I have finally come to terms with travelling for two hours each day just to get to work. It is a tedious task to have to run (read: wobble) your way through crowds of people who refuse to budge at the sight of an exasperated you, but the hard metal seat you place your butt on when you finally get into expected train is as comfortable as being at home. It takes an hour to get to work, and an hour or more on my way back, but I have finally managed to make use of the time and think; besides staring for a few uncomfortable moments at random women in the train who glare at you as in you just stole their imaginary baby.
The railways mean a lot to me, I have come to realise this. I often hate the crowds, hate the speed at which it moves, and hate the insides - but I can't deny the fact that station platforms and trains are more than memorable for me.
Platform no. 1 on Andheri station reminds me of dad. it reminds me of the times he refused to take the car out, and would make me run through patches of men idly standing, minding their own business. it reminds me of how he'd try to teach me about station codes and ticket details, how he'd explain the process of procuring a ticket, and how he'd warn me that if i were to ever travel alone, I better be the smart one and grab the starting train. I remember pretending to never listen, but i owe it to him to find my way back home each day now, only because of his random rambles.
I see dad in the men's compartment too. I rarely get into one now, unless I'm travelling with a male friend, but dad finds his way through and materialises when i'm in the rarely-not-so-crowded compartment. Memories of being sleepy, resting on his shoulders, watching him rearrange the pass in his wallet, watching him stare out the window, remembering him asking me to sleep if i wanted to and eventually complain about me crumpling his shirt, the smell of his perfume mixed with his hair oil and his thumb that i still hold on to at all times rush...