Friday, 20 January 2012

To Infinity And Beyond

"Four seats: two lower berths, one middle and one upper," dad would say to the man at the booking counter. On the train, mom and dad would end up taking the two lower berths while Aashrai and I would fight for the top. Somehow, as a kid, I always felt proud and big whenever I conquered the highest seat available.

However, while taking-the-top-berth was a priority, it certainly wasn't atop the precedence list. Bullet-point number one on that list was 'window-seat'! Hence, dad always used to purchase two lower-berth tickets; that way, we could each have a window seat.

While reading books and Archie-comics during long train-rides was fine, nothing was usually better than sitting by the open window and gazing at the scenery zooming past your face. But even the window-seats had a priority order among them. Actually, they still do.

I would convince my little brother that no matter where he sat, he would end up seeing the same things anyway! Invariably, it would result in a few punches thrown and the odd nail finding its way through the opponent's skin... But a red-faced mom would soon turn adjudicator, trying to restore normalcy and pry away fellow passengers' eyes which would remain fixed on us.

We would both want the window seat which would have us facing the direction of motion. Not only was the wind in your face this way (rather than blowing against the back of your head) but you always got to see things which were going to come. It is strange that even on this day, if I'm seated against the direction of movement, I turn my head around to see what is going to come although I am completely sure that I will see the same houses, poles, fields and trees if I continued staring ahead.

Somehow, human mentality has us wanting to see things which aren't here yet: it's like an achievement. We're not happy seeing things which are just outside our windows! No; we want to see ahead - in space and in time. We all, so desperately, want that one look into our futures to see how we're faring there.

It's all fine outside but we aren't happy. We want to see things which are yet to come.


  1. I was picturing my own childhood train travels with my family reading this :D It was exactly the same.Nicely written btw.

  2. Vivek,
    Glad to know I could recreate that picture then. That was, after all, the goal :)

  3. Brilliant da! Bringa back old memories

  4. awesome post Kondi... the precious childhood memories.

  5. I have read few of your posts today.....Simple writing which made me revisit old memories......Way to go!!!

    1. Dear anonymous, thanks. Your views mean a lot to me :-) Though I wish people didn't have to stay anon!