“Jalthi! Jalthi!..vuto station aagaya..” higher decibels of these vibrations hit my tympanic membrane and immediately the neurotransmitters force my eyelids open. Now I am officially awake, I force myself to sit hunched up because I am the resident of upper berth and that’s the only possible way to sit there. Slowly I climb down the berth with my backpack and begin to walk out of the staff coach. With effort I open the door of the Staff Coach; there, staring at me is a diamond shaped board, a typical name board of Indian Railways and it reads ‘Kasganj Junction’. Slightly hung over with sleepiness, I force myself to walk but I am still far behind my fellow communicators. The station was not that busy in the early hours of 18th March 2017. At the platform, the red LED digital clock displayed 06:13 in big numbers. The uniqueness of this station was that it was equally filled with men and macaques, the only difference being that men walked on the platform while the macaques slept as if carefree, on the roof rafter of the platform.
The sleeping pattern of those rhesus monkeys catches my attention. They were so disciplined, aligned and oriented even while sleeping. Most of the adults were in deep sleep but two of the very young macaque members were awake. I noticed that these little ones were hugging each other, facing a wall of the station. I climbed over the Foot Over Bridge (FOB), the sun was rising in the background and there were a few other people on the FOB. I was still observing the young macaques; they would hug tightly, then relax their hold for a moment and then hug tightly again. Soon I realized the tight hugs were a response to the shadow of men walking on the FOB which was being cast on the wall. It seemed to them something big was emerging from the wall and when it passed they relaxed only for a second before another shadow would appear.
I could relate with the fear. Before I joined this train, I felt the same emotion towards strangers. Nobody ever did anything bad, for me to feel this way but I would shy away from unfamiliar people. Aboard this exhibition train, I realized shadows aren’t real; they are only… mere shadows. Now I know how to interact with people and I can do so with ease. Science Express freed me from these shadows of fear.
– Raghul M R ~ Life lessons shared with the SECAS blog team: Reema Jaiswal, Nitin Tiwane and Guest member, Jigu : )
(Always thinking, simple, cool and peaceful and friends saying he has an internal laboratory going on in his head then it only seems fair for him to be seen passionately explaining the brain model. Raghul or as we fondly know him ‘Silent G’ has a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication and when he gets behind the camera, candid moments get captured fantastically. While being part of the Tamil Association on the train, he has picked up Hindi endearingly well. He tried working in the IT sector after college but quit in a month; says its not for him, he is more of a take the bike and just go do some photography kind of guy! Resourceful, honest, and genuine, Raghul also has an angry streak in him. Visitors clicking with cell phones in the coach, beware!)