I am Xcez, eighteen years old, reserved to most and reserved for few. My name, does that sound unfamiliar? I am glad it does. I don’t want to be in any identity crisis you see. God damn it! I stay in Mumbai, India. No sorry, I stay in the most crowded city in the second most crowded country of the world. One can easily get confused with the number of names they have to remember. I have 12 Nikhils, 7 Rohans and 4 Rahuls on my Facebook account. I bet I know more Nikhils, Rohans and Rahuls around. It’s just that they aren’t on Facebook Yet. And just in case you are wondering about my name, sorry it doesn’t mean anything and my parents just invented it because they liked it.
Coming to meaning, I was just wondering what it means to get up early at 5:15 in the morning, rushing to get a shared Rickshaw and finally reaching the station to realize that your 6:20 slow train has left you behind. Fast. This city is too fast for me and it increasingly gets faster by the night.
I am here at the station waving back to my friends in the 6:20 slow as I see them slither away in the iron engine. My friends were supposed to wait for me or so they said. They chose the train over me for a mere one minute difference. I can understand that. They had to get to the college fast. Fast enough to meet their respective girlfriends and boyfriends, take a leak, comb their hair, and finish their project etc before the first lecture at 7:15.
The next train seems to have come faster than expected. And the Hell breaks loose. Now I find myself inside it. I don’t know how. I told you this city is too fast for me. Not much causality. I just have a small bruise from some lady’s hairpin on my face. No worry. It’s normal.
I quickly get a place near the edge of the door and place myself adjusted between the door and the herd. It’s a just a bit disillusioning after you settle yourself and make space for yourself in this crowded mob of people. The stench of fish, the sweat of people and the iron rot is the perfect recipe to make you high. But from the cynical state I catch a glimpse of pure beauty running on wheels. Deccan Odyssey, the luxury train. It’s all serene and blue and a golden haze is falling over it. It is only the Sun rising.
It’s only the Sun rising but I don’t remember clearly when was the last time a saw it rise as the skyscrapers and the clogging of population makes it difficult to see clearly after a certain centimeters. You need to rise above these to see for yourself. The sight nevertheless of the Deccan odyssey and Sun is magnificent. You do catch small dust of hope everyday in the big muck of civilization in this city. Then I look down and watch the quickly passing tracks. I am not thinking about them philosophically like in movies. It’s a habit every regular train traveler forms. Now I am not trying to be sarcastic or something it’s just that I don’t know any better as to how to describe the essence of my city. May be I suck but maybe I am true.
I reach the station and get flushed out like some shit to land on the platform. Hmm. Now I will walk my way to the college. Wait. Let me quickly think over the excuse I am to give my professor for being late. I am climbing the bridge now. Aah! Was that noise? I see body flying next to me and thud on the ground all covered in blood. Then I feel a sharp pain on the right side of my brain and fall down.
Yes, It’s a bomb, a bomb blast. Thank God, I am fast enough to understand that before I die in the stampede and confusion of sorts. I try and lift myself but to vain, the pain in my head is too extreme. My right foot too seems to have given away. Damn, I need to move, I need to run. Run for my life!
I manage to move reach out for my phone in the left pocket and immediately inform my parents. I am aware that this is the time I can talk to them for soon the lines will get jammed due to network being busy. “No, mom, I am fine. I will try to reach home as soon as possible.tch tch….there you go the line got lost.
Anyways I somehow manage to get up and move. My right ear is bleeding and its gaining a lot of attention. I walk across the platform and see bodies in blood all around me. People are running, helping and shouting. This commotion is making me sick. Someone grabs my hand and helps me climb the bridge and come out of the station. I quickly grab a cab and head straight home.
Bandaged, warm and cozy, I am at home now watching the breaking news of flashing images and the ranting of reporters and people alike. It’s been just 8 hours to the whole thing and these bastards are already talking about Mumbai coming back on track moving on. Its not the Spirit that makes the city sleepless and always running, it’s the intention to not miss out in the fast lane. I don’t understand though. I never will. This city is too fast for me. Maybe I will move out.