Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Trains, buses and taxis

"You know, I have always wanted to do something my entire life and now I probably won't be able to do it ever", I said to my wife as we drove over a railway bridge.
"What's that?"
"I always wanted to drive a train engine. I'll probably never get to do it now."
"You know, when you are a child you have your entire life ahead of you and whatever ambitions you might have, there's always a possibility that you might be able to fulfill them before you are done and gone. And then you grow old and then suddenly one by one, you realize that you probably won't be able to do some things at all. I mean, look at my dream of driving a train engine. I can say with a fair degree of certainty that I cannot envision a scenario in which it will be possible for me to get inside a train engine and drive it."
"I see".
"You see what I'm saying?"
"Yes, I see what you are saying."
"It's like a door has been closed for me for ever now. Previously, I could have hoped that I would someday drive a railway engine, but now there is none left."
"What's stopping you from doing that?"
"How do I go about doing it? I can't just walk up to an Amtrak engine and ask the driver to let me in."
"You can tell him it's been your lifelong ambition to be a train driver and hope he is a sentimental kind of guy".
"But it's not my lifelong ambition to be a train driver. I just want to drive it once."
"You don't have to tell him that. Your chances would probably increase if he thinks you want to be like him."
"Yeah, that's true. You think I would stand a better chance of driving an engine in India?"
"I don't know."
"I guess train drivers in India could be bribed or something to let me drive."
"Do you really want train drivers in India to become bribeable so that someone else can drive? What if you are travelling on that train?"
"Yes. You are right, it's a bad idea."

Time passes by.

"I think I could get a bus driver to let me drive a bus."
"You know, even if I can't get a train driver to let me drive his engine, I'm sure a bus driver would allow me to drive his bus."
"I guess so."
"Why's that so, though?"
"I don't know, I'm just talking."
"'Cause you know, you could probably do a lot more harm driving a bus around than a train. 'Cause a train's not gonna run off it's rails no matter how you steer it."
"You are a brilliant man."
"But then, on the other hand, a bus might be easier to drive than a train. Still, it doesn't have the same attraction to me as driving a train."
"That's good, you should never settle for something less."
"Do you think a train has a steering wheel?"
"You should ask the train driver to let you in and have a peek."
"That brings us back to square one. I don't think that's possible."

More time passes by.

"It should be easy to steal a bus if I really wanted to drive it. Many people have actually succeeded in doing so."
"I think being a career criminal is one door you definitely closed when you got married."
"Yeah, I guess so."

Some more time passes by

"I don't think I would want to drive a taxi."
"Did you drink a lot before we left?"
"Why would I even want to drive a taxi? I am driving a taxi right now. There's nothing exhilarating about driving a taxi."
"What are you babbling about?"
"Where are we going anyways?"
"The John Harvard's brewery."
"Yeah, that's right, I just missed the turn."
"You are not a very good taxi driver."
"I am pretty sure I would be a good train driver though."
"Lets stop talking now."


Anonymous said...

check out, dude!

qsg said...

Your wife is a very patient person! :))

Well, I always wanted to drop out of school - or college - or grad school - and never did - guess won't have a chance. :(

Very interesting dialogue - great writing.