Banned imagination

A music player with an earphone, or a book; I thought those where compulsory essentials for people traveling more than thirty minutes every day, by train. It takes me about an hour to work, and like everyone else I read or listen to something.

Although I’m not sure of its exalting elements, I don’t hesitate to self-aggrandize whenever possible about my daily one hour trip to work. Just when my ego reached it’s zenith, I began to meet co-workers who travel more than one hour. Then I met another who covered an hour and thirty minutes worth of distance. My ego trip completely crashed after I met a colleague whose route consumes an incredible two hours and thirty minutes.

Commuting for two hours every day? Seriously a book or a music player won’t be enough. There has to be something else. Out of curiosity, I asked my colleague how he utilizes ‘a two hours of train ride’ to work – every day. His reply was “nothing”. Emotionless and unaffected by my excitement, he went about his business. I stood for few minutes pondering what kind of man travels for two hours on the train, just sitting there – and doing nothing!

Sometimes people make passive comments that are seemingly trivial and insignificant, but then you look back and are bewildered by the substance of it.

Now that I have more questions than answers, only one means exists by which I can ascertain; how a person can commute for two hours on the train, and not be bored into one act or the other. The next day, I was ready to find out. Just before I jumped on the train, I made sure to put beyond reach my music player, lest I fall for temptation. I will busy myself doing just one thing, and that is – nothing.

Experience they say is the best teacher? True. I now know what my friend was doing on the train; he was using his imagination. As awkward as it sounds, thinking consumes time, and it can be rewarding. For the whole trip I touched nothing, looked at noting “deliberately”. I just sat there doing nothing, or so it seemed? In actuality I was thinking. I thought about stuff people could do on the train to save time.


Laundry! Instead of washing every night at home, I can use my free time on the train to wash, on-the-go. As big as the train is, how come there is no washing machine? One has to improvise sometimes. With the good-old bucket, a gallon of water and soap, I can happily do my laundry on the train.

Is it possible to bring a treadmill, or some weights? Morning exercise; an hour of working-out in the train will certainly serve me some packs.

A television is vital for live update. Instead of a laptop I can carry a TV. Of course I will apologize for all inconveniences brought upon bewildered strangers co-traveling with me.

How about a grill? Rather than standing in the corner of the train, munching some cheap sandwich for breakfast, I can grill some meat seating down. The train will have to undergo minor modification; put a round chair and replace the cooler on top with a vent.

My misconception that spare time is reserved exclusively for music and books is debunked. My once limited sense was freed. Any suggestion that our imagination be banned from roaming wild is henceforth totally preposterous.



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