It was almost a month since Sunil had migrated to the city in search of some work. After the stillness of his village, the traffic, the crowds, and the vastness of the city had scared him for a while. But soon he fell in love with the Life of this city. Most of all. with the lifelines of this hustling-bustling city, the trains!
As the crowded ‘Virar Fast’ pulled in at Borivali station, he boarded it again, for the fourth time today. He loved every bit of the journey. The crowds did not dampen his excitement neither did he notice the suspicious glances. He was oblivious to the fact that his to and fro journey from Virar to Borivali four times in a row, had him spotted by the railway police.
But nothing about Sunil seemed conspicuous. He was just a normal guy, in his early 20s, wearing creased and misfit formals. But unlike the rest, he seemed to be very happy about having to travel in the crowded local trains. Hundreds of people cramped into one compartment, brushing past him, not bothered, not judging.
As the police started an inquiry into him, Sunil made his way back to his small house near Virar station, content and happy. For the first time in his small life, he felt equal with the rest. Much unlike his village, people shared a space with him; regardless of his colour or caste. No demeaning looks, no discrimination. Sunil was no longer an ‘untouchable’.
He understood why they called Mumbai as the city of dreams! His dream came true here; the city absorbed him into its many folds. He was finally “accepted” into the society!
© 2019 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
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