Saturday, February 01, 2014

The Contrast ...

I reached the Sunnyvale train station. The 7.13 northbound fast train was late. There was a fatality in the Redwood City area. I boarded the next train. I always board the first bike car. Since this was an unusual day, many announcements were being made. The conductors were alert and helpful. There was only one line that was now shared between the southbound and the northbound trains. People were upset that they were being late to offices apparently for no fault of theirs. Impatience and intolerance aggravated.

Redwood City approached. A conductor was standing right behind me. She was curiously looking ahead but said, "I wouldn't look, they are collecting the pieces now". Those were the organs of the woman who was struck and killed by a previous northbound train. A train staff was collecting in a plastic bag a pair of boots, a set of hair, torn clothes, a human finger, perhaps parts of a human eye ... The crew was at work, it was work for them as usual. My train passed this silent drama slowly, with me watching it solemnly, disregarding the conductor's advice.

The life came back to normal. Perhaps it had to. The complainers were pacified one way or the other. The train reached its final destination. Clear skies, fresh breeze and joyful city life greeted me. I biked to work and resumed my daily activities almost as if nothing untoward had happened. Yes, the show had to go on.

Someone has said, "Death is a part of life, not the the end of it." Why is it then that this experience makes me pause and reflect?