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Monday, September 21, 2009

Just in passing

I remember a train journey I once undertook from Kerala to Mumbai where for the most part I did nothing but tree-gazing. I was in the ladies compartment with other ladies for company but travelling alone and just sitting at the window looking at the trees outside. Which were densely packed and verdant in Kerala but grew sparser as we travelled through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. I remember I got through the whole journey without feeling the need to lie down except at night when it was dark outside and the trees invisible, and with no mental tedium that is usually associated with such long journeys. It was somehow more fascinating than talking to my co-passengers, engaging in small-talk and exchanging pleasantries. It was during that journey that I realised that trees have a character of their own, no matter how deformed, broken or dwarfed they might be. They in their wooden silence communicated far more than humans do in their animated talk. Maybe it’s because trees can’t be anything else but themselves. While humans beings are role-playing most of the time. It must have been a truly memorable journey because that’s the only one that stands out in my memory all these years and so many other train journeys later.