Faces and stories behind 'em..

Life is like a train journey.. every stop some faces get down and some other faces get on board. Everyday we meet a lot of people, but how many do we notice? We already know too much about the familiar faces, which makes them dis-interesting subjects while we don't have time to look at the new faces. But while traveling, you end up staring at every face that comes your way. This is not because they are any special than the ones you see everyday, but because you have time to look at them, imagine a story behind them and in some cases talk and know something interesting about them.

I came across few interesting faces during my trip to Uttaranchal. Some of them are already fading from memory after a week, some are still afresh and a few I know will linger on for quite some time. Some of them are faces I saw with a side glance during the journey, while others I got a chance to interact with. Irrespective of the extend of interaction, all of them were different, unique and had a story to tell.

Connaught place at Delhi was one such location with lots of interesting people. While we were having milk shakes at Keventers, where they serve them in huge bottles, there was an old man with an infected feet, sitting on the pavement and writing something on a paper plate, in beautiful English. I tried to get close and read what he is writing, but he crawled away before I could figure out the small lettering. He must be one of those people who dreamed about a beautiful life at some point in life, but got derailed in the journey towards realizing them. He was unaware of the commotion around him and moved around the pavement with much difficulty. Or perhaps he was trapped in a moment from his past, reliving it every second, without bothering about the passage of time.

Then there was Ivan, an ex-Indian Railway employee, who was stuck there fighting some case regarding his pension. He said that his two sons are well settled in Vancouver, canada and his only daughter is married to an Iranian diplomat. Yet he was wandering the streets like a beggar there, clothed in some old dirty trousers and shirt, begging people for food. He did not want to bother his kids with his problems, and refused our help in getting in touch with any of them. Its strange how life unfolds for some. When you think that all is fine and going great, life will throw one of those surprises at you. It takes no time for your dreams to fall apart, your life to be turned upside down. I don't know whether you can simply categorize all of these twists in life as consequences or accidents!!

I also met a person who offered to clean my ears for Rs. 10 per ear, never realized you could make a living out of other people's ears!! He offered to take a look at my ears for free and afterward promptly reported that they are full of shit. I wanted to tell him that all the shit I hear everyday perhaps got accumulated inside... but I did not. For me, he was representing all those people who refused to bow down before the harshness life dished out to them. He was the champion of the undying human spirit, the thing that urges you to carry on in face of cruel realities. Sometimes life tries to knock it out of you.. striking you down unexpectedly with bolts of surprises. But then you refuse to accept defeat and crawl back into it... that's life in the real sense of the word.

Every face you see, every person you meet, shows you a new angle of life, one you otherwise don't even acknowledge. It teaches you that life is much more profound and vast and is not just made up of the trips to office and shopping malls. Shut in cages like animals, we seldom recognize the world that's outside our immediate surroundings. But then, to live a truly meaningful life, its always good to acknowledge people and situations beyond the well we live in.

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