Down Under VII – Shades of black and signals!


Shades of Black and Signals!

November 4, 2012 at 8:13am

Black and white is not just colours but colours that define everyone’s winter wardrobe. It’s strange to see how many shades and designs black has! I watch the blacks going to work, waiting for trains, sitting in the trains, walking and running. Every now and then a brave red or even pink may be lured by the supposed 27 degrees claim but that’s a rarity. There’s a book “Fifty Shades….” that I’ve meaning to read before I write mine, which obviously would be “Fifty Shades of Black’.

Spring is in the air as we prepare for a colourful summer and a warm Christmas. I wait to see the colours that have remained in the hiding as I’m sure people must have colours in their lives.

Speaking of running, I am a runner. Yes! Running for me is a way of life, something that I feel I need to do, and something that I can’t help doing especially when I see other people running. I like walking, enjoying the beauty of the little houses and stores along the way to the station. (Do houses and stores qualify natural sights?) I like the way perfect strangers on the road greet you “Hey, How ya doing? Have a good day!” I look for prospective candidates to greet in a similar fashion (Who knows I might even find a friend as I walk to the station and back. That’s when I’m not running!

There’s something about traffic lights. I’m sure it happens to everyone, everyday. Here in Melbourne, I see more traffic signals than the colours in my wardrobe (Bad comparison I know) but the fact is there are so many of them, especially  in every unsuspecting corner and alley and I can’t help but think that they are traps set to judge how smart I am. Most of the time I walk past them, unknowingly, (esp. if they are in small street crossings) and sometimes I get murderous, incredulous stares from the offended tram or other drivers. I am in a trance as I walk. I need to cross the street so I do, simple enough. My friends these days, now pull me by my collar (how mean, they could at least hold my arm or hand) when we approach a crossing as they are aware of my ‘sleep crossing’ status.

That’s when I am walking. Now back to running. One of those rare times, I consciously reach a traffic signal and am aware of it, I am happy. I patiently wait for people to notice me; I mean I want them to see that I didn’t just cross but waited. Obviously, they find joy in other things than the black me waiting at a traffic signal. I especially like two traffic signals. One that takes me to the Reservoir Station for work and the next is the one at Flinders, that brings me home and those are the only two that I am conscious of.

Every time  I am patient, the runner in me takes over. The signal turns green; the swarm of people, who have been waiting with me, either walk very fast or run. I try to walk fast but somehow running takes over. So there you go, I am a runner! I run because I get nervous, I run because I have to. I run because it is expected especially in a large street Flinders crossing. I sometimes stand and watch (in the evenings when I am in no particular hurry), first at the crossing (all the blacks with cell phones and bags and lunch bags)…..they move like a swarm of bees when the light turns green, impatient, rushed. I follow them to the station and observe their repeated look at their watches and the arrival board. I sometimes push the blacks and greys and cross the yellow safety line at the station order to get the best seat. The times when there is no network on my mobile, I pause from “Words With Friends” game to look around.

I- phone 4 is the most popular, followed by I- pads, Samsung and the newspaper. All heads down, concentration, boredom, anxiety, restlessness….all hidden behind their gadgets. Engrossed, there is little reaction even when you sometimes realise that the train has not been moving for perhaps five to seven minutes or a train has been cancelled. A not very reactive person, patience is what I am learning except for the times when I see people run.

If you remember my “Bell Shoes”, it’s RIP for them now because I wore it for a day and came home almost limping. It is cursed! Heels have taken my fancy at the moment. I have been fascinated by ladies who are so comfortable in their  beautiful heels as they walk, run, talk, dance and I came to the conclusion that if they can, so can I!(I also wanted to see how the world looks two inches above). But mine are called ‘wedges’ but they are ‘kind-of’ heels too. The first day I wore one, I felt dizzy. I went to work with my flats. I tried again and somehow managed to reach the station with no accidents. A week later, I was walking fast in them and now I even run.

But nobody told me that running can be dangerous and mostly embarrassing too! Like the time when at an unfamiliar crossing, one of my classmates said ‘let’s run’ and I ran and fell. I fell in the middle of the crossing; the embarrassment was more acute than the bruises. And to make things worse, I was the only runner…the others were walking. Did I mention that it was raining too and dark? And I wasn’t even wearing heels! Wiser now, I am annoyingly slow in crossing or walking if it’s raining, even if somebody has spilled water while crossing. I mean one has to be careful.

So to conclude my ramblings, four months into down-under, having discovered certain skills and wiser, I await the colours. In the meantime, I got to run.



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