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The ‘without’ journey

Journeys. Train journeys. They have been a part of my life.  Traversing lands, of my dreams, of my desire, of my passion.  Shuttling between universes! When in one, the other seems so dreamlike and unrealistic! Well, that sounds like something from the past. Something that I wrote in the past. But how does it matter! The past continues. So do the verses from the past. They echo till eternity. For journeys are eternal.  Immortal. Real. The most realistic, or rather the only realistic experiences of my life are always related to a journey. May be that’s a slight exaggeration from my part. But then, that precisely says my yearning for journeys,  sans exaggeration. Its such a pleasure to travel. Immense and profound. Today was one such day. A day of journey. Smooth and soothing.  Even an untimely alarm is forgiven. The journey was definitely worth it. Less crowded, rather empty compartment. Extravaganza of stretching the limbs. Window seat. Wind caressing my hair. (thanks to mom, for tying up my hair :D) Slow hum of the engine, with occasional startling whistles. Early rising sun. Sweat beads on my forehead. And finally, the dreaded crossing and waiting for signal. One thing I’d love to keep away from is the Ladies’ only travel. The gossips and never ending woes about husbands and in-laws, and all other thinkable and unthinkable versions of every single thing out there! The ladies’ talk was so annoying that I wished if I could hang on to the lingering sleep. But then, had it not been for them, I wouldn’t have written this at all. With all the annoyances and silly talks, they represented a clan, a class apart for a person like me. Their thoughts, their worries, their concerns, their worlds. It seemed so ideally perfect. So straight. So clean. I don’t wish if I were one of them. May be, even without my knowledge, I am already one among them.

The ‘vanity’ bag clad women joined me mid way. They kept getting off and on the train. Different faces. But same ‘vanity’ bags.  Nobody stayed for the whole of the journey. I am glad I traversed the entire path. Without struggle. Just an unsettling ease of having it crossed. Being done with the journey, I am worried about the next.  The journey was short and smooth. I went through it, pleasantly. Will the next be as smooth as this? Will I have to go through the shame and pain of getting down midway? Will I be able to pay for the whole distance? Or should I be traveling ‘without’ ticket? I am worried. Confused.

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