Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cause and Effect

Two men met under a board at a station. It was early morning, and there was no train on the platform. The two men carried identical suitcases. They exchanged them without further ado.

No on saw them. A group of coolies stood nearby, but they were busy commenting on a girl. The girl went away soon after, and the coolies quietened down.

The first man went to a room in the station house and opened the suitcase. It contained, among other things, a set of freshly laundered clothes. He quickly changed. While he was changing, he heard the train chugging into the station slowly.

He spent some time praying. The babble of voices outside rose steadily.

He came out of the station house. Earlier, he had been an anonymous man in a checked shirt. Now he was an authoritative clipboard, and a dark jacket over a white shirt and trousers. A crowd of people converged on him, gesticulating, negotiating, pleading, arguing.

The unlucky ones got seats. The lucky ones went away, cursing the clipboard and the dark jacket.

The man suddenly realized that he had forgotten the suitcase. He went back inside the station house and got it. He tucked it safely under his seat. The train left the station with a final whistle.

The second man went back to his house and opened the suitcase. The suitcase contained money in thick wads. The man had not seen so much money in his life. He went to a nearby hospital and paid a bill. They finally released his daughter's body.

A while later, there was an explosion. Several bogies of a train fell off a bridge. Others hung down from the rails, and it was like a garland of bogies on the neck of the bridge. The river was a deep one, and it flowed on, unmindful.

• • •


Anonymous said...

Bravo Bravo...

I notice you have written this at 7:28 am... you're scaring me... its Saturday right.. and you're at home... oh the story was nice too... just that the thought of waking up at 7 is kinda scary... Hey I have an awesome image in my head... imagine... the train is your 'train of thought' and the man in the dark jacket is a person who often 'wrecks' your train of thought while the man who needed the money is the 'train wreckers' friend who facilitates wrecking the train by offering advice to the train wrecker... the advice being the 'bomb'... I'm Awesome!!!!

Jade said...

Sigh... Grumpy, I thought of no such metaphor when I wrote it. I woke up with the story in my head, so I quickly wrote it down in fifteen minutes. I woke up at seven because I'm a early bird rather than a night owl, unlike you and your wife!

Btw, I'm curious to know your guess at the identity of this 'train-wrecker' of my thoughts. ;)

Farcenal said...

Grim but beautiful. Short and sweet. 10/10.

buddy said...


Sharath C George said...

hey.pretty cool post.but r u gonna continue the story?stumbled upon ur blog wen i was googling the legal age for drinking in kerala