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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alternate views of Jagannath Temple Gate Railway Station

I was standing at the railway station, waiting to catch the local train into town, when I looked around me and was really taken in by my surroundings. I've always loved this quaint, little railway station here in Temple Gate, but standing on the platform under the scorching noonday sun today, I was just mesmerized by the sheer amount of natural activity taking place. The sun was out in all its brilliance. The leaves of bushes and trees were exhibiting their greenest of green foliage, in myriad shapes and sizes. And there were even little dragonflies hovering about, whizzing past the people who were gathering in anticipation of the local train into town and beyond.

It was almost as if the moment of wonder had willed itself into an infinite existence. And I just stood there, taking it all in. Soon enough, however, and true to form, the steady buzz of the growing crowd of people on the platform jerked me out of this little reverie. It was then that I thought about heading on down to the end of the station's primary platform to try and capture the scene, predominantly the spread of the rain trees.

I've always been astounded by the way the canopy of a rain tree seems to go on and on, reaching both upward into the sky, and all around. It almost seems to reassure us with its protective spread, telling us that we will be safe under its outstretched branches. The image that comes to my mind is that of Atlas, holding the world aloft; rain trees seem to keep the sky at bay, preventing it from crashing into the ground below.Well, the picture of the yellowed yellow concrete slab that indicates which railway station this is doesn't do my description justice. So, I thought I'd jump to the other side of the tracks and get a better view through my trusty lens.

There's only one tree that really stands out in this picture, but you can tell how far-and-wide its canopy spreads. Of course, the picture hardly does it any justice, just like my dithering description of the scene. This is one of those "you really have to be here to experience it" moments, or locations, as the case may be. However, there is a blemish in this picture that mars the overall beauty of this scene, and that's a fallen rain tree that seems to have keeled over during the heavy Monsoon rains from the last couple of months. I had to get a closer look.

Sad, this demise of such a gentle and loving giant. It's almost as if its slowly decomposing carcass is a reminder of the sheer immensity of its sheltering existence. But decompose in peace it shall not, because there are already plans afoot to tear it limb from dead limb and put it to "good use." Sometimes I really wonder about people; the unprecedented greed of the human race baffles me. Well, I decided to take a little hop-skip-and-jump of a stroll to the base of this fallen behemoth, almost as if I wanted to pay it its last respects. Barren earth, torn apart by the force of this rain tree uprooting itself and crashing down marked the immediate area around the trunk. But when I looked up, I could feel my heart rise up a couple of levels, like a fledgling eagle hopping its way up to a vantage point before it jumps off and begins to soar.

There was another rain tree, the one in an earlier picture, all spread out and ready to take on the protective duties of its fallen comrade. A new sense of hope seemed to well up inside of me. A hope that no matter what happened, the noble, and protecting rain tree would always be there to offer us its shade. And so it would be on this bright and sunny day, like the many days before it, and surely the many that will follow. And so it is with life, ultimately. The joys and sorrows of today are just the stuff of forlorn legend, soon to be disposed of in the greater scheme of things. And there I was, basking in the beauty of another moment, watching the leaves do their little swaying dance in the gentlest of zephyrs. Again, however, it was another true-to-form event that jarred me back to the present moment. The local train had arrived, announcing its presence with a medium-pitched hoot. It was time to go.


On a related note, it's quite astonishing the work that the people who maintain this station seem to have pulled off. While scouring my blog for earlier entries about Jagannath Temple Gate station, I found this one which is very similar to the picture I took today. Before I show you the picture, I just wanted to say that there's pruning, and there's just plain, old fashioned deforestation. See what I mean?

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