Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Once Upon the Backside Platform wed 24 sep 2003

to be reworked .. about City Station .. i explored my senses?

Once upon the backside platform of Bangalore City Railway Station, I waited for a train. I'd been sure it would be arriving at the front platform, but no, the station master informed me that I must go to the backside, and quickly.


It smells quite interesting. as i write, the aroma of south indian filter coffee wafts across to me. As i walked down the long long platform, however, i was intermittently accosted by the not-so-appealing stench of stale uring and sewage. This mell too, wafts over to me every now and then. My luck depends on which way the wind is blowing.


That old Indian favourite, the gurgling hack of a man who is about to spit a gob of sticky phlegm onto the floor. An occasional crow. Voices, of course (the ones who talk in Kannada always sound like they're arguing. ) The slap of a porter's rubber chappals against the platform, as he runs towards a potential client. Voices: Tamil, Kannada, Urdu. There must be some English here and there, but it doesn't stand a chance against the volume of our regional languages. A "poda" here, a "saar" there. And floating down from the ceiling, a young woman gently infroms us that the Shatabdi Express will be arriving at 11 a.m. Her announcement over, the speakers now send down some most inappropriate western pop music. it doesn't quite go with the rest of this assault on my senses.

An occasional rap of a wooden stick on the tiles in front of me - intervening with a "bhaiya" and a "saab", as a beggar, mistaking fme for a man, tries to get my attention and some of my money.

I don't give money to beggars. .. f unless they are very very old or very very disabled. Clearly this one is visually challenged (didn't he notice my breasts, for heaven's sake??) but not enough for my charity.

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