The bell rang and immediately I started using my slate and stylus. Both my hands perfectly co-ordinating each other. One hand understands and the other responds.
It is the same old things which describes this place perfectly. Trains running up and down, one after another. Hundreds of people alighting, boarding, running, shouting and what not. Beggars and urchins looking hungry with eyes expecting some help but greeted with long stares, expletives asking to move ahead. Vendors trying desperately to sell their products amid all the chaos known as the ‘Urban Organised Fish Market’ and ‘The Incidents Galore.’
Alpa was there waiting for the train to arrive. She had reached early today, almost 20 minutes to be precise, hoping to catch a window seat and enjoy the cool morning breeze. She was impeccably dressed but two things stood out today. Her silky long hair and the scent she used. Many stares, oohs and aahs came from the people around her. She noticed it and enjoyed the attention she was getting.
But sooner her face went red when few people standing at a corner passed some lewd comments at her. She took few steps forward in their direction with the aim of giving a fitting reply when she felt someone’s hand on her behind. Her face went from red to shock. Behind her mind she was chanting ‘The Hanuman Chalisa.’ Shock soon turned to fear when someone went breezing past her, kissing her hair around her neck. Before she could realise that she has been surrounded she felt a strong pinch around her waist from the other end. Within seconds after that she ran like crazy, huffing and puffing till she was out on the streets towards her home.
The woman on platform no. 10 was with her two kids. One in her right hand tugged to her chest and shoulder and the other holding her left hand. From the clothes that they had worn one can easily say that they belong to a poor family. The arrangement was such that trains for particular destination arrive only at a particular platform and not on other platforms. Thus the train for her destination arrived only at platform no. 10 which is a two side platform. Trains for up and down destinations halt at platform no. 10. The platform was crowded but not as other platforms.
On seeing the green signal she gripped both her child tightly. She knew that she would somehow have to make her way through the rush and board the train. Or wait for another half an hour for the next train due to less frequency. The train arrived. On halting, she automatically moved forward towards the footboard due to strong push of people from behind. As she was almost about to board the train, there came a little push from behind and she boarded the train few seconds early, all thanks to that push. This push incidentally led to the loosening of the grip of her left hand resulting in the child to be alone. The child was blinded due to tall people in front of him and with another push from behind the child instead of raising his foot and board, slipped through the gap created between the platform and the footboard of the train. Next second, the cries of pain and anguish could be heard loud.
“It is because of them that we have to suffer, said Hemant to Karan. To which Karan responded, “Why do they even board the train in first place?” Both of them looked at each other and cursed their fate.
A man came running from the stairs with immediate landing. It seemed that he was probably getting late for work and desperately needed to board that fast train waiting on the platform. Few minutes back a group of cricket playing children were having their breakfast on the platform. They were probably going for their coaching with their kits on their shoulders. Each and everyone were having their small, light breakfast waiting for their train to arrive. The train arrived on the platform in spite of the indicator showing two minutes expected time. Everyone rushed to catch the train, stuffing their tiffin boxes in the respective kits, throwing whatever they had in their hands on the platform itself and boarded just in time.
The man came running at full speed, with his hair enjoying the breeze, dancing with crazy moves landed his left foot on the banana peel thrown by one of the cricket playing children. As soon as his foot landed on the banana peel his body felt light as he momentarily lay in the air and landed on the earth with a loud thud. Some cracking sound of bones breaking could be heard by him. On seeing it, few smiled, others laughed at the pain of the man. He could barely move his hands and legs. Many thought that there will be few bruises at the back with a twist in the ankle. Not even a single person looking at him standing at the footboard came forward to help. Only when blood started to ooze out and make a small circle around his right ear, did people realise the graveness of the situation but barely a few came forward. Rest, with the same old typical reason “Time nahi hain in sab cheezo ke liye.”
Mahatma Gandhi once said “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” But what if the entire ocean has become dirty? “There are humans everywhere but humanity in none/few of them”, is the quote of today’s times.
That day none came forward to help those people when needed the most and immediate. Many people around Alka heard those passing lewd comments at her but none came to her rescue including both men and women. No one came forward. Even if one person had come forward to help Alka the situation might have been different. She might not have ran with fear but seated with her head high inside the train compartment.
Similarly with the woman on platform no. 10 as well as the man. Though the child miraculously escaped death with a fractured limb and bruises on the forehead and arms, both the mother and child could have been spared from those cries of fear and anguish had the people behind them been more careful. Moreover the talks between Hemant and Karan and those looking from the footboard shows the kind of thinking that people have today. These are the people who deny humanity and fail life.
These three incidents today has made two thing very clear to me.
That it is better to be actually blind rather than being blind with both the eyes wide open.
The text book always has good things to learn. It is only the reality which shows the actual picture.
The bell rang as I put a full stop to my essay, putting aside my slate and stylus waiting for my teacher to collect my answer sheet.