Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Journey

Heading back home, finally.
I think that’s the excuse I’ll always use to explain the idiotic dumbness I displayed today. How else is it humanly possible for a person to be absent minded enough to forget to print the train tickets? Not misplace, not forget in the hostel, but simply forget to print the ticket?!
After showing my heroic stunt of booking my own train ticket, independent of all other Delhi-goers, preparing myself to travel in RAC, and travelling alone in a train, I of course undid it all by being plain stupid.
So, euphoria is the excuse.
As I watched the train slowly start to chug out of the station, I looked at the passengers around me. I was quite pleased. No noisy aunties, no burpy uncles, and most thankfully, no bratty and crying kids around. Everyone seemed to be pretty young, a newly married couple, a guy who was probably from a nearby B-School, and a serene uncle checking his mail on his laptop.
Laptop…internet…email…I mailed the ticket to myself…e-ticket…TICKET!!
And that’s when it hit me, that I had managed to do everything, and they were simply going to throw me off the train anyway. I’m not proud to admit this, since I’m usually not the type, but this time I visibly panicked. I know this because I could feel it. And also because the uncle in front of me realized that something was wrong.
So while I was talking exceptionally fast on the phone to a friend aboard the same train, and causing two people to hyperventilate at the same time, he simply looked at me, smiled and said, “Relax.”
I stopped and looked at him, something about his expression made me cut the phone and actually sit down.
“Never panic. You have your PNR number and I-card. Relax. It’s not a big deal, it can be managed.”
I did relax, a bit.
As it turned out, I was let off with a fine of Rs.50. I still had my seat, on my train, heading back home, finally.
“Whatever happens, you should never panic.” He started. I could sense some gyaan coming my way. But he had helped to really relax me, and so the least I could do was listen. So I smiled and nodded.
“Whenever something goes wrong – Stop, Think, Go.”
Hmm.. More smiles and nods. But he was making sense. I shouldn’t have panicked. Very uncharacteristic of a future manager.
And then we talked more. A lot more. It wasn’t really a conversation. He talked and I listened. The never talk to strangers rule was being kept aside for the time being.
Now this is a time in my life when I have ample number of things to worry about. With placements right around the corner, and the economy not exactly in its rosiest mood, there was definitely one huge thing to worry about. Personal life, friends, family are perennial things on a persons mind anyway.
And then he told me his story. Which suddenly made all my worries look embarrassingly miniscule. And it made me listen to him even more.
It’s funny how context can suddenly change everything.
Here was a man full of clichés, literally. Every second line was a cliché. Ladies first…Do your best, he’ll do rest… But the clichés didn’t sound bad anymore. They actually made perfect sense for once. Just because he was saying it, because he had lived them.
I got into bed, knowing that this had been an important train ride. Also knowing myself, realizing that I would forget its importance pretty soon. Maybe that’s why I was suddenly compelled to write again. In memory of a few words, which made perfect sense.
“Mere jeevan ki chaabi mere haath mein hai.”
Whatever happens, never let anyone, be it your parents, friends, husband, anyone, control your life. Keep the key of your life closely guarded with yourself, and it’ll all be alright.
Sounds silly right? But at the time it didn’t. It made perfect sense.
He mentioned in between that even if you believe in God, it doesn’t mean he’ll come down himself to help you. But he will send someone. “Like I helped you when you were panicking.”
I smiled.
I don’t think he realized how much he’d actually helped me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lol...one night at a call centre in the making... :P