It is a pleasant morning. My study table is strategically located near the window of my hostel room. There are trees very near to the window, so close as if they want to sneak in. But most of the times, we Indians carry out the important conversations with our friends at the door when they decide to leave. Similarly the trees and I discuss important topics, staying at the opposite sides of the window. I can see the partly cloudy sky. It has just rained, trees seem very happy and the soft rustling suggests as if trees are singing. The mild sun rays are making the rain drops on leaves shine and they look very pure- like pearls created by rain drops in Swati Nakshatra as believed in Indian astrology.
Window seat has always been very special to me. Most of us like window seats when travelling. I like it because it opens me to the outside world. I used to hate travelling by bus when I was a kid. The condition for travelling was window seat as it made puking easier. When not puking I used to keep looking for milestones and count every kilometre anticipating the destination. (I do somewhat similar in some lectures, no I don’t mean vomiting, I mean counting every minute!!!). Though Bus was and is always last option to travel for me, the ‘mature Kunal’ has learnt to enjoy it.
As I started travelling more often by trains, the window seat opened a whole new world for me. Here the probability of getting window seat is lesser and if at all one gets lucky then there is always some kid in the compartment who wants to sit there. As I grew older A.C. coaches became priority because of supposedly sophisticated crowd. But the A.C. coaches don’t offer this ‘luxury’ of looking out through the window. I stand at the doors of compartment for hours and hours together, watching and thinking. Eventually a policeman or T.T. comes and ‘shoo’s me away but I return and open the door again once they are gone.
Standing at the door, especially at night, I keep watching my shadow moving in sync with the movement of train. Once in a while, the train changes track. The perfection with which a train changes tracks and the sound generated takes me back to all the great achievements of mankind and makes me feel proud that I am also a human being, a species which is capable of doing wonders. A cold breeze blows at night, the sky is generally clear and one can see stars everywhere in the sky when the train travels through jungles and villages, a sight which no longer is so beautiful in cities because of pollution. In farms, there is an odd hut. Suddenly I feel an urge to jump from the train, go to the farm and stay there atleast for a night, watching the stars. Most of the philosophical thoughts with which I bug my near and dear ones occur during these journeys.
Once I started earning, I felt now I can travel by aeroplanes as I am no longer dependent on parents. (It is another matter that I invariably used to ask my mom to sponsor flight ticket).The window seat in Aeroplanes takes me to a different world. When plane travels through clouds I feel there can’t be any sight more beautiful than this. The sun rays cut through the clouds; it is an amazing combination of white and gold. The clouds look like fresh cotton. The overall sight makes me feel as if there exists a parallel world at other side of mountains formed of cloud, like Atlantis.
Window seat, where-ever it is, is very special but the aeroplane window seat always reminds me of a song from movie Mission Kashmir:
सो जा चंदा राजा सो जा चल सपनो में चल (Go to sleep, o’ my lovely child, my prince, let us go to dream world)
नींद की परियाँ पहेंके आई पैरों में पायल (The sleep fairies are here wearing anklets)
तुज़ को अपने नरम परो पे लेकर जाएगे (They will take you away for a ride on their soft wings,)
सोने का एक देश है जिसकी सैर कराएगे (for a stroll in a country of gold)