7th January, the new year.
I was just in time and caught the 12:50 last Borivali local from Churchgate. There is Bandra, few minutes later, and then last Virar at 1, which for some reason I never rely on.
I wish I had looked at him more carefully. If he was drunk, or depressed, or whatever, I wish I had seen his face. Traced something, helped him maybe… or simply let him know he was noticed.
He stood at the door. Short guy, I believe wearing a reddish shirt. Slipped down so quietly as the train picked speed at Grant road station. Or was it Charni road I just can’t place.
What I do remember is that split of a second where I saw him try to reach out to the vertical bar at the door. I will never forget. And then he vanished. No sound, no texture, no color, no disturbance. If he was a magician, I’d say it was his finest trick. But that’s the thing; I don’t know who he was. And I realized twenty seconds later, as the train started to move again after a quick pause and the few people who had got down hoped back in hurriedly… Nobody worried.
Somewhere in the background the speaker growled, last train to Virar had been cancelled and the inconvenience caused was regretted. Everyone was instantly happy.
It was hard not to be. There was no visual cue to evoke sorrow, even for us who did get down to inspect. And too little time. The only red on the sides was the paan and tambaaku peek. For an incident so horrid, it was shamelessly clean.
It could well have been me. It could well have been you.
Rest in Peace Brother.