A sweaty train ride and no where to go


Just for the record, to update you on last night’s post, I did not sleep well at all. It was really hard for me to stay focused and I found my thoughts running in all directions, about a hundred of them per minute. However, I did wake up feeling more assured of the positive and fulfilling things that would soon be a part of my life. There was a renewed hope and a feeling of lightness. I received a call from a psychologist I had been trying to get in touch with for weeks now and who is well known in the field. It was nice speaking to someone who has been in the field in Mumbai for several years and getting the lay of the land from her was helpful in many ways. I then got a call from a potential client and had a session set up with him for sometime this week. Things were picking up on this warm Tuesday morning. Perhaps, being the day dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles was showering me with his blessings, telling me that I have nothing to fear and that things will work out, just as they were meant to be, until…..

The highlight of my afternoon was a meeting with one of the top psychiatrists in Mumbai at Hiranandani Hospital in Powai. Powai is a good one and a half hour journey from my part of the city and, for a person such as me who does not own a vehicle, involves the use of multiple trains and a rickshaw. I got dressed up for the meeting, requested my neighbor to let the maid in in my absence, and marched on to the railway station where I purchased a return ticket. So far, so good. I got onto the train and got off at Dadar, the hub, the big mama where all trains meet and trickle into the several hundred arteries of the city. I was in a daze…..swarms of people moving through out the station, several announcements echoing through and through, trains moving in all directions and to all destinations….I was in a daze!

What was most amazing were the rivers of sweat running down my face and down my back and stomach as I frantically changed platforms and hopped from the Western Railway Line to the Central Railway Line. I couldn’t believe it. You could have thrown a bucket of water on my face and my face would not be dripping as much as it did when i was at the station. And when I looked around the thousand faces that passed me by, hardly any of them were sweating. It felt like I was on another planet, with its won temperature and climate.

Long story short, I got on the train and am pleased that 1) I did not pass out from the heat and the sweat, and 2) That I stayed calm in the face of a trillion people surrounding me (something I have not experienced in 10 years!!!). But of course, as I previously mentioned, the elephant god had other plans for me. When I got on to the next station, I saw that I received a text message from the person I was to meet. I was going to look at it, but first decided to ask the passenger next to me if I was going in the right direction. The young girl, who looked like she had been riding the trains since she was 5 years, stated that I was traveling in the wrong direction. I immediately panicked and knew that now I was going to be delayed, and what kind of an impression would that give to the chief psychiatrist? I jumped off the train, after having forced myself through 15 other bodies that were trying to get in. I looked at the text which stated, “Where are you? Are you close by?” I responded and texted back stating that I would be there in 30 minutes. There were a few exchanges back and forth, the psychiatrist determining which station I was at, how I was getting there, and finally, letting me know he had to attend to an emergency. In the meanwhile, I asked the owner of a magazine stall at the platform if I was indeed going in the wrong direction. He answered in the negative and I was sad that I got off the train and that I now had to wait for the next one. But, nothing is an accident and there are no such things as coincidences….at least according to Richard Bach. As I was waiting for the next train, I received another text from the psychiatrist letting me know that he would not be able to see me after all. I was really amazed at how I was misguided by the young girl (who looked like she knew what she was saying) and forced to get off the train, only in time to receive this disappointing news. So, I decided that instead of getting upset, I would sit a while at the station, do some people watching, make my way back home, and cool down with some fresh coconut water. And that’s exactly what I did.

Now, as I think back on my day, I still believe that positive and fulfilling things will soon be a part of my life. It is only a matter of time.

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