A middle aged man entered the near empty platform, found an empty bench and sat down.
“Get this man out of my station,” Sam was clueless why sitting on a platform bench is an issue; his boss asked him to sort out the complain of station manager, he had not much of a choice.
“What seems to be the problem?” Sam asked the manager, “does he not have a ticket? Is he acting weird?”
“This man sits on the platform every day,” answered a harried station manager, “god help me if he takes a dive before an incoming train.”
“Why do you think he will take a dive?” asked a puzzled Sam, “has he shown such erratic behaviour?”
“I don’t know, accidents happen all of a sudden,” manager brushed Sam off, “go talk to him, arrest him, get him off my station”.
“Station manager sent you?” the man smiled at Sam, as he sat on the bench by his side.
“How did you guess?”
“He has been trying all kind of things. He sent for station security. Made fixed duration platform tickets mandatory. I cheat them by purchasing a travel ticket. Still, beyond a time, security men evict me,” said the man, “I am not a criminal or suicidal. I have a ticket. I simply love to watch trains.”
“What is there to watch?”
“It is like watching life flowing by. Some fast trains move around like a busybody off to an important assignment.” The man’s face lit up, “they whistle shrilly to announce that they are passing by. Almost expecting everyone to stand up and take a bow.”
“Then there are other trains that are slow coaches. Like a village vagabond, they stop at every station. As if to say hello, shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Sitting on my bench, I stare at faces of travellers. Happy faces of a couple going on a holiday, sad face of a kid going to a boarding school, anxious face of a new bride leaving her home. “
“Simple pleasures of life are also disappearing,” the man said with a tinge of sadness, “can a man survive without an addiction? Some drink, others smoke, a few gamble. Me, I like to sit on a platform bench and watch life go by.
“Your man is no threat to anyone,” reported Sam to station manager, “given a choice I would like to swap my job for a seat on the platform bench.”
This post is written as part of #BlogchatterA2Z Blogging Challenge.