Ms. Bench at platform no. 13


Completing my important work and enabling ‘Out of office’ memo, I left office for station. I rushed and reached there before time. My train was scheduled to depart at 4:30 PM from platform no. 13, but trains were late due to some accident on the track. Luckily I got space to sit on bench at platform and quickly grabbed it. A man in his fifties and a teen aged girl with a book “Fifty Shades of Grey” were already sitting on that. After observing my bench mates for some time, I took a book out from my bag and started turning pages.

While I was searching my book mark, my imagination started talking with someone, someone really interesting. “Hey, my name is Bench. I stay at this platform for many years. Passengers need me badly when their trains are late. I don’t give preference to region, religion, caste or complexion. I offer my services first come first serve basis.

Some high profile people don’t like me and directly go to waiting room where they get some of my good looking sisters. I know no matter how highly educated a person is, he soon becomes obsessed with us. Even after sitting on me for hours, he refuses to get up and even tries to avoid responding to nature calls the extent possible, fearing someone else might get his space. I think getting a place by wit or luck and keep sitting for hours doesn’t make anybody smarter.

It’s so ridiculous that people start showing their ownership on me. They even feel themselves owner of that part where they had put their luggage. Moreover I’ve observed people who don’t get place to sit, staring at me and cursing those who are the lucky ones. But, believe me, everybody forgets me the moment his train comes and this is the best example of fastest emotional detachment!

I’ve witnessed many constructions and renovations in this sight but I’m still same. I’ve seen many trains coming and going; many coolies, vendors and beggars have grown old before me.

Nobody talks to me; I’m not intellectual, you know? Now since you got a place and you are getting bored so let me tell you one of my experiences here. Few days ago, when most of the trains were late due to fog and I was being used heavily. A lean stubble guy sporting spectacles sat on me, putting his bag on his side, he started reading his book. Nowadays I am observing people to read the same in English what their parents had forbidden them to read in Hindi; I am talking about novels. Two more persons were sitting on me, suddenly I felt feminine aroma in the air and two cute girls came giggling. The slimmer one dominated the spectacles sporting lean guy by her colloquial skills and forced him to put his bag down. She then sat on the place. The other girl left the place flashing her smile back. People standing nearby were observing the rowdy attitude of girls. Adding to their surprise, the other girl brought her buxom friend and replaced the lean one. Apparently they all were friends and going to their respective homes on vacation. The idea was, to capture the place and then claim ownership till the train comes. Don’t bother; I kept witnessing the triumph of bully over sober everyday.

I’ve seen eve teasing; both, sober girls elbowed by rascals and ultra modern challenging morals of the crowd. I started feeling a magnetic field of feminine attraction, the moment a young chick sits on me, it changes the way people are behaving at least to a radius of five feet around. When perfume, clothes and gestures are not enough to show them smart, people take their laptop out and start working; they even attend business calls. I kept wondering, will people ever put their routine on hold for sometime, have they really understood the definition of urgency?     

Now days everybody is aspiring for higher studies. A guy sporting designer beard, extremely short hair and wearing quite a low waist jeans, was reading ‘Philip Kotler’ sitting on me. I don’t understand where exactly the jeans stuck when it comes below pelvis, but it’s none of my business. A beggar came, shown him one official looking paper and started convincing him. Finally our MBA student had released ten rupee note from his pocket. The beggar had taken the note and stared him disgust fully as if he owed him more. Believe me, one of the most innovative communities in India is that of beggars’. They force their prey to loose the pockets without convincing them to purchase anything.

Oh your train has come, tie your lashes quickly and get ready; you will certainly get a chubby cousin of mine to sit on, in your coach. It always happens when I befriend someone, his train arrives and I have to abruptly abort my story.”

My vacations were over and I joined office back but the conversation still reminds me about her, whenever I sit on chair, berth or sofa etc. I treat them as relatives of my new friend, Ms. Bench.

                                                                                                                                               - Amit Roop

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