I need a new word for excitement mixed with paranoia, that’s how I feel right now standing at a local railway station somewhere in Bombay, observing the crowd and diving in my thoughts. Crowd on station this night is a mix of people with varied purposes which are not really difficult to ascertain. Regular commuters, going back home after work, tired eyes, surity of whereabouts and the wait for the train very much evident on their face. Local police, doing their regular strolls to keep people in check, appearing authoritative yet approacable from their gait. Travelers who are waiting for inter state or intra state trains, some excited to start their trip (read me) and some perhaps going to their home, luggage surrounding them, eyes on the indicators to check and double check the place and timing of their coaches. What has hit me though is that inspite of the crowd, there is a lull. A lull I can never associate with Bombay. My city is known for it’s hussle, rush and noise. Pre covid, if you visited the same station at same time, it would be bustling with activity with so much noise, you’d need ear plugs. Some find it too commercialized and crowded, it is my home. I hate seeing my home not seem like home. I visited a local railway station after 1.5 years today, I used to take a train to work 5 days a week and yet it seemed like I cannot recognize this place. Covid has done too much harm already, I can only hope that it does not take away the feeling of home from my city. It might seem too unimportant but for someone who has adored Bombay and everything it is, this is a shock. It means loss of too many business, jobs and a domino effect with it that we are all aware of.
On the positive side, I have successfully boarded the train and that marks a start of a very short trip that we have managed to sneak in our lives after a lot of hussle! See you on the other side! 🥰