Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life in the Suburbs

I was never able to sleep on a moving vehicle while I was in India. Not on a bus, train, metro rail, car, or even a smooth flight on a Sahara Airlines plane, or even the Continental Airlines plane on which I flew to the States, where you couldn't really tell you were sitting in something that was moving. But now, I take a good nap on the local train either in the morning or in the evening or both, depending on how tired I am, at least once or twice a week. It's not a particularly comfortable train, though it is comfortable enough. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I am getting older and feel the need to rest more. But it definitely has to do with the fact that I feel safe. I can fall asleep with my wallet on my lap, which is where I usually leave it after I take it out to retrieve my rail pass. I'll often have a book and/or an iPod on my lap or in my hands, and nobody will touch it even if I am sound asleep and have to set an alarm on my phone to make sure I don't miss my station.

When my office first decided to move to Boston from the suburban location (which was less than twenty minutes away from my house), I wasn't so sure about how I would respond to the long commute, which is about as long as it used to be when I was in Delhi and travelling to Noida for work. But the good part about it is that there is a mostly reliable train service to get into the city. It lets me endure a long commute since I do not have to put up with the stress of driving or sitting in traffic with someone else driving. It gives me a chance to read a lot of the books I have long wanted to read but never got around to, not because I didn't have the time, but because there were so many other things I could do at home - cook, eat, walk around, or just watch TV, that the reading was often sidelined.

So these days, I am a city mouse by day and a country mouse by evening. During the day, I am in a place where there are lots of people and cars (though a lot less than Delhi or New York City) and there are restaurants and stores of all sorts all over the place. I sometimes go out for a walk after lunch and enjoy the bustling city. In the evening, I take a quiet walk around a quiet neighbourhood where I sometimes don't see anybody pass by at all. Sometimes I do see a car or someone else walking or jogging, but not necessarily. I like the peace and quiet of the outdoors and the feel of the indoors when I come back in to cook something for dinner. I like the wide open spaces in the neighbourhood that I do not see in the city. There are wide open fields all over the place that sometimes seem to stretch out indefinitely. I like the fact that the only sounds I can usually hear are birds and maybe a neighbor's dog. And the ticking of a wall clock. If I am at home by myself and not watching TV, that is. It's kind of the best of both worlds - being surrounded by lively crowds during the day, and getting the peace and quiet you need in the evening.

8 comments:

cornucopia_of_gobbledygook said...

< I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I am getting older and feel the need to rest more.>

Aaaah.. its not like you've turned 60 overnight.. ;-)

I loved the manner in which you've contrasted the two themes.. :)

Neat Rat said...

@Chaya: :D for the comment. Similar to what I had in mind. Bhavya.. turned old.

Wasn't she already? :P :P

Bhavya said...

Chaya: Thanks :)

Abhinav: That was getting oldER, not old. And I am going to punch you next time I see you

cornucopia_of_gobbledygook said...

I'd love to witness the sight yet again.. ;-)

When are you coming back Bhavya? October.. october.. october.. pls :)

Bhavya said...

Around October is what we're thinking, but not quite sure yet. But this super huge rat has to be in the same city at the same time too.

cornucopia_of_gobbledygook said...

hahaha.. Neat Rat.. u too.. October, remember!!

Neat Rat said...

Neat Rat shall soon be a normal sized one. Tab sabko dekh lunga...

Aap dates batao, apun pahuch jayega. But keep atleast a 2 week window! Bole to muh dikhayi ke liye mat aana bas.

Neat Rat said...

Waise CJ, I came to Delhi, tried to meet you but you were busy in ur classes. And Aakash never picked up the phne. Had come for a couple of days only. Is baar mil lena bhai...!