an evening on a train.
first, it was dusk. a fine bluish sky, dimmer and dimmer. i was just awake from one of my little naps. there were two men sat in the same seat group with me, and they were still talking. two strangers, they had been talking when i was boarding the train, and they talked about how our railway services have gone better, and about the future of our railway services and how unpleasant it was in the past to travel with train–especially with the third-class ticket. they would also talked about fragments of their lives, but i couldn’t remember much. there were also a small family, with one young infant child–i couldn’t make it out whether it was a boy or a girl (it was a girl)–they sat across the aisle. i didn’t took much attention to what they were talking. some normal familial stuffs, i guess. and an old man sat along with them, stared outside in silence.
then it was dark outside, save for occasional dots of light from the houses along the way. i stared outside, and here and there lights would dot the farthest landscapes, on the hillsides and the valleys, and the mountainous terrains; clustered in small groups of white neon lights and yellow mercury or huddled together in large hives of city lights. sometimes, when i see the lights, i wondered how would you reach there, and what would you see if you are looking here from there, and what would the lights come from: a house? a small hut in the middle of a rice field? a small village house built from bilik? a local school? a cattle ranch? a plantation office? or perhaps a series of townhouses, huddled together in a tight row? and sometimes when i see the lights, i thought that they were our attempt to mirror the stars, where sometimes they would flickers and group themselves in certain configurations and form their own distinctive constellations, and how they would appear during the night and disappear from our view during the day.
just like stars do.
(jul 31, 2014 evening. aboard a train home from banjar, jawa barat)