Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Girl on the Train

You know that realization when you read the first few pages of a book and you feel the protagonist is just like you? Every characteristic of them reminds you of a trait you have. That's how I felt when I started reading Rachel Watson's story. But the feeling soon changed. Her character progressed to be more muddled, raw and messed up.

The Girl on the Train is a smooth, easy read. Racy and engrossing. The climax grips you. Makes your heart beat faster. Just like a thriller should be.



That man whom you see in the same lift as you every time you take the lift to your office floor?
That girl in the metro whom you notice standing at the same spot near the window every morning?
That old lady whom you always find singing to herself when you are out for a run in the park?

Those familiar strangers. We all have a list of them. They all take up some space in our mind, in our thoughts, even if it's just for a couple of minutes a day. We try to imagine their lives. We construe their stories. We cook up their quirks. We relate to their mannerisms.

Rachel Watson did the same. She was just like you and me. Her only mistake - she stretched this seemingly innocuous habit into a frustrating, annoying obsession. Conceiving stories around strangers. Imagining herself in their stories. Fighting hard to be a part of their stories. In the end, it messes up her life even more.

Moral of the story? Sometimes, it's better to be strangers. We are meant to stay strangers in certain stories.

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