Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Knocking on the Heaven's Door

It all went well until my roomies and I decided to go for an English movie on a Monday evening. The movie was Snakes on a plane [Haven’t heard a more straight forward name for an English movie]. More than creating terror, it was merely disgusting to the core. Right from the days of swimming sessions in a pond opposite my house in kerala, one thing that freaks me out is the sight of these slithering reptiles. And the worst part about this movie was that it was flooded with such poisonous snakes of all shapes and sizes. Yuck!! Even when the movie was on, I had this strange feel of something running across my legs. After a couple of hours of this gruesome torture, we came out of the theatre and decided to catch a local to go back home.
We boarded the train at Shivaji nagar station and luckily found plenty of places to sit. A man walked into my compartment with a grey coloured medium sized suitcase in his hand. It had a chromium coated spiral metal chain that was tied to the handle and had a similar coloured lock which was slightly smaller than a door lock. From the looks of it, the suitcase must have been very heavy and the man struggled to put that thing on the side rack. One of my roomies, who was sitting on the opposite side, stood up and helped the man. Everything looked normal to me until I noticed that this man looked around warily at the compartment and strolled towards the exit and disappeared into the crowd. I was expecting this man to come back into my span of vision but he didn’t. There is a possibility that I could have missed this guy in the crowd, but I was in one of those mindsets, when even a simple incident like this could kindle a tremor inside you subconsciously. It was an amalgamation of my thoughts that was wandering between recent Mumbai bomb blasts and snake movie that had freaked me out to the core.
I kept on staring at the suitcase paying no heed to what people were upto around me. It was a very old one and had a half broken push lever lock at the either side. It was over stuffed with things that made it look like two pregnant ladies standing back to back. I looked around the compartment, but still no sight of this man. By this time the train had already started moving and had reached the next station. Every other time, when I get such moments of loneliness, I would have imagined a beautiful romantic story involving me and the characters around me. But that day, I was in no mood for any sort of romance. My heart was filled with a new kind of fear that I have never faced in my life. The fear of death.
My mind clock started ticking and my brain kept on guessing the strategy behind that suitcase bomb. It should most probably be timed to blast when the train reaches Pimpri, one of the most crowded stations, my conscious said. But have the terrorists taken into the account the time delay? What if the bomb blasts even before the train reaches Pimpri? I looked at the clock in my mobile phone to see how much time is left for me to live. It showed that hardly ten minutes were remaining in my 23 odd years of existence. I looked at my friends and asked them what if this suitcase has a bomb and we all die in another ten minutes. All what I got back was a mocking smile. My heart was pounding and beating faster than ever. Why these people can’t understand the seriousness of the situation, the ME screamed inside me. My eyes browsed through the compartment and saw various faces of various textures. Some senile faces revealing the fatigue and ordeal through the burrows, some office going middle classers with a worried look about the ever deficit house budget, some young local lads who think hanging on the footboard is all that is required to impress the girls in the ladies compartment, some merchants, some software engineers, and the some that sums up to the whole society that we see in our day to day lives. What if these people knew that they were all going to die in a couple of minutes? In a matter of 120 seconds, these beautiful bodies that cover the boulevard of so many broken dreams will be shattered into nothing more than kilograms of red raw smelly meat.
I continued to stare at the suitcase. The lock that was hung at the end of the chain, was swinging like a pendulum. It reminded me of the seconds that were ticking away. The train was marching towards the Pimpri station at a fast pace talking my life along. It’s so frustrating to know that you are going to die and are totally helpless. Things that I had wanted to do in all my life appeared in front of my eyes as a distant dream . May be I should have expressed my love to that gorgeous girl in office, may be I should have pursued my dream to become a writer and not just an engineer who writes, may be I should have apologized to a childhood friend with whom I had a fight and never talked again, may be I should have written a mail to a person by giving up my ego, whom I once thought as my best friend but failed to keep in touch, may be I should have lain at my mom’s lap and listened to her problems when I went home last time, may be I should have cried holding my brother’s hand and told him how much I love him, may be I should have taken my dad out for an India Pakistan cricket match and got him the best pack of cigarettes and tell him that I’m very proud of him, may be I should have never had so many may be’s in my life.
The train finally reached Pimpri. Unable to face death face to face, I turned my head away from the suitcase. Busy commuters were getting up and down the train while I waited to hear a loud blast that will ring the end of my tenure in this beautiful world. Sweat and tears started to pour down. I closed the fist and held it against my heart. I prayed to god and begged for His forgiveness for all the sins I had done. I said I love you to all the near and dear and got myself prepared for the final few seconds of my life.My eyes were still closed and I felt the train move. I slowly opened my eyes and looked around to see if I’m still alive. Nothing had happened except that people were looking at me as if I’m a real time psycho. I went through a moment of desperation when my eyes seized to see and everything went blank. I was in a world of my own jumping with joy for being given a second life to live and not just exist. I felt like flying in the open sky on a bed of white clouds. I saw that beautiful girl from my office dressed as an angel carrying a broad smile on her face, my family greeted me with their arms wide open and I felt as if I’m in love and being loved.
I got down the train at Akurdi station and started walking back home. I ambled looking up at the smiling moon in the sky. I called my friends and family and spoke to them for about an hour with a satiated heart. Got up the next day morning after a sound sleep and switched on the TV to check out any news about bomb blasts in Pune locals. Naaahhhh.. !! :)


Anonymous Rose said...

ooff..pradeep..u and ur imagination....


11:49 PM  
Blogger ***JUST B COOL*** said...

nice work man.....cheers

3:50 AM  
Blogger Matty said... morning, did you check the newspaper?!?!?!...haaa haaaa..."Pune Times" will not carry da actual news baby!!![:)]

12:12 AM  
Blogger Anoop said...

What the hell..
In those maybes, u should also have written," Maybe I should have taken my ex-room mate to Baskin Robbins and bought him the best ice cream available....."

6:53 AM  
Blogger Pradeep said...

Rose n Cool: Thanks..

Matty: Vennai, I wrote TV.. not Pune Times.. I know the purpose of Pune Times by da way

Anoop: Since wot i wrote is fiction, I could hvae included that ice cream part too ;)

11:58 PM  
Blogger vinay said...

kewl yaar pune is so safe...and akurdi station.i miss pune a lott.hpe the old baijus hotel is still there,the hotel vishnu near the akurdi signal...pune was a whiff of fresh air

7:12 AM  

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