Day before yesterday I was standing on the metro station with my brother. We were discussing nothing and everything.

Delhi Metro Underground Station Image source

Sometime during the discussion my brother suddenly pointed towards the first floor. I looked down and saw a middle aged man trying to get onto the stairs of an escalator. The funny thing was the stairs were moving down towards the base floor whereas he was trying to move up to the second floor. Yes, I did laugh along with my brother, and so did all the others witnessing the bizarre attempt. But the public attitude didn’t deter the man from changing his intention.

He kept on trying.

It was comic – the scene – but only till the moment he climbed the downward-moving stairs, successfully, and reached his destination; the second floor.

A man rides up an escalator at the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line station in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. The metro line linking New Delhi Metro Station to the Indira Gandhi International Airport began services Saturday and plan to offer passengers the facility to check-in at metro stations. Photo: AP
A Man Climbing up on the Escalators at a Delhi Metro Station Image source

While he was passing by us my brother cared to stop him.

“You could have taken the other escalator. The one which-”

“I know.”

The man cut him short.

“Actually, all these years I never took on life. Every time my dreams urged me to climb up I found the stairs of my life moving down. And, each time, assuming it all to be impossible, out of fashion and something that’s not normal, I, in the end, allowed my conviction to die. But today, in my own way, I wanted to kill the guilt inside. I know what I did just now is stupid prima facie but……I had to do it…”

Adapted from a short story by Novoneel Chakraborty


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