Sunday, April 27, 2008

Reverie in Traffic: An Attempt at Hitotoki

A shot at Hitotoki by your favorite Diva.

The buses stand at angles,often crossing into adjacent lanes, much to the chagrin of cab drivers trying to slither into claustrophobic spaces in the endless lines of traffic.It has been nearly 45 minutes and all is still.I look out of the cab window.The bridge stands like a stoic witness to the silent pandemonium.There is a line of abandoned trucks parked along one side of the narrow lane.There are people thronging the dust laden tea shops,eagerly sipping on the smog-infested morning beverage.

I stare into one of the tinted windows of the adjacent van.I sense that the face staring back at me is familiar.Of course,all faces in traffic appear familiar.The sea of expressionless visages painted with different shades of boredom is a very familiar sight in early mornings.

Across the street is a railway station. Faces fatigued with excitement throng the platform. Bags and suitcases are hurled from one end to another.There is a fine line separating the sentiments of those starting the unpredictable journey of drudgery,courtesy the Indian Railways,and those stuck in traffic, halfway in their quest for drudgery.The former and latter occasionally cast wayward glances at each other,part piteous and part envious.

I cast my attention to the neighboring window again. The face appears clearer and the expression keener. Do I know her? I wonder to myself. Familiarity mingled with a tinge of anonymity is a bizzare privilege. There are the momentary flashes a polite smile and the insolent 'Indian' gaze. All of it seems acceptable,given the impenetrable wall of silence between strangers. The traffic finally moves,crawling an inch at a time only to come to a halt again, with an acquired resignation.There is a different cab,a different window and yet another face. The reverie is still the same.

Location: Near the K.R. Puram bridge.
Time: 7:50 am.

3 comments:

Shamit Bagchi said...

Excellent narrative description - and I just learnt a new term...

Gammafunction said...

whats Hitotoki? The absence of a wikipedia page doesn't help :-)

La Diva! said...

Hitotoki is basically a narrative or a set of narratives linking together different locations in a city. You can check out the hitotoki websites for New York and Tokyo. Since no one started any such thing in Bangalore, I thought I'd give it a start.