Missed the six o clock today. Barely made for the six-fifteen. Will get caught in the rain if I start now. The train at six is my usual ride back home, and on a slightly bad day, the seven o clock is the latest I catch. I get off after four stops from the factory station, about a twenty-minute commute and then a short, little over a kilometer bicycle ride between the station and my house. I have to wait now. The rain started even before I got off at the station. It gets quite dark during the winters while the summers have light till I reach home. But every year, during the summer transitioning into rains, this almost self-indulging bicycle ride, which I most wilfully and with apparent austerity have made my modus operandi for the past eight years, begins to catch people’s attention.
I moved here eight years ago with a job in a paper mill company’s human recourses office. This place is the state’s forest belt. The paper mill stands on the fringes of forests with an adjoining canal flowing down to meet a lazy seasonal river. The offices are, however, nestled inside the leafy thickets of the Sal trees. The forests cover around thousands of miles, with scattered habitats of small towns and villages, purposefully scaled-down and distributed sparingly by forest authorities, making sure not to impede the rambling forest, heading for the green infinitude.
During the early days, I did find this place remote and solitary. Not that my childhood was unfolding in the glare of illuminating big city lights and show-stopping frenzy. I grew up in a town of miners and factories, a working-class crowd with steady happiness, with infrequent and yet always imminent sorrows of incredible proportion, mostly from workers’ accidental deaths. Growing up, I have witnessed the normalcy of mass anger alongside the most jubilant celebrations of seasonal festivals. Therefore, I am not entirely unaccustomed to these surroundings, but it is also not that I don’t seek life beyond the idyllic.
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Author: Staff Contributor
Illustration/Photograhy: TDLM Design Team