Out on my Flip-flops (1/n)
Black and White
Delhi. It was night 9 O’Clock. I was waiting for my friend to come back from work so that we can go ahead with the plan of visiting Agra. I had an idea that he is willingly getting late so that we can postpone the journey to the morning next day. And I knew the fact that this was one of the reasons he did not buy the tickets too. Jackass. But, my slippers had a very different plan.
10:00 PM. We were at New Delhi Railway Station.
We entered the railway station without reservation-tickets. In my case, destiny has a very perky sense of humour. So, now we have to leave the railway station without a reservation-tickets. One way or other. My friend was giving me ‘I told you so’ look and picked the bags to leave. “When was the last time you travelled in a general compartment”, I asked. He ignored me like I ignore my beer bellies, “Fuck off, I am not going in a general compartment that too in this hot sweaty summer. Not a chance”, he shouted.
10:30 PM. He was buying a water bottle, while I was cleaning up the floor near to the door which we were gonna share with 9 other people.
He was standing for a while with a handkerchief on his face until he noticed that he was the only one standing and had a handkerchief. I was just observing the environment inside and outside. There were people standing on the door. People watching something on their smartphone without headphone and extra speakers, thanks to China. There were people having some kind of discussions on culture, but not regular general-compartment-discussion, maybe because it was mid of humid night.
I noticed a man in his mid-30s with a small kid, maybe 2 years, old sitting just beside me near to the toilet gate. The man was looking tired and looked like had a tiring day. The kid was crying. He was hungry. After 15 mins when he did not stop crying, the guy next to the man handed him a packet of biscuit. He was not taking it initially but after 2 mins of insisting he took it. Now the kid was eating the biscuit and the father has a look on his face. It was not a Black and White look. It was a look of a man whose self-esteem just got crushed. Maybe disappointed. Whose kid was crying of hunger but now sleeping a full stomach. Who wanted to thank the guy who has given his kid something to eat but was ashamed to even make an eye contact with him. I was seeing a wide spectrum of emotions far from black and white.
I turned to see what exactly my friend was doing in this hostile situation. By now he had his phone out and now he was watching some movie. I thought he might be having a foul mood so I used the best trick written in the books to get him back on talking terms. I asked if he was watching his favorite movie AGAIN, and could he let me watch it too as I hadn’t watched it even one time. (I watched it couple of times, even once with him before but..meh.. it was worth a shot).He agreed.
In 10 min we were appreciating and Hi5ing on the background score and cinematography of the mythological hit of all time.
In 15 mins we got requests to remove the headphones so that 3 more people can watch it.
In 30, we were sharing the movie via sharing apps to 3 unknown people. Within an hour we started getting different angles on the discussion over the cinematography and background score of the movie.
Then the thought hit me. This was probably, the smallest cross-section of space where I was having so much variation of the emotions. It was not just a moment, it was the whole life. My mind was exploding. It had a distinct collection of feelings and emotions. It was like multiple ink droplets stirred in a water vessel. Every colour was important. The pain was as important as pleasure. We could not define black or white without feeling each and every wavelength in the spectrum. It was not a was. It was as present as past. It was a slice of the bread. A bread called life. Every slice has every kind of resin in it. You just have to appreciate it. It makes us, Human. Emotions were bound in that small area. They were going nowhere, But we were.
It was 2:00 am. Agra was about to come. It was time for my flipflops to stop being a sitting-mat and fulfil its destiny by being what it actually was.
We were expecting a bigger asshole to pick us up who just told us that he was not coming as he was going to sleep.
He picked us up at 2:05 am just outside the platform.