Written for a creative writing assignment. We were given a 350 word limit which is why this seems incomplete.
Travelling alone is an experience by itself. It’s an exercise in independence, of being in control of yourself and your thoughts. It is an exercise in observation. And there is a certain sense of security in being a spectator. An onlooker. Sitting there near the window, with my iPod plugged in, looking out at the people milling about on the platform, gave me a chance to create stories. To make up lives for people I don’t know.
One of the first people I noticed in the crowd was a woman in a red sari. She stood there with a big bag near her feet, wringing her hands. Her eyes kept darting around from person to person. She seemed nervous somehow. I have always felt that nervousness and fear are two of the most easily recognisable emotions. I wondered what she was nervous about.
Then I couldn’t help but notice the two people on the opposite berths who were making a big show of settling down. The girl was pretty. It wasn’t an immediately recognisable beauty but it was there. The man on the other hand, I wouldn’t give a second look to. She seemed uncomfortable with him constantly hugging and kissing her. I have never liked PDA myself. Newlyweds, I thought in my head. I made a mental prediction that they would end in one year. It’s what always happens to incompatible people.
I went back to looking at the people on the platform. The man selling newspapers, the tea vendor. And then the man who had the berth above mine came in. He placed his guitar on the berth, put his bag under the seat I was sitting on and made himself comfortable opposite me. He fascinated me. With hazel eyes, nice hair, a grey tee and blue jeans, he seemed quite the catch. He took a book out of his bag – Mein Kampf. Intellectual or pseudo intellectual, I couldn’t decide which. Musician, the guitar said.
The cogs in my head were spinning and from my safe perch I could happily create all the stories I wanted.
This was going to be quite a trip I realised...