Commuters on their way home – what a beautiful sight: the mass exodus from steel-clad skyscrapers, like ants crawling out of their work holes and emerging onto the brilliance of city lampposts and blazing car lights. Inside impossibly cramp buses and trains, there is elegance in the commuters’ weariness; an indescribable bitter sweetness borne from the violence of mass transportation, and the physical strength exerted to keep moving, to head home.
On the surface of the eyes, fatigue; underneath, a burning eagerness fuelled by the excitement to see someone, something familiar – a terribly missed wife, her heart-warming kisses and supper; the unadulterated joy in the eyes of a fervent son; perhaps, the welcoming embrace of a devoted father to a daughter; and even the electrifying and furry greeting from beloved pets.
The trickling sweat while squashed inside the MRT; the numb limbs from standing too long, and the queues that are even longer; the clouds of black vehicular smoke which sores the eyes and nose – they make the return home sweeter and richer, they make the arrival a major victory given our minor liberties. For those who come home alone, there is solitude and space, there is freedom. For those who find themselves greeted by a family or loved one, then tomorrow appears more scalable with hope restored.