“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Passing Scenery

 Courtesy: whotalking.com
While in a train from north to south,
Past the paddy, the groves, the lagoons,
Past where pearls glitter in sun,
Someone I love passed me by.

In a train from south to north,
Past the streams, the ponds, the lakes
On the tracks west to where I sat,
In that train fleeing past,
My son, my uttermost love, passed me by.

In that train that flew past me,
In the blur of faces that swept past me,
One was my son, my uttermost love.

I, in a train running north to south,
My heart in a train running south to north.


K was home for two days; that was his surprise birthday present to P. I couldn’t be with him today, I had to be at work. Then, in the afternoon, I rode this train from Alleppey to Trivandrum; and K in a train from Trivandrum to Bangalore.  Somewhere near the bewitchingly beautiful lake at Paravoor, our trains crossed, going in opposite directions. I strained to look the fast moving train, hoping to catch a glimpse of K’s face. How silly! I know, but I was awed; I wanted to tell the guys who sat near me, ‘Look, look, my son is in that train!’  Then as we crossed the Paravoor Kayal, the water was silvery and pearly and the sun was so radiant and the breeze was so cool and my eyes were wet and I  got a glimpse of the vast sea beyond.

************** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 22.09.2012


  1. Extremely emotional there.I am wondering how a string of words'passed by me' can carry whole lot of emotions, pathos with it..

    Being a reader is something I always loved..I am sorry friend,I have nothing to give you,such a harmonious world of words,for you to enjoy..Because it's a blessing to read,re-read,find the beauty,touch
    the pain,build a world of your own...finally to wet yourself.(Thank you)

    Hugs, (but I am disagreeing with the name of this poem.Such an emotional pride to be named as Indian railways ? )

  2. Emotional, touching!
    Glad see your wonderful lines.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Perhaps the name lend to the post is debatable.

    Beside that, I felt the moment I saw the picture of the natural mirror on the lake, I decided that this post must be a telling one. Indeed it is.
    I can empathise. And I feel all fathers can!

  4. @Melange: Thank you, M! In fact, while scribbling the lines in the little notepad, I too wondered at the line - 'Someone I love just passed me by' and the line kept on recurring in my mind like a chant and I thought of the happiness and pain that love can bring, of togetherness and parting with those you love, you love in all its entirety...

    The name Indian Railways popped up because I thought such emotions of parenthood are uniquely Indian, you always read how weak are family relations in the west and how strong that they are in India. Railways - the two parallel tracks running through the heart of India, as if it will never end, as if it lead to eternity - there is something unfathomably saddening about railway tracks....

    Perhaps I will change the title later, but I doubt...

  5. @Cherian: Glad you liked it! I myself am mystified how such simple lines could carry that heavy burden of emotions - and am so happy that it could strike a chord in the readers!
    Are you in India?

  6. @Anil: Dey, Perhaps if I put the title after the poem? Or I will delete the 'Indian'.

    The railways tracks is central to the theme of the poem. And the passing of each other in opposite directions - despite the intimacy of father-son love, our lives are different and unique and we travel in life through tracks though lying close by and parallel are/will be never the same. As older men we travel towards sunset and our children, to the bright mornings. The railway tracks, though a cliche', is a perfect metaphor for life...

  7. This is the third time You may have changed the post title. The Rail Road was good, made sense with the emotions you expressed and its underlying feel.

    If one accepts sunset as an optical illusion then one need not mourn that the old are travelling into sunset.
    I hope you agree.

  8. "I, in a train running north to south,
    My heart in a train running south to north."

    Loved these lines so so much...

  9. Good one Balan Sir! We can clearly understand your state of mind.

  10. awesome post Mr.balan in our blog blog.travelkhana.com you can find some good articles about Indian railways so visit it leave a response

  11. such a limbic love! Every word glistened and every word was deeply felt in the same vein by us, as it was by you. Every parent will go through this, someday even K will :) thats the beauty of this love.


  12. @Elizabeth, Hepziba, Sujata: Glad you all could connect! :-)

  13. That is a lovely image!


  14. I think you enjoyed a lot. Anyway all the best for your next trip.
    Kpn Travels


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