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Wednesday, 18 February 2015


I talk to myself often. 

Its probably the inner voice or I am simply dumb. Whatever the reason be, I talk to myself and have been doing so for as long as I can remember. Back in school, I used to talk to myself and in several contexts and conversations I had promised myself that I would not walk down the beaten track, when I grew up. 

Talking of humdrum(s) and habits, I realize that it doesn’t take long for activities, routes, tasks and to-do’s to become routine.

One such recently picked up habit of mine, is trespassing through the subway station on my way to work. I do not use the subway to make my way to work because a bus ferries me across and saves me the walk to the subway station from my house. However, it drops me off very close to the station near my workplace and instead of walking across the bus-stops and onto the street - the beaten track, here - I choose to step down into the subway station and trespass through its adjacent entry-exit points until I reach my place of work-ship. 

I’ve been doing this for two weeks now without realizing the oddity of it. Every morning, I go down the steps from one side, buy a no-flavour croissant from the small-time baker within and make my way out of the adjacent side to reach the doorstep of my daytime abode. I realized that it was odd and my presence in the station was not normal considering that I did not take the subway, except on weekends (another oddity amongst the humdrum!) 

I think I do it to beat the cold. The subway runs underground and the singular flight of stairs take me away from the biting cold for at least a couple of minutes. Or maybe its the croissant which appeals to my sub-conscious mind, and I run down the stairs, initiating the act of trespassing. Was it the child in me urging to go by the unbeaten track, in whatever little way I could ?

Why or how I started to walk in this direction, I can’t tell but I sure do enjoy those few minutes underground every morning. 

Those few minutes of people watching come back to me even when I meditate almost 14 hours later, and that’s when I know that its had a lasting impression on my mind. The young group of people fetching for loose change in their bags before issuing their tickets, the lady making her way to work in her bright - possibly new - red woolen scarf, the man who walks his child to school and lives up to good parenthood, the policemen duo chatting casually on the side, the tourist trying to find her way across town with the map in her hand, the old woman who clutches on to her purse more tightly than her cane for fear of being robbed and of course there is the ever-smiling baker who brings me my first meal of the day. I see all this and more in a matter of minutes. And I would not trade these moments of color in the morning for the solitary walk on the straight road that would leave me empty stomach, shivering in the cold with my hands fisted in my coat pockets.

What’s your moment of taking the unbeaten track in your daily routine?