There are many a few incidents which leave a strange mark on your body, your soul, your character or your thinking. Life is a series of such events. Some may be sweet, sour, bitter or bittersweet. Hence, it becomes important to pay heed to cues. A day that looks like an ordinary one might just have an extraordinary ending.
I’ve been suffering from a knee injury from last two weeks. Regular medication has helped the wound but it hasn’t been fully cured. I woke up this morning to a relatively painless knee. I walked my original walk today. I skipped the lift to take stairs. The day had a good start. The work was usual too. I also happened to leave for home on time. I’m glad I did that.
As I usually leave from a Noida metro station, I meet a friend at the same station so we can travel together.
Today, I left her to take a less crowded metro. I was to, now, meet her at Rajiv Chowk (an interlinking station). I missed three metros waiting for her. Together we missed two more metros because we wanted seats on lean our backs on.
“I think I’ve found my man. He would keep me happy!”, she blushed.
“Yeah, right! I was always sure about him for you.”, I said as I gulped our evening snacks.
Her phone rang. It was him. We put on the earphones, each in one of our ears and I listened to their conversation.
“Where have you reached?”, he asked.
“Green Park”, she said matter of factly.
“Isn’t the metro too slow today?”
“No, it usually takes me an hour in the metro alone.”
They then talked what is censored for my blog post and eventually her station came and we bid goodbye.
I was two stations away from my destination. This meant not more than six minutes.
The lady announced the names of the stations and I had to get down at the next one. As I was preparing myself for the exit, collecting my metro card and some cash from my bag, I felt a terrific jerk. We were all shook by a screeching sound. All of us arranged ourselves after being hit by a pole or falling on the co-passengers or seats. The metro had abruptly stopped itself way away from the space allocated for gates to open towards the platforms.
The metro stood still. We could see people on the platform waiting to board the rail.
Seconds passed. Minutes passed. The number of people outside the metro had multiplied. The paleness of people inside the metro had also grown. No one had an idea what had happened.
I had to get down at this station. I was there yet couldn’t be there.
In a few seconds, we saw a handful of DMRC officials running towards our train. Everyone ran past our coach and stared at the rail track. We were trying to adjust our necks in every possible angle to peep at what they were examining. The grave look on their faces registered in us that something wasn’t right.
We tried to be calm. Everyone started calling their aides. We caught a man coming near our coach and using a tool to open the doors manually. As soon as the space was enough to evacuate, everyone rushed outside.
We could see many buzzing groups. Everyone gawked at one particular direction. There were hordes of people trying to assume and spread what exactly had happened.
“There’s this guy who slipped on to the tracks..”
“No, he must have committed suicide. There already are so many such cases!”
“Maybe, someone pushed him.”
The platforms, lifts, escalators had been turned off. The haplessness was still on. Some commuters were trying to figure alternatives to reach home. Some were eagerly waiting to belong to the premium ‘know-it-all’ category. Some were clicking pictures of the crowd that had gathered at the station. No one bothered to help the policemen with actions.
There was a sudden cheer in the crowd. I turned around to witness a miracle. There were too many people around. I had never seen a mass of this size before. I had never been so feeble with hundreds of individuals around. I tried to twist my neck and body in all directions to see what had just happened. I climbed a defunct escalator to gain some height. I could manage to see four army men slogging and dragging a body beneath the tracks between two coaches. The body wasn’t visible. The crowd was moving in sync with the cops moving the body.
The police were trying to take the body towards the emergency exit. I managed to see an already plastered and injured hand. The dusty plaster was now red. I saw rugged blue shoes next. Tints of blue in a blood soaked shirt then caught my attention. A middle aged man had fallen down the tracks and he was covered with blood. Thankfully, his face was safe. He had now been rushed towards safety.
A strange feeling caught me. I don’t understand what is this feeling like. Never have I felt like this before. I didn’t know what or how to react. I don’t know why my eyes were teary. I silently prayed to God for this stranger. I’m sure many did too.
While I took an exit from the station, I saw the body surrounded by the authorities waiting to be transported to an ambulance (which was stuck in traffic). I embraced a tiny smile when I saw a little movement in his right hand. I was glad, God heard the right prayer at the right time. May he recover soon.
I still can’t comprehend the waves my heart was creating or the thoughts my mind was floating with. I don’t know why am I writing this. I just hope we start being thankful for this life by living it through thick and thins.