My mum and I were on our way to pick my father up from Howrah Station. Usually, we just send the car, but we decided to tag along this time. I love these trips to the station for several reasons. I like long car rides and the time they give me to let my mind wander. And I like the Howrah Bridge. Even if I can’t see the river, I like looking at the rivets and bars that hold the bridge together. I look at a particular rivet and wonder how important it is to the entire structure of the bridge. Or a particularly small piece of steel, serving no apparent purpose, catches my eye. What would happen if that piece wasn’t there? Would the bridge collapse?
And thus my mind travels into the familiar (and strangely comforting) territories of mayhem and destruction. But today, when I was crossing the bridge, an odd thought skipped line and found its way ahead. What would happen if a plane were to crash headlong into the bridge right now?
I got an image of a plane diving nose first into the road, right in front of me. Would the bridge collapse? I should get out of the car then, and run back. But if the plane has crashed right in front of me, then I won’t have the time. Okay, we’ll make the plane crash a little ahead. I will then get my mum and me out of the car. Do we run backwards, or do we jump into the river? If the bridge collapses right away, then running back won’t help. Also, I don’t want to risk losing my mum in the crowd. So we jump into the water. Does my mum remember how to swim? More importantly, can she swim in her silk sari? I know I can, but I am not sure if I can swim and hold on to my mum at the same time.
And before I knew it, I was terrified.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I was browsing through Wikipedia as usual, when I decided to read up on the September 11 attacks. As I started reading, it struck me that the song I was listening to was Fiona Apple's version of Across the Universe. She was singing "Nothing's gonna change my world", and I was staring at a picture of a plane crashing into a tower.