Posts Tagged ‘parting’

Train of thought…

November 14, 2013


A train pulls in (I can’t say, “steams in”, any more!) One journey is over…and another, soon to begin. For a brief while, many unconnected people will share a small space together…some of them will strike up conversations, others will remain blissfully unaware of how may others are travelling with them.

Several agencies swing into action; the train is cleaned, the engine maintenance done, the catering supplies unloaded and loaded, connections between the carriages checked, and so the long list goes…before the announcement that this train is about to go out, once again, ferrying its load from one city to another….

Meetings happen, partings happen. Someone said that a station is one place where emotions can still be seen in the raw. Happiness, sadness, or even loss as someone discovers a missing wallet, mobile phone, or even luggage….

Trains and stations are bustling places…train travel is still magical to me.

Views from windows , 28 and 291013

October 31, 2013

What to do when stuck into a window seat on an airplane? Take photos…these are views of St.Louis, Atlanta, Paris, dusk, passing-over-Iran at night…



St.Louis,slipping by beneath the wings:


The mighty rivers of the mid-west:


Sun shining on water:



A bed of clouds…


The Gateway Arch from right above…





Downtown Atlanta:





I don’t know what this futuristic building is:



The mountains of Afghanistan:


Journeys are said to end in lovers’ meetings, but sometimes they are difficult partings, too.


Jet-lagged, and headachy, and trying to cheer myself up!

A moving, sincere goodbye….

July 28, 2012

My daughter works for the St.Louis Metro, and one of her colleagues, who was leaving, wrote this farewell message to those who work for public transport in a culture of private transport. My daughter shared it with me. I found it very beautiful, and would like to share it.



I just wanted to thank you for what has been an incredible five years working for and serving public transit in St. Louis. I promise I will keep my trite “The end is just the beginning” aphorism to a minimum, but my departure of Metro is filled with excitement, sadness, sentiment and wisdom for me. It has been an absolute joy working with all of you as individuals and professionals, and I’m glad to count many of you as friends.

If no one tells you anything of worth today, beside “Go home and have a great weekend!” let it be this: What you do here, everyday, is very important. The service you provide is sometimes the link between work and dignity, and despair, for many St. Louisans. For others, it is an example, even when not perfect, of St. Louis’ ability to grow, prosper, and come together as a community.

You are not always appreciated enough by the community, and certainly not compensated in direct proportion to your value. But your work, however seemingly removed day to day, makes a very big impact on so many folks’ lives. It mattered to mine. No matter how narrow the politics and challenges of this business shrinks your world, please think of the thousands of bus stops and platforms, each with thousands of people, getting to work, seeing family, and living in their communities with pride. You make many people’s lives just a little bit easier. I hope that they inspire you, as they did me, to work with passion and resolve.

Please take care of one another, be kind to yourselves, and thank you for the many memories, lessons, and love. Keep in touch.


February 26, 2012

“Journeys end in lovers’ meetings”, goes the saying…but journeys also start with lovers’ partings! I watched two lovers parting today, dealing with their joy in each other (no, I was not eavesdropping, they were in plain sight until the bus came to the bus stop!) , and their pain at parting…human emotion is so incredibly complex…I’ve not seen anything as sweet as the smiles they gave each other. Each smile was a kiss, and the moisture in the woman’s eyes at the end, hurriedly wiped away, spoke poetry to me. Love, in joy, in pain, is a magical thing.

Moving out…moving on….

March 12, 2011

When, in a relationship or a business partnership, is it a good time to move out? The answer, I think, is never…is there ever a good time to announce that you are done with something that was good, but isn’t (at least, to you) any more? No time is a good time. Such an announcement is always greeted with surprise, dismay, anger or even emotional (or organizational) blackmail (or sops in the form of increased pay or perks)….but I have yet to see many instances of the party of the other part taking a breakup on any kind in a good and mature spirit, accepting that yes, indeed, the time has come to move on.

This…is because one party to the relationship (business or personal),is always invested more in the relationship than the other; and that party has either not seen the rift coming, or not wanted to see it…the latter being far more the case. The change is resisted, in the hope of maintaining the status quo….not realizing that the status quo, now, is a position where one of the two people wants out! So an untenable peace prevails for some time, until it slowly sinks in that one party is, indeed, serious about moving on, and the “divorce” finally happens.

In personal relationships (it can’t, obviously, be done with professional ones), some people handle this by just cutting and running….which, I feel, is the most dreadful way of doing things. It may spare the party of the first part a lot of grief…but to the second person, the burden of grief is much greater. Being left suddenly, often with no clue what has happened, and why….no person of sensibility of sense could do this to another person…but…they often do! All the good times that two people have had, are left stranded on the rocks of the abrupt way of parting, and no good feelings are possible.

Timing a “moving out” announcement, and managing the process of disengagement, is a very tricky task, indeed, and calls for a lot of maturity on the part of the announcer. If handled with tact and consistent diplomacy, the parting can be very amicable and the relationship is not completely broken off, but continues on different lines.

But most often, this just does not happen. The shock of the resignation (from the job or the relationship!), the feelings that are aroused by the thought of the parting…all serve to vitiate the parting, and make it a difficult time for both people. If official partings can become so emotional (when KM resigned from one job, he called his boss to give him his decision, and the next morning, the boss’ angry wife called him up to say that the boss had not slept a wink the entire night…why did he upset him like that? she asked.)…I can just imagine how difficult it must be, for example, when a married son and his wife want to move out of the parental a culture like ours, it would be viewed as nothing short of insulting the parents. Wanting a different level of relationship is equated to wanting no relationship at all. Recriminations follow, pressure is applied…and it’s all one can do not to back down from one’s decision…and sometimes, indeed, one does succumb.

But, in my opinion, nothing is really gained by backing down. A decision to move on, whether professionally or personally, must be taken in a considered and rational way (not in the heat of emotion, job stress or other pressures) and once taken, should be adhered to. I remember reading a wonderful dOhA (couplet) by either Kabir or Rahim…to the effect that a broken string may be repaired, but the knot is now there for ever….so too, with such decisions. Once one has taken the decision to carry on….one must take the consequences of that decision, and go ahead with it, no matter what the storms may be, that one has to face.

October 1, 2006

Trish, after doing some incredible work in Darjeeling, is preparing to go back home to the US. I have learnt to like her and respect her a lot. It fills me with sadness that someone whom I have met and befriended mentally, is leaving my country, and I do not know if I will meet her face to face. She wrote a poetic sentence in her last post:

“Then I will join the great stream of travelers moving restlessly over the surface of the earth.”

 Travellers moving restlessly on the face of the earth…what a moving (literally!) image! Is that what we are, then, ants out an anthill, scurrying along on our errands? Are our contacts as fleeting as the touch between the feelers of two ants, the momentary contact broken as the ants go off busily? Or do ants, too, have these deep thoughts inside their heads as they go about their work?

Here’s wishing you a safe and comfortable journey Trish….I hope to meet you some time…if I had got to know you earlier, I think I would have made the journey to Darjeeling just to meet such an impressive and good-hearted person.