If you’re in Mumbai, you can find many such pillars in all railway stations. To me, it’s not just a pillar but something much beyond. For those who don’t know, this pillar signifies that the first-class compartment of the local train will stop here. And for those who don’t know the class system in the local railway, we have two types of compartments—first, second and there is one more for goods and heavy luggage.
This pillar is a classic symbol of divide and rule ideology practiced by colonial rules and corporate psychopaths. I don’t know where the divide and rule ideology originate but I think, it’s largely practiced in many parts of the world.
This pillar means that the person traveling in the first-class compartment is the first-class traveler because he or she pays ten times the price of the second class compartment. And what’s the difference? I don’t really see much except it’s little empty during few hours of the day. In peak hours, the rush is the same as in the second class.
The people are almost the same; same people who litter, same people who don’t let other people come in or step out, same people who are frustrated by the corrupt system, same people who are deprived of many basic rights, same people who are like the head of a matchstick—ready to ignite, same people who give a helping hand to someone new in the city, same people who offer seat to elderly, same people who vote, same people who loose everyday due to the political turmoil, same people who feel joy in small moments, some people who suffer from pain, same people who fall in love and same people who fall from the running train.
The people are almost the same as the people who board the second class.
This pillar suddenly gives me a narcissist feeling of being a first-class human. This pillar suddenly fuels my false ego, it suddenly arouses my cravings, and it suddenly makes me a superior shithead. But, I know that this all is just temporary, false and foolish. One doesn’t become superior or a first-class human by buying tickets to a first-class compartment. The reasons for this compartment may be different.
This pillar has a certain magic in it. It divides and unites, shows a dream and reality and gives joy and pain—all at the same time. This pillar is not just a piece of architecture but it’s a metaphor for life; my life.