I take the train back from work for convenience sake. It is the time that I see the most strangers from different walks of life. An observer by nature, I am comfortable with blending into the background and survey the surroundings. There is a safe thrill about observing, you get to guess what people’s lives are, take in their behaviours and occasionally find the silver lining of the day.
Today, like any other workday, I took the train back home.
It had been a long week. Work piled up and with different softwares to learn in a short amount of time, I found myself stuck in office way past working hours. As the sun set after seven in KL, when I came out of the building, I was greeted with street lights and car headlights. I paced quickly towards the train station, briefly stealing glances around in case anyone was following me.
I was surprised when I boarded the train as it was still packed. However, at every station, many alighted, either reaching their destination or needed a change of train lines. The train became less crowded, and by the time we reached KL Central, I had finally found my typical spot in the train, next to the doors.
A lady with a backpack boarded the train. She stood right in front of the door. Just as the door closed, she held on to the railings to brace herself. Just as the train accelerated, a middle-aged man few feet away gently tapped her shoulders.
The lady turned.
“Do you want to sit?” He motioned to one of the seat.
She declined politely. “I’m getting off at the next stop.”
I was confused at first as I thought the two people knew each other. As I look a little more intently, I realised she was about five months pregnant. The man was observant and quick to offer a seat to pregnant woman with presumably sore feet.
It was a simple gesture. The exchange happened in less than 30 seconds.But for the rest of the ride, the overall fatigue mood in the train lightened a little. Other passengers smile lightly because sometimes, a little goes a long way.