Two years back, I was living in Dubai and the metro was my choice of transportation. I quite enjoyed taking the metro – surrounded by strangers yet perfectly comfortable, so many people yet blissfully by myself. I would listen to music, read a book or simply gaze out at the buildings and roads swooshing past me in a blur.
Although, some days it felt like we were all what my friend calls “sardines in a can”.
Little did I know, that the one time of the day that I relied on to be uneventful would be the time that life decided to teach me a lesson, in a very twisted turn of events.
It was one of those non-sardine can days. I was on the metro, seated next a man carrying a big, green backpack on his lap.
The metro was doing what metros do. Moving, stopping, moving, stopping. People got off, people got on. Life was taking place.
And then, that’s when it happened.
At the first “meow”, I found myself seriously questioning the mobile phone ringtones that people had.
At the second meow, I looked at the big, green backpack, realizing that’s where the purring was coming from.
At the third meow, I looked up at the man because that’s whose bag it was and that’s when it struck me that there might be a cat in the bag.
The greasy long haired, lean faced man’s eyes glanced nervously at me and back at the backpack, which then received a gentle nudge. The backpack shut up.
I looked around, shocked to see everybody else deaf and oblivious to this purring bag. Now, I felt like I was on a mission, to alert the citizens about this cat-napper, this animal-abductor, this man with a cat on the same metro that did not let me carry a balloon on it once.
I waited for the bag to meow again, so that I could say something like, “The cat’s out of the bag mister, I know you have a cat in your bag!”
But my “aha!” moment never came. The next station arrived and the cat-napper made a clean escape. In broad daylight. Right under my nose.
As for me, I sat there dejectedly accepting the fact that I wouldn’t make a very good super hero. And I didn’t even have to climb a tree to save the cat.