Jul 31, 2013

They wore black

Their energetic gestures on the train platform caught my eye. Indian, mid-thirties, attractive and clad in mostly black. He pointed alternately, to himself and her in support of torrential words I could not hear. She held herself perfectly straight and still when she eventually gestured back a reply.

His expression was more concerned (and perhaps a little confused) than angry. She stood with her back to my train so I couldn't tell what expression she wore until she swung around, as if to board. It was a determined sort of resignation.

The air-conditioned hum and snatches of commuter conversation inside my compartment had me resentfully sequestered from the quiet drama unfolding so near by.

As she turned towards the train he pulled at her arm, swinging her around. The mime continued without resistance. The car keys clutched in his hand, as much as her composure, hinted at who was leaving whom .

The platform was emptied of even disembarked commuters by now and the couple had drifted to the steps of the train. This creeping trajectory, determined by her, seemed to say something too.

A blue shirted conductor hovered patiently by with wrist-watched arm subtly extended as he counted down to departure. 

She climbed onto the first step into the train and continued talking rapidly as the conductor finally boarded too. They must have retreated fully inside because on the platform, he walked away a few feet and came to stop right by my window. Hands on hips, he waited with downward cast eyes as our train slowly pulled out past him.

He looked up and in a final sweep of the windows, met and held my eye. I had to look away for an irrational nervousness of being busted for my voyeurism.

She swept past my seat, lurching a bit as the train rocked in the gathering speed. She wore thick eyeliner, a colorful scarf and a carefully closed expression.

As we zipped by, he stood looking up at our car as if he had seen her, and stayed rooted as we chugged out of sight.

I have not seen them again.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you wrote this!! Wow.. it's powerful. Descriptive and concise. Sharp lines and I felt like I was there!