When I was a little kid, I hated when I got the aisle seat to sit. I always had to stand up and give way to the people who wanted to scoot their way out. One day as the destiny arranged it; I got a window seat in my school bus on the way back home. I was excited about the seat just because I will get to annoy the shit out of the person who is sitting on the aisle seat. I grew fond of the seat.
That dusty window seat set me free from the worries about my homework or any argument I was involved in that day. I was in love with the unwanted window seat. The 30 minutes drive to my place with the windows open relaxed my inner self. I used to be genuinely happy. Whenever I missed the chance to score the seat, the journey way back to my home seemed non-luxurious and incomplete. I used to fight with my friends all over again just to win that seat. I don’t know why it meant so much to me but it was the only thing that made me feel whole and complete. The window seat has always been a portal for me to another world with the getaway possibilities. At times, I looked at the people through my window passing by. I realized everyone was knitting their own story. The unknown faces and their hidden emotions, their untold stories and struggles. I considered myself to be an architect and built the story of their lives in my mind. Everything used to fade away when the bus stopped with a screeching sound in front of my destination. I used to wave the window bye in my mind promising it that I’ll be back tomorrow.
Now, the window seat in the trains is a lot more magical to me. I always fight with my sister to win that seat. As the train picks up its speed, it sprints by the muddy houses and slums. I wonder how it feels like living in those slums, struggling your way out to survive. A sense of curiosity fills me up when the train passes by the farms growing mustard. The little kid inside me comes out and excitedly looks at the crops as they flutter along with the wind. My mother fills me in with the stories of the abandoned factories and plants on the way to my hometown. I look around fascinatingly and realize everything around has a story hidden in it. It makes me forget about my buzzing phone. Away from the aisle seat where you might get bumped constantly, I relax as I plug in some music and rest my head against the window and close my eyes. I let the fresh air touch my cheeks, blow my hair and caress my mind.
Once I was traveling to my hometown by train. A child came and asked if I could shift a little bit because he wanted to sit by the window seat. I smiled at him. It was this time only when I didn’t fight with someone for a seat. I gave up my seat for him. He reminded me of the excited kid I was back then. His eyes were full of excitement and curiosity as the train passed by every slum and farm. This time, I filled him in with the stories of the farms and abandoned factories just like my mother did.