"It's so hot," he said, wiping his face.
I had found a place two seats away from him directly opposite the doctor's cabin. Heat was an icebreaker.
"Yes," I said, fanning myself with a hand even though the aircondioning was on at full blast.
"You are waiting for the doctor?" he asked.
I smiled, "I guess so."
"My legs were crushed under the train," he said.
I was taken aback. There was a walking stick near him, and I noticed a wheelchair. How does one commiserate with a stranger, a stranger whose condition you have not even paid much attention to?
He brought out an album and showed me photographs of himself. "I was a big shot once. I was a regular on TV. My name is R."
The name and his face did not register, but I don't watch everything.
"The accident taught me a lot about life and people." I don't know why he was telling me all this, and it was only five minutes since I was here. He continued, "My wife ditched me because of what happened to my legs, because I was in coma. I've seen the worst."
How does one respond verbally
"Are you Christian?" he asked.
"No," and uncharacteristically I responded with, "Are you?"
"No. I am Maharashtrian. Hindu...You?"
He was waiting for my reply. Just then, the receptionist called out to me.
As I got up, I heard him say, "So, you are Muslim."
And I realised that perhaps we are all supposed to carry invisible crutches.