Nagpur

I’m on a train bound to Nagpur. I’ll be catching a late evening flight from there to Delhi. It’ll be an easy passage, I know, for the luxuries of air travel are seldom the matters of failure. And yet, right now, on this train, I couldn’t be farther away from anything luxurious.

I’m writing this post straddled, rather uncomfortably, between two buffaloes of human beings. In front of me, a simpleton is screaming into his phone, his voice loud enough to carry his words to the other end without any help from the device he’s yelling into. I think his obliviousness to the discomfort he’s causing me is the reason wise men said: “ignorance is bliss.”

But his verbal dirge is nothing compared to the two people on either side of me, who are determined to squeeze the life out of me. Perhaps, they feel that if they exert enough pressure, I will yield, and simply cease to be, leaving the entirety of the seat to the pleasures of their vastness.

Their large muscular bodies are crushing my slender frame, and I’m afraid I’ll hear a ‘pop!’ any moment now, heralding the end of the futile resistance my bones are putting up. It’s a scary prospect, I grant you that, but what the mass of their muscles can’t crush is the will of my spirit.

My mind is soaring high right now, in a heaven of thoughts and emotions their tiny brains can never comprehend. My mind is running free right now, not trapped by anything physical, galloping into the green pastures of creative ingenuity. My soul is sailing far right now, wading through the high seas of wonder, amazed at my ability to create entire universes, sitting here crushed between two people, just by tapping a few buttons on my mobile screen.

All because I’ve a mind that’s not afraid to think. A mind that’s relishing this exercise to no small extent, pursuing my passion with the honed skill of patience, forging these words right now, and in the process breaking the laws of physics that govern space and time; and I bring to you, yet again, the gift of words, and the worlds that are trapped within the pauses of this passage.

***

I’m at the airport now. The whole place is dimly lit and deserted. There’s a brooding sense of despondency that makes the air heavy. It’s hard to breathe. It’s like I’m being strangled. Ugh. I don’t like this feeling.

The security check-in area has a few souls loitering around. I wonder why is the place so empty. Then I look at the flight schedule display, and I have my answer: There’s one flight to Kolkata that’s boarding now. One to Delhi (mine) at 1950. And one to Banglore at 2025. That’s it. Three flights for the rest of the day. No wonder there’s no one here.

I’m used to the excessive hustle of the Delhi airport, and this deserted airport gives me the chills. It’s such an eerie feeling, seeing an airport empty. The large halls and passages seem to echo a melancholy tale; the story of a young love perhaps, unrequited and unfulfilled, whose ghost now haunts these halls, filling everyone who passes them with dread and despair…

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