Into The Unknown

March 10, 2011 § 4 Comments

He stood there transfixed and dazed. Everything felt new to him. The endless throng and their choking unmoderated movements. On platform 6 lay porters and those identity less men of the cratering cart. Above them, mosquito nets to protect them from things more than mosquitoes.

Maybe it would be easier to have taken their path he thought. He felt like a lame sheep in the midst of a herd of charging buffaloes. Someone pushed him from behind. Helplessly and with as little deliberation as possible he started walking with the flow. Suitcases with wheels, big bags and backpacks with laptops passed him.

He felt dizzy. He had not expected this. He had heard that the city was ruthless but he had scoffed. He had stood at more than the 6 foot he was when he left his home, now though he felt small, very small. In fact he wished he would be invisible. He was searching for a familiar face, whom he hoped would notice him.

The speed at which people were moving was frightening maybe if they stopped, the world would end. He was conscious of the sudden increase in noise levels. There was just enough air to breathe the rest was taken by the dust and the various bright nauseating smells of a station.

Half sleepily and tense, he knew not what to expect at this wee hour. The ghosts of people who had been here before and their fear haunted him. He was far away from anywhere he knew, this was a wonderland without the wonder, but of course he had never heard of wonderland. Step by step, he was being brushed aside already. He wanted to fight back, he tried desperately. Sadly, the Bata chappals failed to match the better brands and the fakes. It seemed easier to give up.

More people-how many people are there in this world anyway? They were everywhere. Families were waiting for trains to carry them back home or to another unknown city, which waited as eagerly as this one to corrupt and steal away any hope they had and fling them back into the unreserved compartments.

His friend hadn’t come. He took out the small piece of paper, torn from an old paper at Bhiya’s tea stall and having found a PCO, he dialed.

This Number Does Not Exist.

Headlights. Under an antique roof, he felt sealed. Announcements he could understand only them, for only they were in a language he understood. He sat down in a dark corner and watched the entrance. he cursed everyone he knew and soon he fell asleep.

He woke up a while later there was no way he could go back. He listened intently, hoping to hear someone speak in a language he understood. Everything felt alien and scary. He got up and took his small bag. A tiny fish was entering a pool of sharks either he would be eaten or he might escape if he was clever enough to be never seen either way no one would care or miss him, he felt.

People and more people, the rats, the insects and the trains all seemed oblivious to this building which to him seemed like a monumental tomb with a clock counting away the seconds before it would all end-sooner rather than later.

He had nowhere to go and he clutched on to his bag as hard as possible. He got out of the station,turned left and started walking into the unknown.


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