The Hollow Victory

The little boy clamoured. His hands reached out and flailed helplessly in the air while his legs kicked about impotently. The boy wanted to throw a fuss but the clear silicone pacifier was in his mouth. All he could do was to let out a bristling garble.

He wanted to be off his pram, to clutch his latest toy - a battery-powered train which, with its packaging, is about it's new owner's size.

There was a certain irony, one he couldn't really place. A boy clamouring for a toy train on a real, underground train. A potent lyricism.

And there was something painfully banal about this scene. The parents who sat apart from each other. The noisy, self-absorbed boy. The bright riots of green-yellow-blue mass-manufactured toy.

It was a scene that should be poignant. That should raise eyebrows and draw curious looks. But it didn't. For such scenes are far too common.