The train was full. Every seat taken. Elbows jammed into armpits, bags smushed against torsos. To survive the journey, we all donned our silken cocoons of blind indifference. Near me, an overburdened woman swayed with the jostling of the human jumble – a newborn baby tucked defensively against her bosom.
After a few long moments inside the comfort of the cocoon, I finally decided to face the wall of the train and ask – very loudly – no one in particular, “Would anyone be willing to give this woman and her baby a seat?” Several people, without breaking the carefully constructed cocoon of impersonal anonymity, immediately rose from their seat and she gratefully settled in to one. And then the human mass closed up its cocoons again and we continued to our destination.
Personally, even though I didn’t have a seat and someone’s backpack zipper was inside my nostrils, I felt better from inside my cocoon.