Balcony Piece IV

Most of the people in the metro train rushed out of the cool coach at Kashmere Gate where they always rush into the returning one. I have always pondered about Ezra Pound’s poem “In the Station of Metro” when the train stops at this station: I rarely saw some faces which I would refer to as “petals on a wet, black bough” as the poet did; but they were not faces I would dub as “apparition…in the crowd”.
When the coach was left with few people sitting and a few empty seats, a sort of apparition of two faces hit my mind across from where I sat. The first sitting on the far corner of the seat crossing his bony legs had rested his disheveled greyish head on his right hand whose elbow was rooted on his thigh. His wrinkled, pale face covered with sparse snowflakes of beard looked to have been pensive for ages. The depth of his thought do not seem to have no space to accommodate a little thought about his darkening kurta and trousers that have some traces of their previous whiteness. He was there while he wasn’t there at the same time.
The other, next to the first one, sitting on the edge of the seat with wide apart legs that are disproportionately thin compared to his pot belly and perspiring clean-shaved face was mumbling to himself. His eyeglasses continuously slid down due to his perspiration, and he tirelessly put it up in its place. I thought he must be one of the profs headed to campus taking a look at his bag hanging from his left hand. His inability to sit properly but on the edge brought him to the foreground; his unheard but mumbled thoughts as he shot his eyes sideways made him appear to worry for the whole world.
The announcer on the speaker said, “Agla station Vidhan Sabha.” The first man did not move a single nerve but continued staring somewhere as if his thoughts sat on his ears. The second one didn’t miss the announcement and he made a move to get ready to alight. Unable to stand up, he supported himself on the shoulders of the other and grabbed the handle from the ceiling. He walked on not looking back on whose shoulder he supported himself to stand up and got off the train.

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