Aug 2, 2005

Train

I love train journeys. Just got back from a trip to madurai. It was fascinating to watch my fellow passengers. There was the returned NRI, who as expected felt compelled to say that he had lived abroad for many many years before coming back, within the first 3 minutes of the conversation. There were the two women one in software another in hotel industry who kept me awake with their discussion on their respective jobs and the relative merits of ICSE and CBSE syllabus. There was the quiet gentleman reading a philosophy book who ate peanuts and fruits for dinner. Then the boisterous crowd of software professionals returning from a jolly time at kodaikanal.

Solomon Pappayya, the tamil scholar and well known TV personality traveled with us. It was heartening to hear chaste tamil. I wondered if he would be available for a discussion on 'thembavani' and 'paramartha guruvum cheedargalum', but decided to leave the poor man alone. He was already deep into getting informed every five minutes by fans that they have seen him on TV. I always have mixed feelings about how to react to a celebrity you like. My friend says, you have to show the person you admire him, that that is encouraging to him/her. I prefer to just acknowledge appropriately and then leave them alone.

I should write my train stories one of these days.

I sat through 10 hours worth of literature class, during the weekend. It was great fun to listen to a lecture on John Donne and Marvel in the middle of a sunday afternoon accompanied by the drone of a fan and the trees sighing outside. The sun shone on, a distant train passed with its usual exuberance and I wondered how great words live on for centuries.

August 02, 2005