Midnight sounds. A train, dusty and weather-beaten, disgorges its passengers to the metallic clang of a tea vendor on a sleepy platform. Shouts of recognition, running feet, metal on metal doors slammed shut. The whoosh of airbrakes before the wheels take up their song. The scrolling neon on black signage with tempting names, hints of long distance journeys that stir the blood- Gauhati-Bhuj. Chandigarh- Kochi. Red and blue lines crisscrossing the country. Dust . sweat. Boredome. A promise. Blurred voices over the announcement system, at an everyday job. You shake someone awake and claim your berth as the train ambles out. It’s twelve minutes past midnight.
Red eye. Suddenly it’s not something that happens when fist connects with said eye. DSCW 30, basic basic but oh so beautiful. One flounders, an edgy all thumbs, marvels at the ingenuity and frets about being able to do some sort of justice.
Virii mutate. That’s basic science. Overflowing private hospitals, temperatures readings that start at a hundred three, symptomatic treatment for the want of anything better to do, patients four to a room, crowded beds in corridors and too early discharges to accommodate the rush of new patients. Is C’gunia an epidemic yet? Not so, according to the powers that rule. Let them eat cake.