Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm sitting on the steps outside the Metro station at Central Secretariat, waiting for a friend. It's a mild day, almost warm - the bright winter sunshine falls upon me and warms my face and arms.

The road is blocked up for construction of some sort. A police jeep stands in the distance, the khaki-clad men watching everyone suspiciously. People scurry in and out of the Metro station. Buses, both Blueline and DTC, come screeching into the bus stop lane. The conductors recite place names in the poetry of long practice. Sweater- and muffler- and jacket-clad people get on and off.

They look curiously at me, this girl sitting nonchalantly on the steps in the sunshine. Huge shades, blue jeans, black Fab India kurta and black kashmiri shawl. A typical DU girl, yet not. Clothes a little out of fashion, surely? And a bit too much self-assurance, perhaps?

I still recognize the bus numbers, I find. After all, haven't I stood at this same bus stop hundreds of times, waiting for that magic numbered bus - the 610? Two years ago, I was one of this crowd, hurrying out of the Metro station to catch the connecting bus. Floaters and jeans and backpack - everything as comfy as possible for the three hour commute each day. Impatient to get home, not looking anybody in the face, perpetually hunting the distance for any sign of 'my' bus.

I look at them, these current DU kids, and they all look so young. Yes, that's me, all of twenty-one, barely a year out of college, saying that. They do, they really do. Especially the guys, trying to look cool in their low-slung jeans and their plugged-in i-pods and their gelled hair. Surely, we never looked like that? Or is it the fact that I'm out of all of it that makes me see the reality that always was?

My friend arrives. We hug, and enter the station. Now I'm part of the crowd again.
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