The train zoomed past some station with a loud horn. His thoughts, faster than the speed of the train. There was a misunderstanding in his factory and the workers had gone on strike. He kept getting updates from his manager and each call was worse than the other. His anger grew with each passing moment. The inefficient air conditioning didn’t help him cool down either. Another call.
“The workers have left the premises,” his his manager told him from the factory.
“Damn!” He hit the blue seat of the train with a soft thud. Not happy with the sound, he hit the back partition which co-joined two compartments. The sound was loud enough for him and gave him some satisfaction.
He looked out the window. Trying to make some sense out of all this. What was he to do on reaching the factory? How would he solve everything? Who would…?
Someone from the other side of the compartment hit the partition.
His thoughts stopped. Someone had taken away his pleasure. Angrily, he hit the partition again.
Though he felt peace with the sound, it lasted for a few seconds only.
“Bang” hit someone from the other side again.
He grew furious. Why was this happening now? Who could do this to him? He hit the partition, louder and fiercely. His hand, red with pain. Bang came the reply from the other side.
Was this one of his rival’s strategy to irritate him. He looked at his hand. The palm grew crimson and begged for some healing. He looked at his phone. Thoughts of the manager and workers pierced his mind and… Bang Bang, he hit the partition in frustration twice.
Bang Bang came the reply.
Was this really happening or was he dreaming? Unable to bear this intrusion any longer, he decided to go confront this person.
“Will you sit down, why don’t you tell him something?”
“Beta, if you fall down, it might hurt you and it will be difficult to get help. Why don’t you sit down and play with your monkey.”
The 4-year-old sat down, took his favorite soft toy and played with it.
Someone banged the compartment partition and the toddler decided to reply. He hit the monkey to the partition. It made a nice loud sound. Someone on the other end banged back. The kid enjoyed and awaited each bang with eagerness and joy.
The couple was glad that his son had found some playmate to keep him busy. Even if it meant that they were to hear some banging, they were at peace. They sat closer to each other and looked out the window until a man came in their compartment from the other side, holding his left hand with the other, his face almost red with anger, staring at them and then at the boy and then at the child’s soft toy with an expression of anger, surprise, and frustration.
© 2019, Sunayna Pal
SUNAYNA PAL was born and raised in Mumbai, India, Sunayna Pal and moved to the US after her marriage. With a double postgraduate from XLRI and Annamalai University, she worked in the corporate world for five-plus years before opting out to embark on her heart’s pursuits: raising funds for NGOs by selling quilled art and becoming a certified handwriting analyst. Now, a new mother, Sunayna devotes all her free time to writing and Heartfulness. Dozens of her articles and poems have been published and she is proud contributor to many international anthologies. Her name has recently appeared in Subterranean Blue Poetry, Cecile’s Writers and Poetry Super Highway. She is part of an anthology that is about to break the Guinness world of records. Know more on sunaynapal.com
One thought on “The Waste of It All”
I really enjoyed the twist of this. Everything has its own perspective, and we only learn and grow when we’re able to see another’s point of view. I wonder what the angry man thought when he realized the unknown person making him angrier was only a child? It also speaks to the idea that we can only control ourselves and our own reactions – never anyone else. Thank you for sharing this with us. 🙂
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