all everyone wanted to know was “how long will it take?”
It was getting late and every women in the bogie was heading her home after working all day, so was it ok for them to not care about the corpse lying next to the train. I am not sure when and how the frail old lady with white hair went from being a living breathing human to a corpse, was it the time when she fell from the moving train or when her body rolled on the stone railway tracks and coiled into a shape that could not be described.
Ironically i was half way through a story on train safety and i learned that over 36,000(no typo error there are three zeros and) have died on the local train in the last 10 years. so 3600 in a year and over 10 each day- which means it was not a rare event to witness the death. but it was not the death, it was the lack of life and human like emotions in the co-passagers of the train. There were girls who peeked through the windows to see and be a part o the event, some clicked pictures from their phone cameras but most were just keen to know why our trian stopped even when the train on the track next to us moved on. so there were emotions, but all borderline human, does a city harden you or do we stop taking stress whenever we can.
Not that i was expecting the women to beat their chest over the death but having seen enuf corpses int he course of journalism i found this one rather intriguing, no on cried, no one cared. Even though her death meant that anyone on the train could get tosses out of the train and have the same fate but as long as they reached the next station – Dadar- without any delay, they din’t care. no one accepted that they shared the same train with the lady and had the same chances as she did, but it neither made them sad at her death or thankful for being alive.
But more importantly, did i care after a long day filled with a disappointing rally where a man with a disfigured speech(no offence) spoke in marathi so while i was wondering why i being the only non marathi was sent for the assignment, i saw a corpse and a train full of people that were just as dead. I might be judging them or were they judging me about my keenness to be helpful to the lady already dead instead of focusing on life but we dint agree on whether we live to work or work to live.
and as i reached home juggling the random thoughts i saw from the gate of my housing society my husband was in the kitchen, dancing and heating food for his wife who reached home at 1130 at night. thats when i knew what i was thankful for and what needed my attention.