Thursday 3 November 2016

S32: "The Beloved Railway track"

I woke up to the drizzle which was falling on my face through the window, the soft sprinkles of rain accompanied by a pleasant wind. Slowly, I opened my eyes rubbing off the rain drops on my face. I saw a train passing by which was making no noise and was going very slowly and calmly. I felt as though it was tip toeing its way out so as not to disturb my sleep.

My relationship with the trains is so special, as my house is located just near by a round the clock busy railway track.

But the rain was very playful enough to peek into my house through my window and woke me up.

I woke up, dragged my bed a little bit off the window as I don't want to ignore the weather.

It seemed like the wind is also in a good mood, not too mild, not too harsh, and just as pleasant that can turn anyone’s day around.

I opened my laptop and checked all my social media websites for updates- now which became the first thing after waking up.

I reached to my camera and checked the photos which I clicked yesterday, connected the usb cable to copy them to my laptop.

Meanwhile, I took bath and dressed up.

‘Breakfast’, I said to myself and looked at the watch and kitchen.

‘No time to make it. I will have it outside’, I put the laptop and camera in my bag and was ready to hustle and to start the day.

I am a photographer-which is apparently not a 9 to 5 job, which is a 9 to 9 job, which can be 12hrs or even 24hrs. I roam across the streets and take photos of the remarkable buildings, monuments, streets, food or even traffic. I click everything and make it look eye-catching and wondrous through my camera lens. 

I get projects and have to work for them along with managing my daily posts on the social media. If it is a 9 to 5 job, you will get holidays or leaves or bonus, but here we get nothing. It’s always work without expecting anything in return.

I walk through the streets irrespective of the timings and I see the world through my camera lens.

After getting a bit popular on the internet and successfully finishing many projects, my dream project knocked my door.

I was on cloud nine; I got belief on the quote ‘work hard and dreams do come true’

It was a very huge project which I always dreamt of and I was working like an obsessed person without proper food and sleep the whole week.

I completed the project a day before the deadline and it was the most satisfactory feeling ever. The only thing left is to organize the photos and I was all set to submit it.

I sat on the train back to my home. I was hell tired and every part of my body was aching. I can’t wait to reach my home and sleep.

 I was a very tired soul. My eyes were shutting down without my consent.

Suddenly, a loud horn alarmed my ears. It was the train sound which woke me up. I didn’t even know when I fell fast asleep and slipped into a deep sleep.

I rubbed my eyes and sit aright to get down on the station as the train was about to reach in 5minutes.

That moment I discovered my bag was missing which made my heart to stop for a minute. I stood up and checked the whole cabin high and low and asked everyone. I was trembling to death.

It has everything in it- my cameras, lenses, laptop and to say in one word – My entire life.

I didn’t know what to do. I was still thinking that it was a dream.

But the person who was sitting on the side berth told me that the guy who was sitting beside me took the bag and got down on the preceding station.

I ran and got the other train to the previous station and I checked the whole station, the places around the station running like a maniac.

The sun was setting down, the street was turning dark and so did my dreams. I was sitting on the road hopeless and helpless. I couldn’t control my tears.

My entire photos, data and the big project which I had been working my ass off were in that bag. Everything was gone in a moment.

Tears burst out from my eyes, ‘How can I be so careless?’, I shouted. ‘My dreams’

Suddenly someone touched my shoulder, I turned and saw it was Aarav, the little boy whom I met a couple of times when I went there to shoot.

‘Anna’, he said looking at me worried and confused.

I was still crying as I couldn’t stop them.

‘What happened?’, he asked.

‘I lost my camera, lenses and my laptop. When I was travelling back to my home, I slept unknowingly and someone stole my bag. It has all the data and my whole life is in it’, I continued to cry.

I am not sure how much he understood but he was so empathetic and was trying to console me. I didn’t stop. No words could equate my pain at that moment.

Then he ran from there. After a few minutes, he came back along with his parents.

‘What happened?’, his father asked me. I was crying like a little boy who lost his toy.

‘My camera and my laptop’, I wept loudly.

He held my hand and hugged me.

‘Come let’s go’, his mom said.

We four walked to their house. It was a tiny hut across the street and it was surrounded by a few other huts.

Aarav’s father works at a construction site and his mom works in a house as a maid.

I walked in and I saw everything was neatly arranged and it was much better than my room. As it was so orderly arranged, it looked like there is much space.

They offered me food to eat and they were trying so hard to console me.

I ate the food and asked,’Is there any bus to the next station?’

‘Yes, but it is too late now. There won’t be any buses now, only trains. The next bus is at 6am tomorrow morning’, he said.

I looked at my watch and saw it was already 2am. I didn’t want to board the train at any cost. I felt like my very close friend betrayed me. The relation I had with trains got shattered.

‘If you don’t mind, can I stay here this night, I will go tomorrow for the first bus?’, I asked them.

They looked at each other for a moment and he said, ‘I don’t think you can feel comfortable here’

‘It’s okay, don’t worry about me. If you have no problem I will stay here’, I said.

They smiled and nodded happily.

Aarav and I slept side by side and they slept a little bit aside from us. They gave me more blankets to make it as a bed.

I didn’t get any sleep that night. I was still wishing God to get my camera back somehow. I rewound my mind many times to think how it happened, but I didn’t remember anything at all.

Aarav put his one leg and hand on me and was sleeping very peacefully.

Though my heart didn’t want me to sleep, my tiredness lured me into sleep for a couple of hours.

The next morning they woke me up. Aarav also woke up so early and he told me that he will drop me to the bus stand on his cycle.

He has the busiest schedule than me. In the early morning, he delivers newspaper and after that he go to the school and in the lunch time, he delivers lunch boxes to a few employers and manages to eat and again go back to the school. In the evening, he works at a small hotel as a waiter.

Aarav loves to read. While delivering the newspaper, he reads the daily headlines and in the evening, he reads the different newspapers, magazines which are available in the hotel.

I was pedalling the cycle and aarav was rolling the paper and was throwing carefully at the houses. 

Then he left me at the bus stand and I headed back to my home.

I got used to see the world through camera lens and now that I won’t have it, I feel like I am missing a body part of mine.

Suddenly, I heard the train sound and I banged the window close. I couldn’t hear it or see it as the incident is still flashing over my eyes.

The project was gone and my life was gone. I took my phone and updated with tears in my eyes.

‘I lost my cameras, lenses and laptop, the biggest breakdown in my life. Taking some time out from all this, will be back soon. Good bye’

I phoned my family and told them what happened. They didn’t scold me as I was already depressed.

No matter what I do, I couldn’t escape from the sound of the train in my house. There was a train for every few minutes which was reminding me of my lost bag and lost dreams. It was sprinkling pepper on my wounds.

I decided to go to aarav’s place as I couldn’t survive here anymore with the trains and memories.

I started to aarav’s place. Everything I see, I feel like I wish I had a camera to click. I started to click with my phone. Though the photos don’t compete with my DSLR’s quality, they didn’t disappoint me either.

I stayed with them for few days, going with aarav, delivering the newspapers, dropping him at school, helping their parents. I liked aarav more and more every day, though he got very little things, he will always find something to be happy for. He always has a smile on his face. Even the pettiest of things makes him happy.

‘Today I took a leave anna, we will go and roam around the city’, he said.

‘Okay’, I said and we took his cycle and started wandering across the streets.

We stopped at a signal and suddenly an Audi car hit us. Nothing happened to us but the car driver started to scold us. I started to scold back as there was no mistake from our side.

A suited man got down from the back seat and I thought he will also scold us.

‘Two wheeler or four wheeler, cycle or Audi, a mistake is a mistake’, I said to myself.

‘Hey I know you, you are Abhiram right? The AR photography?’ , he said.

‘Yes’, I stumbled.

‘Hi, Nice to meet you’, he shook my hand.

‘Nice to meet you too’, I said.

‘I am sorry about this’, he said.

‘How about a coffee and a quick meeting’, he said and gave me his visiting card.

I was shocked and I stammered,’Sure’.

‘At sharp 5pm’, he said and got into his car.

The red traffic signal turned green and I wondered whether it was a green signal for the road or for my life.

‘Do you want to come with me?’, I asked Aarav.

He saw the visiting card and said ‘Oh, I know this office. It’s a very big office. I delivered food for a few employers a few months before’

‘That’s cool’, I said.

At 5pm sharp-

‘Hi Abhiram’, he said.

‘Hi sir’, I said and shook his hand.

‘We actually have a very big project in our mind and we are looking for good and professional photographers for that. We shortlisted some profiles online which we found interesting and you are one of those. Do you have any other photos with you or that’s all which are on your profile?’, he asked looking at my photos on his laptop.

‘I lost my laptop, cameras and lens a few days back. So that’s all what I have’, I said.

‘Yeah, I got to know about it and I am so sorry’, he said.

‘But I clicked some photos recently in my phone if you want to see’, I said and showed the photos.

‘These are not what I usually click, but recently due to the major changes in my life, I enjoy clicking these types of photos. Normally I have photos of huge architecture, landscapes, nature, extravagance and lavish photos’

‘But in the past week, how things carved made me to click photos which have happiness in it-The portraits, the smiles, the little joys and everything which radiates happiness’

He was scrolling down the photos and was smiling.

‘Before, when people see my profile and photos, they used to say ‘wow’, but now I want people to have a smile on their faces like you have now. And that is making me so happy and I am thinking to continue this’

He smiled and gave the phone back.

‘Mr. Abhiram, you have everything which we exactly wanted for our project. We want to sign you in if you are interested’, he said.

‘It will take some time sir as I don’t have a camera now’, I said.

‘Don’t worry about that, we can arrange that’, he replied.

‘Like office camera?’, I asked.

‘No we will buy you a new camera and a laptop. Not office ones’, he laughed.

I was smiling and at that moment happiness was sewing my broken heart.

Sometimes, the situations in life will be like piggy bank, it should be broke into pieces to get the money from inside.

‘I am in’, I said.

I walked out of the cabin and saw aarav was chitchatting with some of the employers. He saw me and ran towards me.

‘Anna, what happened?’, he asked.

I hi-fived and hugged him.

‘I got a job, a camera and a laptop’, I said. ‘To say it simply, I got my life back’.

We both smiled and hugged again.

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