Buzz! Buzz! Of course I immediately thought of bees and locusts swarming. But one could be in a swarming sea of humans. Like the one time on one of my trips to Mumbai I tried to mistakenly rely on past laurels…the art of boarding a train effortlessly. I thought I would give my two sons, 4 and 5 years old, the thrilling experience of travelling by train.
As the crowds swelled in anticipation of the train’s arrival, there was a corresponding growing fear in my stomach. This is not how it used to be when I went to college on a train. Here, everyone looked like a pro and I the “Phoreign returned” Indian was already sorry that I thought of this foolish idea as the swell of people already pushing and pressing against the three of us was scary. What was I thinking? My fear was now for my sons and also myself as a woman.
There was a further jostling, pressing and pushing forward to the edge of the platform at which time we had no more control of where we stood or how we would board the train. I heard the train arriving and saw it as it crawled, slowing down for a halt with a grinding of the wheels. I grabbed their hands tightly and we were literally like a wave of humanity, swarming onto the train with no effort of our own but were just lifted and transported onto the train by being pushed.