This letter continues my series of annual letters to you.
I am writing this part a few weeks before actual birthday. I thought it would be a good idea to describe a typical recent Sunday in your life. Sunday is pretty much the only day I really get with you. On most other days, we only get our 45-odd minutes in the morning before you need to go to school. By the time I get back, it is time for you to sleep. So, Sundays are the days which I look forward to – and I think you do too.
Today, you got up at 5:30 am. It didn’t really matter to you that today was a Sunday. I had gone for my morning walk, and got back just before 6 am. You are chatting with your Dadaji (my father). We had discussed our Sunday morning play last night – you wanted to go for a train ride to Borivali (from Grant Road) – it would have taken an hour or so each way. Your mom promptly vetoed the idea. So, you settled for a shorter ride – like we have been doing for many Sundays.
This time, we took a bus (No. 121) from Kemp’s Corner to Churchgate. You bring a smile to both the conductor and the driver by telling them Goodbye when we leave. At Churchgate station, we took a train (“straight”, 12-compartment, fast – as you had specified) to Mumbai Central station. It was a short ride – all of 8 minutes. You loved it – as you looked outside the window and counted compartments of the passing trains, checking out the tracks switching, and watching the platforms whiz by.
At Mumbai Central, we waited for about half hour or so – as we normally do. You love watching the local trains go by on all the platforms. Today, there was an added advantage of seeing the long-distance ones also. A stranger walked up and had a chat with you – and you gladly talked!
Finally, we made our way out – after you had watched 20-odd trains come and go. You also mimicked the announcements made on the platforms. As I smsed a friend where I was, he replied that you’ll become an engineer like me one day, given your love for trains. I replied, “More like a train driver. Or a platform announcer.”