Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Train

Janifer dreams of the knocks. Cork on willow. Like unwritten percussion. And the seething green grass that was never so more out of place than in the middle of a hot and dusty Madras.

Pressing times, with the fresh tinkle of change in a worn out khaki pocket; the fibers give way and a sneaky coin falls through and rolls, lands tails on the grit. Janifer bends her knees and picks it up, a perverse trolley three-wheels by, peeking at her in ninety degrees, wishing her pants were down and shirt were up. Flipping it twice, she lands it on the ticket-man’s little jail window. He barks at her, and she withdraws her hand and puts it on her cheek. A brief altercation and they agree upon a nightly pass. She yelps in joy, as he makes a rocket out of the ticket and flings it through his grilled window; it flies expertly as his eyes envy its ability and not his. She runs faithfully after it and expertly lands it on her palm. Ten trips! This way and that.

Janifer hoists herself onto the groaning train, her hands slipping on everybody’s sweat on the paintless handles. She cups her palms and smells, of Madras.
So when she throws herself onto a vacant seat, the rubber farts back, violently.
She stares out the window, wishing she had the money to do this another way. But apparently, not.

The train pulls her with it and throws her back like it didn’t like her. The drone of the wheels scratching against the rails, a cricket in her brain. Zzz.

And from the distance, the white lights come closer, a sudden dawn, as the rush of cheers from the field eats the air. Her window draws nearer to the field and she swallows the heart that wouldn’t leave her bloody throat. The familiar burst of yellows and blues; us and them. As her window sweeps by the stadium, a blue man swings his bat and sends the ball away from her angle of sight. She closes her eyes and wishes it were six. But the train, moves on, unstoppable, super-man. Bastard.
She feels the change, now a ticket, in her pockets and steps out at the next station. Four minutes until the next train.

2 comments:

Aswini said...

:) Second-time reading makes me like it even more! How long until the next?

Akshaya said...

Easily one of my favorites.
Super like!