Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Sojourn - Part II

Run Time - Part 1
Saturday - 1:45 PM.

Afternoon Time. Had a sumptuous lunch - similar to infy if not better. The berths are being opened up all around and everyone’s is ready to take nap during the sleepy afternoon time. How many times in office we have felt like sleeping after lunch and each time we had to go to and sit in the cubicle in front of the monitor. Today, in this 50 hour long journey with Hariharan singing to me in his mellifluous calm voice, I'll take the much desired but never fulfilled desire in many busy lives - afternoon nap.
The weather meanwhile has been very hot since morning. The protective clothing I had brought along are till now sleeping in bag (sleeping!!! I am sure very sleepy.. whatever!!)
But I know the weather will have the last say. As we near Delhi and the time is coming quickly as the engine has now changed from a diesel one to electric. Ok. Enough of writing. Now I cant wait more for the vendor to return my change. I am off now!!

RunTime 2
Saturday – 5:45 PM
The time since Runtime 1 has passed very slowly. Its evening now. I can see the big round yellow ball as I look out my left window. Ya, that means I am moving in the right direction – North. Well, I think that was not an entirely correct statement. The train is moving in the correct direction. Regarding me, I am not sure. As I see out of the window, I see smoke everywhere. I cant figure out the reason but again I cant help but make a comparison to life again.
Well, for the reason of the actual smoke, I guess there are lots of huts around and the preparations have started for the nyt's dinner.
As, I look inside, everyone is up from the afternoon slumber and everyone’s very quiet and looking outside at passing scenery and at the same time looking inside – inside himself. I feel, it again the time of the day which has this affect on the mood. Even the usual chirpy group is quiet.
The weather is still not cold and I am still out of the protective layers of clothes. I guess things will change once we cross Nagpur. We are half way through this train journey that means it is still 18 hours to reach Delhi.

Runtime 3
Saturday - 9.30 PM
22 hours have passed since I left Bangalore. 22 hours!!! For the last 22 hours life has come to a stand still. I have not spoken more than 100 words, hardly touched my mobile and am confined to this moving iron box. The contact with the world has been today’s Times Of India bought at Hyderabad. A full day of 2nd Test match between India and Pakistan has passed and I don’t even know who is batting first!!!
This for a person like me who is glued to the internet almost round the clock – on computer while in office and on mobile at home. But I am not bored or impatient or restless at this moment of time. Maybe it will show tomorrow when the journey crosses 30 hour mark but not now.
I spent around an hour standing/sitting on the door and just staring into the darkness outside. In between I tried to sense the direction of our movement by looking at stars – the Orion and that special extra twinkling star that me and my roomies often see while coming back after dinner. I had estimated the direction to be heading west and soon after saw the train make a near 90 degree turn to right so that way we are moving north now. Nagpur has crossed and cold has increased considerably. My protective gearing is on. A layer of sleeveless sweater has gone in between a half sleeve shirt and a full sleeve warm one. One more sweat shirt is under my head for emergency use at nyt and a jacket within reach in the bag if limits are crossed. With the preparation to face the wrath of north Indian winter after 1 year complete, I pull over the blanket to sleep at 10.00 PM. When was the last time I slept at 10.00????

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