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

Monday, March 11, 2013

In a Train

A Journal Entry: 1435 hrs 02.03.2013

In the Gorakhpur - Trivandrum Rapti Sagar Express. The train is yet to leave Alleppey. Standing at the door of a sleeper compartment, I watch a bald, old porter in a red shirt and lungi taking my bicycle along to the Break Van at the rear of the train. I look at my bicycle, moving along with the man, clattering and shivering, but tame, tame like a baby elephant walking with its mahoot. I look my bicycle which has served me so well during the last one and a half years of stay at Alleppey. This inexplicable sorrow wells up, along with tender love for the bicycle. How silly I am! Yet how much I owe to that piece of steel and rubber ! The early morning rides on my bicycle is what kept me sane and happy in this place. Not a single tyre puncture all these months. Somebody stole the 6 speed gear unit one day, yet we managed to ride on.

My days at Alleppey is coming to an end. I will leave the service of Punjab National Bank after a stint of 32 years, 4 months and 28 days, on 28.03.2013. I have about 38 days leave left in credit, so I will absent myself on sick grounds for the next 3 weeks, report back on 25th March and work till 28th, to an unceremonious retirement. It is VRS, so there will not be any bank-sponsored tamashas; I have already warned my colleagues that I won't accept any parting gifts; maybe we will sit together and they might say how glad they were to have worked with me and I will make corresponding noises. It remains a fact though, that I had loved all my colleagues in this branch - we had the best working atmosphere, compared to all the branches I have worked in my long career. I will miss them.

The train leaves the station. The passing scenes are so familiar. Each is etched on my mind. I move from the known, the familiar to the unknown and unfamiliar. I do not know what future will hold for me; not that I knew, but like the train that now change tracks, I too am changing my worn tracks. I do not fear, I do not dread the new, but I calmly wait with an open mind to accept whatever life would bestow on me.

Balachandran V, in train from Alleppey to Trivandrum, 02.03.2013A


  1. The cycle, I would like to believe, is a symbol. May it take you to greener, calmer pastures as you’re about to leave the dreary monotonous path you’d been treading. Once again, all the best, sir, have a good time.

  2. @Arun: Thanks, Anil, I sure will! :-)

  3. Balan, welcome!!! (Am already feeling like a retired man. It feels good!)

  4. I guess this is where life begins. Wishing you the very best!

  5. @Venu: Great!

    @RGB: Yes, RGB, finally! :-)

  6. I am sure you are looking ahead for that wonderful time with your family, Sally and Sancho and your other interests.

    I so so loved that header photograph Balan. The calf is so adorable, such a darling. Lucky one you are to have got the calf's adoration

  7. I can't stop looking at the photo. Look at the way you two are smiling. Both are so comfortable with each other!

  8. Enjoy your retirement period :) now its completely you and only you time :)

  9. A feel of sincere warmth surrounded me as I went through this piece.
    The pictures, particularly the first two added to the warmth.
    Wish you are having a wonderful time with your family.

  10. @Insignia: That picture! You don't know the half of it; nor can I tell you about the bliss I experienced. I will post about it soon!

    @Remya: Yup, Remya, Inshallah, I will make good use of time from now on! Thanks for dropping by!

    @Ruprekha: Thanks! What do call it, this feeling, an equal mixture of joy and sorrow?

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  12. All wishes for your retirement period...

    thanks for sharing...


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