For those who have been to London, tube service is something you can never forget and so is the loud booming voice that says “Mind the Gap”. It’s no big deal, if you have no clue what I am talking about, because the other ‘tube’ that is impossible to miss out in this lifetime has a fix for anything and everything. Here is the YouTube link.
Everyone I know here has a story about the tube and here comes mine. I came to London with lots of apprehension of meeting my husband after a stint at long distance relationship. Until then, I have not been apart from him for that long in the last 8 years or so that I have known him. There have been highs and lows as you can expect, and I usually spend the time during the many commutes to think, muse, reflect and clear my head. It has been always been like that, whether it’s the rickety rides in autos in India or the 11 hour journey to London. So one of these days while traveling in the tube, it just occurred to me that managing a long distance relationship has lot of parallels with the commute. Here is why.
On my first time in the tube, I got lot of gyan (advice) from my husband and a tube map which at that point did not make any sense to me. Despite trying to decipher the map and follow the many directions, I got lost. I called, bugged and nagged him for letting me go alone in the tube instead of dropping me. The first few days on my own after he left were the same. Until I came to terms with the reality, stopped blaming someone else for the situation I am in, took ownership and opened my heart to the possibilities, I remained lost. And as soon as I took the initiative to accept things as they were, lot of doors opened and I found my way.
There are these days when the tube is so crowded and you are struggling to find a quiet corner to shrink into. But you cannot help but notice the couples who are kootchie kooi-ing oblivious of surroundings, families laughing loud and friends pulling each other’s leg. Suddenly, you miss him so much that I have no way to tell you how badly you want to get back home. Back in India, the first few weeks alone was terrifying because wherever I turned around I could only see happy couples and families. The thought of going back to an empty house was so scary and the only way out was to think about how it will be when we meet again, make stories around it and constantly thinking about ‘us’ so that it was like he was not that far anymore. (Of course, million thanks to lyca mobile, whatsapp, skype and hangouts)
After a few tube rides, you feel confident and tube map is like back of your hand. Still, on days you travel late to home, by the time you reach your station almost all the people would have got down and you feel quiet alone. So I look down the car and there is someone in the corner sitting all alone, giving me a tense smile. It is like we are in this together and the mere presence gives me a reassurance to go on. Few months into our time apart from each other, there has been so many such people who unknowingly made a lot of difference in our lives, by just being there for us in tough times.
Most importantly, never go too far that you don’t get to ride at all. Nor should you be too close that you get run over. Same with relationships! Trying to get obsessively close or wander far way will only spoil the beautiful thing you both had between you. Just think about it as a ride together without wondering where it will end.
The golden words are “Mind the Gap”!!!