You know what it’s like to wake up in the morning to a blaring alarm and you wonder what sort of perversion in the human mind permitted the invention of such a torturous experience? Till you remember that you set the alarm.

You know what it’s like to bounce out of bed in feigned energy in an attempt to ‘kickstart’ the day and start your yoga to muscles so stiff, they may as well wrap you in plasti-shield and hang you up to display in the butchers’ market?

You know what it’s like to run out of your bath and discover you are 5 minutes late? 5 minutes!! Do you know what 5 minutes look like? I’ll tell you….

5 minutes are the breakfast you would have had in comparative leisure, when you think of the bites of lunch that you will bolt down before a meeting, tea that you will have no time to walk to the vending machine for, the sandwich that the canteen runs out of just before you place your order and dinner that you will nibble at, in what is technically part of tomorrow. 5 minutes.

So last-ditch attempt, you grab a soggy sandwich – your jackpot if you make it to the lottery of a seat on the train.

The autowallah gets to keep the change because you have no time to collect it.

The creep on the bus gets a bonus hard-on squashed up against you since you didn’t have time to wait for a less crowded bus.

And you watch your precious seconds melt away as the senior citizen in the aisle, ambles to the door, patiently sorts through old ticket stubs before handing one over to the TC. And you stop yourself just in time, from thinking the unthinkable.

As you run, you feel your legs start to cramp and remember…that…damn…with your blood pressure, you aren’t supposed to stay hungry OR stressed OR tired. Bully for you, the doctors may as well tell you not to live.

So as you watch the station indicator blink the next train due any minute, telling you that missed yours…and before your eyes, your day collapses like a stack of dominoes even before it has ‘officially’ begun, you wonder…
….why one of those damn bombs didn’t go off in the compartment you were in?
….why you don’t fall off the on-time train and hit your head on the tracks?
….why you don’t get put out of your misery forever?

Do you know what that’s like?

I don’t believe you do. When I read this tomorrow, I will wonder what sort of demented stranger thinks such things. And I’ll be annoyed at the man who steps on my foot in the bus, the girl who barges into the auto that I was actually closer to. I will frown disapprovingly at the evident annoyance in my co-passanger’s face when the old gentleman up ahead climbs down with painfully rheumatic feet. And I will wonder…

Where has all the humanity gone?

Because remembering would mean judgement, remorse, slowing down? Who’s got the time? I’ll probably be running late if I did. Otherwise as well.

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12 thoughts on “Running late”
  1. Babe – this is the most brilliant way anybody – lemme repeat – ANYBODY – has ever potrayed those crucial all important crazy mad rushing five minutes of a whacked morning.

    I could not stop chuckling at your wit and sniggering at the way I identify with it. So totally. lol

  2. In every word I read… I saw myself… Very true… being in Mumbai I’ve experience all of it and more…

    Just one more point though…

    Every time this thing happens to anyone of us… more often than not the reaction is… “Ok! Let me get through this and I’ll make up for it. Tomorrow would be fine…”

    Tomorrow never comes… but the hope remains…

  3. @ ???: That’s the login, isn’t it? Sorry about that, WP is silly that way sometimes. When I first signed up, I couldn’t reply to my comments as they kept sending my comments into my own spam box!!! I wrote to the Help section and they sorted it out pronto, though.

    @ Australopithecus: Actually as much as I crib, I think the railways are run very well!

    @ Brad: 🙂

    @ S: Will do so at earliest….you won’t mind a delay till I have the time and brains to put out a well-thought out post, I hope?

    @ greekalphabet: 🙂 And I was only half-kidding…

    @ Nikhil: Ah, well, the city-never-gives-up spirit. Sometimes I love it, sometimes it kills me.

    @ Ashwin: Oh god, yes. Misery does not always love company.

    @ chrissy: 🙂

    @ Deepika: :-p

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