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Log In Dino – An Ode to People on a Local Train

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Krea chapter.

It’s the last day of the trimester, and you have to travel back home. Thoughts of pushing past sweaty people to get off at your station on the local train haunt your mind, and you’re dreading the excruciatingly long journey that’s ahead of you. You’re fretting, trying to figure out whether it’s really worth the exhaustion or if you should just take a cab, while everyone’s spamming the ‘On Campus’ group chat to find someone to split an auto with to the Tada station. You turn around to see me. A huge smile is plastered on my face, and you wonder what’s wrong with me while I’m excitedly packing for the break, blasting music on my speaker. 

My phone dings and it’s a notification from my dad. “Send a picture of the train once you’re on it,” he says. Visibly confused, I ask him why, to which he replies that he was discussing how cosmopolitan the local train crowd looked nowadays with my grandfather and wanted to prove a point. I boarded the local soon after, and for the first time, with his assignment in mind,  rather than plugging in my earphones, opening Instagram reels, and tuning the world out, I looked around. Quite intrigued by the different kinds of people around me, I pulled out a notebook and started writing. 

To my right is an old lady in a saree perched upon the floor,

At a distance, I see a man with his earphones almost hanging out the door, 

But what I see, right in front of me, is my friend engrossed in her book.”

I look up and see vendors selling samosas, plastic bangles, claw clips, and whatnot, two women running late on their way to work, grumbling about how they nearly missed the train despite being on time every other day, and a schoolgirl distributing fliers to fundraise for an old age home. Curious, I try to gauge what it must be like to take the local train every day, at the same time, interact with the same people, and hear everyone’s story. Isn’t it fascinating to think about how someone who seems to be just a passerby in your story is, in fact, the lead in their own? You see a man sitting silently by the window, staring into the abyss, and you ponder – whether he just yelled at his son for his poor performance in his pre-board examination or got left at the altar. Did he, perhaps, get fired at work or fight with his wife before leaving for work? All these things run through your mind; meanwhile, the train stops, and he gets out of the compartment. You realize that the answer to all your questions is something that you may never find, for you will get off the train too and never see him again. Or will you?

“We stop at Nandiambakkam, and an array of people get on the train, 

A hurricane of people comes and goes, but the thought of them remains,

And then there’s me, In Dino, my favorite song, playing in my ears, my eyes peeking, trying to get a good look.”

I'm a second year biology major that's absolutely obsessed with all things music. I'm a huge movie buff (I can quote Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara backwards) and go berserk psychoanalyzing characters. I also love romanticizing things as mundane as drinking tea and listening to music as a part of my morning routine.