It was about 11AM in the morning – I was taking the Chennai MRTS for the first time today. I had gotten a job at a software company in the ITPL at Velachery. Since this was the first day at the job, this company had asked us to report at 1PM – I found it unusual, but when asked, I was told it was easy to get all the HR formalities done at that time, with the availability of a bank representative to aid us open the salary account and so on and so forth (thus spake the HR person who had made me the offer 2 weeks ago). I had worked for about 2 years in a small company in
So, the planets had aligned and here I was waiting at the Thiruvallikeni MRTS station. I was going to join a couple of my college mates who had taken up a house nearer to Velachery, but both of them were out of the country and one of them was returning in a month’s time. Until then, I was to stay with a distant relative of mine, who had children in college. It was not the perfect situation I would have preferred, but I was ready to roll with it until one of the friends returned; atleast the relatives kids are older !
Since it was late-morning, the office-growing crowd was thin at the station. So was the MRTS train that bawled into the station. I got into general compartment, which was just half-full (I am not the one ever to be blamed for seeing things half-empty…). I got in, made myself comfortable in a window seat and took out the book I was reading. As I opened the book, I heard my cell phone ring…
I picked it up – it showed my house number, should be mom. As I picked the phone up, I let my eyes rove absent-mindedly… I almost gasped – was that guy on the sunny side of the compartment, Surya?
“This is Shalini…”, I answered as a matter of habit and mind being elsewhere. It was mom, wishing me the best on the first day and as she was enquiring about my well-being. I quickly answered my moms few questions and then said byes – I had promised that I will call her later in the day after everything is settled.
I looked at that guy again – He looked very much like Surya in Khaka Khaka !! He had laid his head back on the guardrails of the window and was snoozing – or so it seemed… I took another glance at him. Hmmm… he had serenity in his face – a sort of still calmness that is compelling and makes you look at someone one more time… In his case, I had shamelessly looked many times.
I noticed that he had an ear-plug. There was obviously some music playing, since I could see his fingers drum and his feet tap once in a while. I wonder what music would he be listening – would it be Sheryl Crow that’s on my phone? “Shoot!” I thought – what the heck is this – how long have I been looking at him! I tore myself away, looked out and into the book, that talked about the specifics of product development and management. I had found the book very interesting and absorbing thus far, but in the train, I just could not focus. I was hoping he too was joining my company!
As I looked down at the book, I mentally checked out myself – not bad looking myself, in fact was quite attractive and was told to be photogenic, with a great smile and much greater sense of humor; I was wearing a colorful dress, yet not very stand-out but a simple patterns; I believe it accentuated my personality. I was wearing shades pushed up on to my head. I was wondering if he would see me, when he wakes up or his station comes by.
As the stations rolled on and Taramani was the upcoming one, I discreetly looked myself on my tiny vanity mirror (“looking good”), got up, stole a surreptitious look at Surya – he was still looking handsome, I told myself. I could see early signs of movement on him. I quickly moved and stood in way that I will have to be on his line of sight, just in case he was getting off at the station. As I planted myself on the way, it became quite apparent that he was getting off too… He was taking off his ear plugs and switching off his ipod. I was directly on his way to the door and there is no way he is going to get past me, without looking at me – my heartbeat quickened…
As Surya got up, he looked directly at me, took out his sun-glasses out of his pocket, wore it and took out his stacked white stick, opened it up, tapped it on the ground and moved towards door…
Author's Note: Had to use "Surya", since my DW has a crush on him ! :-)