couple that with hundreds of sweaty bodies pushing against each other in a crowded Mumbai local train. He was so close to losing it. So close, to just giving up on his sad excuse for a job, and starting over.
His thoughts kept swaying back and forth almost as if in sync with the rhythm of the train. His mind was occupied carefully crafting a list of things he would be good at if he quit his job.
He could always take up playing the Guitar again. He had taken a few lessons in college but never followed through completely. It would be a great way to revamp his life. Fill it with the sound of music, he smiled at the choice of his words. He could always move back in with his parents in Delhi, take a few months off.
He loved Mumbai, but the streets of Delhi had its own charm. With the aroma of food seducing the passerby and the perpetual chaos that lingers the streets, Delhi was home. It’s where he was born and brought up.
He could catch up with the old gang from college. Man! He missed those days. Bikes, street food, aloo parathas and all the mischief and trouble they got into, a thing of the past.
Here the most trouble he had got in was when his email had a typo, or when he forgot his wallet and train pass in the office and got caught by a ticket checker. As for the aloo parathas, the vada pav stalls in every corner offered a somewhat nice substitute. However nothing could compare to his mother’s food, which he now craved everyday.
He yearned for a few days off from this madness. This perpetual pursuit of nothing. This running around with a million others, unaware of direction, lacking purpose and mostly sick of his dull corporate, once so-called dream job.
He missed his parents. The memory of his father teaching him how to ride a bicycle on a hot summer day much like this one, came rushing back to him, choking him a little. How he longed for his scolding once (sick of his boss’s taunts)
Back then, the biggest concern was riding without support wheels and making dad proud. He would trade this life for that in a heartbeat.
He remembered how his house always smelled of his mother’s especially prepared Chole, on the first day of his summer vacation. Now, when he goes home, he is greeted by the coldest carton of milk and the warmth of leftovers heated by his roommate.
He wanted to move closer to home, to build something, something he believed in.He wanted to stand out, make a difference. Be happy. Isn’t that what life is for afterall?
Perhaps start a business? Ideas kept rushing through his mind at lightening speed. He was very excited about his plans. He would put in his resignation today itself and bid farewell to this hell hole within a few weeks.
As if to draw him back from his reverie,a voice echoed declaring the next station in three different languages. People pushed past him, some elbowing their way out, some hitting him with their bags, others stamping on his foot as if tap dancing. He stood there lifelessly till the rush subsided and quickly jumped at the nearest seat available.
He breathed a sigh of relief. Mission Score a Seat : Accomplished. He gloated with pride. He quickly pulled out his phone from his bag, now safe from wandering hands and open pockets.
Three missed calls from Boss.
He wondered why and called him up. After a long discussion on meetings and deadlines, he agreed to work a new project for his clients. He was ready to make an impression on the client in the next few months.
He jumped out of the train as it pulled into its final stop and walked away like a man on a mission, a part of the crowd, forgetting all about the dreamer and dreams he left behind.
Copyright (C)Sneha P 2016