Every morning I saw her as she entered the train.
She appeared so smart in her well ironed police woman’s uniform. She seemed so much in control of herself.
It was not just her uniform. It was in her body language, the way she held herself, the way she walked. She seemed so confident, as if she knew exactly what she wanted to do and was doing it.
Every day when I saw her, I envied her. I wished I could be like her instead of the timid person I was.
I could so picture her standing up for herself and taking no nonsense from anyone whether at work or at home. I could never imagine myself having that kind of confidence. Everyone in life seemed to walk all over me. I never seemed to have a say in anything whether at work or at home. And watching her I would sometimes fantasize that I was as confident as her and could just tell everyone where they could get off.
One evening, I missed my usual train and caught a train an hour later. As I got off the train at Thane and climbed the overhead bridge to exit the station, I caught sight of a familiar face. It was the police woman who traveled with me in the mornings. But what a difference!
In fact, I really had to blink twice to make sure she was the same woman. She had worn a civilian shirt over her uniform trousers and carried a bag full of vegetables. Her footsteps seemed to drag as she walked wearily out of the station to the bus stop. Her shoulders were slumped with tiredness. There was absolutely no vestige of the smart capable woman who went to work every morning.
That evening as I watched her go home, I recognized the tired walk of a wife and mother who knows her days work is not yet done. In fact another shift has just started.
And I realized that she was just another woman at the end of the day.