A house by the railway track

The house by the railway track with a porch where I will stand and watch the trains pass by, whistling and rattling, is all my heart desires. As I stand and watch, I will wonder about those people occupying the coaches in the trains, about their lives, their journeys and the destinations that they are seeking. As I strain my eyes to sketch faces and forms in my imagination from those silhouettes or just shadows in the glass windows of the passing train, I will script their stories, happy and sad, in my mind. I will ponder upon many tales, some told, some untold, some still unfolding, that the train carries along. Our lives, which we often consider banal, can be so fascinating and mysterious when we look at the silhouettes through the stained glass windows of trains hurrying by.

A small house is all I want, maybe just two rooms and a little porch, and a big courtyard with a lot of trees, some fruit trees and some flowering trees – coconut, lemon, guava and off course red and yellow Gulmohar and flame of the forest lighting my big courtyard. I will tend to the trees in the morning and teach the village kids in the evening. I will walk to the local market to pick up fresh vegetables and fruits for my meals, having enough time between my chores to stop and listen to the birds sing or watch flowers bloom. I will sometimes watch the clouds float in the clear blue sky or count the stars on a starlit night. My days will leisurely float into each other so that I can feel every moment I live.

I have been dreaming about a small house by the railway track ever since I was a little girl when I would travel to my maternal grandparents’ place in Lucknow on a train every summer with my mother and sisters. Those travels, as the train left the city and entered more rural areas, fed my imagination. The small houses by the railway tracks fascinated me. I could sometimes see a figure standing on the porch or peeping through the window. I could try to imagine about those people in the little houses by the railway track, their lives, their stories. No matter how ordinary their lives may have been to me they seemed fascinating. Maybe it’s just the perspective, the angles from which we look at our lives, that makes it fascinating.

As I sprint through my life now, sometimes intrigued, often unable to make sense of mad the rush that most of us are in, all my heart desires is that small house by the railway track. Standing on its porch, like of one those faint figures that I watched as a little girl, as want savour every bit of life leisurely passing by!

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