Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Most Amazing Thing!!

Today the most amazing thing happened on the way to college!
I now have to take the 9:31 or the 9:34 local, as my classes start at 10:00 am. These two locals are always, but always jam-packed! By the time it makes its way from the suburbs to Dadar, there is only standing room left in the ladies compartment. So I have to stand all the way till the end of the train’s route, which lasts for all of 15 minutes, so it’s not that bad. The bad part is being crushed from all sides by women of all shapes and sizes!
I always listen to my tiny portable radio, tuned into my favourite radio station, GO 92.5 FM. But today as soon as I got into the crowded compartment, a blast of static assaulted my ears, and I had to switch off the radio. The static never really went away, so I kept the volume low, hoping that the radio would somehow catch a signal.
I was standing near a bunch of seated middle-aged ladies. Suddenly I heard singing; and thinking that the radio had miraculously picked up a signal, I turned up the volume, only to feel like my ears had been sucker-punched! I quickly turned down the volume again. That’s when I realised that someone was singing inside the compartment! I turned to my right to see a middle-aged Maharashtrian woman with her eyes shut tight, singing! My first reaction (regrettably) was, “What a kook!” And I turned my head away.
But then her voice pulled me towards her again. I switched off the radio completely and I tried to listen to the words of the song she was singing, but as much as I strained my ears, I could just about make out a melody I had never heard. Then the train stopped at a station, and I could hear the words. Unfortunately I could not make out the meaning, as she was singing in Marathi. Now I noticed that her eyes were closed as if she was concentrating all her energy on the song, a soft smile playing on her lips.
After she finished her song she opened her eyes and smiled at a woman sitting beside her. I caught her eye and smiled at her. She seemed to be pleased to have a little audience of her own. And she broke out into a second (or third, or fourth) song.
I then looked around at the women standing and sitting around this Train Songstress. Each and every one of them had a smile on their faces. This scene is not what one usually gets to see in local trains, especially during the peak hours. Most people are in a foul mood, including me (or more accurately, particularly me!). Once I even witnessed a 23-24 year old abusing a much elderly lady for allegedly pushing her on to the platform!
But today, we had a reason to just smile and enjoy the train ride due to this very unexpected blessing of sorts. She didn’t have the most perfect voice I’d ever heard, it was sweet but a bit high pitched, but she didn’t seem to care about such things as the quality of her voice, she just sang! It truly takes guts to sing in a compartment full of strangers! I’m pretty sure (make that very sure!) that I would never be able to do any such thing! But looking at the woman, I wished that I could be as free and as brave as she was in that moment!


Manish said...

When someone sings from heart it always reflects on his/her face. The satisfaction of oneness with self!

Jab koi khud mein doob ke is terah gaye na to aawaz kaisi bhi rahe us gayan ka sukh us shaksh ke chehre pe jurroor jhalakta hai!

Nice post !

Phoenix Rises said...

Thanks Manish!

Anonymous said...

Hey! It's your buddy A! Was really moved by this post! Keep 'em coming!

Manish said...

Browsed thru ur Kerala's Travelogue on sunday!

I am also planning to visit the state this winter ! So the post waq qt informative from that pt of view.

haan ek sawal man mein aaya!socha poch hi loon :)
u have written somewhere that u didn't like quiet places like Munnar !
But don't u feel oneness with mother nature in the calm quiet lap of her away from hustle bustle of the city?

nin said...

crushing by women ....hmmmm.....

Phoenix Rises said...

Hey A! Thanks yaar! :D

Hi Manish! There's quiet and then there's silence! I like the former, and the latter just makes me feel ill at ease! I like it when there's some noise around me!

Phoenix Rises said...

Avik, I somehow am not sure what exactly you meant by "crushing by women ....hmmmm....."!! Is it some guy fantasy thing?? ;) Or something else altogether??

Manish said...

got ur point phoenix!

thinkpad said...

i'm in delhi...we travel to the university in u-specials or local buses n i've often come across people having a good time(spl students)...the only problem is that delhi is an unsafe city n all women travelling in local transport have faced it.its time the guys wake up n realize the importance of smiling faces!

Phoenix Rises said...

Hi Thinkpad! A very dear friend of mine studies in Delhi, and I've heard horror stories from her. What is with the men in Delhi??

Gabriel said...

Well I'm a man in Delhi.. though, not an Indian man ;) I can't speak for anyone else.. but I'm a bit insane ;p

There are moments in life when "Everything Is In Its Right Place" - a song from Radiohead that I enjoy ;)


Phoenix Rises said...

Hey Gabriel!
Thanx for visiting my blog! Pardon me for thinking so, but I thought that you were a woman first! :)
But I saw your profile and did a double-take! Hehehe!
Like you, I too am studying Psychology.

Anonymous said...

nice piece.i dont know why but it reminded me of preethi lal teacher and her songs she used to teach us every morning in the assembly.do u remember them?

were they marathi songs she taught us?? they were pretty good with nice melodies.she was a very nice teacher. i really liked her.


Phoenix Rises said...

Hi S!
Ya, I think she did teach us Marathi songs. Those were the days huh? :)