Usually, if I'm being my normal self, I'll always be seen cavorting around, obviously running late for college. I must have had something energizing that day or maybe the Harry Potter spells I've been trying to work on since the seventh grade, finally DID work, because I actually reached the Metro station well on time for a class. My friend wasn't though (what else can be expected? She's my friend! And she doesn't read Harry Potter) and so I had nothing to do but wait.
I stood silently against the railing at the end of the platform (which is dangerous, by the way, unless you know where to step your foot) and gazed around, getting into my "observation" mode. I stole a peek at the scene downwards and liked what I saw, so I continued with my gazing.
The dark and light greens of the huge tree's leaves swayed in the chilly wind as I pulled my cardigan closer to me; it was cold and I couldn't make out any sign of life in the magnanimous being that stood majestic at the intersection, reaching way up high to where I stood looking down. There was fog and mostly things were in a light haze.
I saw little dashes of colors moving swiftly on the roads, curving in a graceful arc to take a U-turn. The otherwise bold, massive vehicles seemed like cute remote controlled toy cars, just without a remote in my hand and moving around on their own free will. I started, when a white sedan made a sharp cut, turning just inches away from the misplaced old tree bang at the center of the intersection.
I watched as the miniscule, brown, moving dots jostled near the entrance, going up to colored dots, probably asking about their destination. The rickshaw wallas struggled to begin with their day’s earnings, bargaining enough to keep their hunger satiated. I watched with marvel the speed at which they took off, displaying agility at its best, when people like me stumbled all the way and tried to stifle their yawns.
The loud honk of the train emerging onto the platform brought me out of my reverie (Someone please do mankind a favour and ban those honks by Metro trains. What do they expect? Traffic on the tracks?). My (good) friend wasn’t there and I watched with amusement as a mass of women emerged dishevelled onto the platform (I was obviously, standing near the first coupe) while another group did its best to wriggle into the coach. There is absolutely no point in spending minutes (or hours) trying to get your hairdo right, if you’re planning to board such trains!
I glanced towards the heavily clad people, waiting for their trains in different degrees of anxiety (I still don’t know why we get just a leeetle bit anxious during our wait?); some sporting oodles of confidence, some looking smug, as if they belonged to the Haute monde*, some feeling nervous and out-of-place, some choosing to ignore me, while a couple of ladies stared back, challenging me to look away. I did. No point in taking up a useless challenge.
Another train rolled in carrying a similar assortment of people, the same quantum of mindless chaos, leaving a new group of people fiddling with their fancy phones, busy worrying over the marks they scored, the declining profit margin of the companies they work in, the boring stuff, I mean. I stared after the train as it gently trailed out, the empty tracks a witness to some solid friction. Pigeons flew down from the rafters to perch near the tracks, hopping from one to the next in a carefree dance.
The sight of the tracks was suddenly blocked by a pair of legs, feet encased in black ballerinas, too close to me. I looked up to see my friend’s apologetic (she was late!) and inquisitive face. I must be looking aloof, I realized (nothing new in that). Another loud honk made me come out of my sub-conscious state (PLEASE! Ban those horns!) and we joined the mindless group, positioning ourselves in a manner that would get us inside without many injuries!
And that was that. It takes only a few minutes of careful observation, well past the ‘hurry, we’re in a flurry’ lives to witness the scenes of reality, to not just look at things, but to SEE, to experience the carefree moments while they last. I’m going to add just a word to my list of ‘Things I should do in life’, and that is “SEE”. :)
(*Haute monde- French word meaning "the elite")