Oct 17, 2009

A journey in the train...

It was 5:30 in the morning. I had to leave, my friend was sleeping inside the room. And morning was cool. I closed the door and started walking down the street slowly, with a humming in my mind..
dawn is breaking its early morn
taxi’s waiting he is blowing his horn
already I’m so lonesome.. I could die.. No. I wasn’t feeling so lonely, anyway.

Well, I was heading home from Bangalore, have to catch the Intercity Express to Cochin. I had no reservation, no hope of getting even a seat at all. But it was a cool morning, fresh and crispy, always enjoyed a journey in the early morning. We were three, two of us got reservation, and the other one was myself. My immediate visit could not ensure a berth for me, I had to take the general tickets for the 12 hours journey. He was waving his hand when I reached the platform, I didn’t see him until I came to a few feet closer to him. I was thinking of something or my mind was elsewhere.

The train came and left, we said bye to each other and in the general compartment I had no seat, just like two or three others. I find a comfirtable place not so far away from the door. There was a reason for it. I didn’t want to cross the girl standing in the aisle, she had one of her arms crossing the way. She looked cool, a typical Tamil girl. She had a netted head scarf taking care of hairs very well, two three bangles and pierced nose and ears. The golden sequins in the head scarf was glittering sometimes. She was thin and svelte. As I approached she pulled her arm like I had to get past her. I didn’t.

Sunlight was scattering through the windows along with the slight swing and small jerking at sometimes. I was unable to look outside, though the dry country side has nothing beautiful, but still the morning was pleasant. She was the only person standing next to me. But she wasn’t as bored as I was. Just a modest girl. A couple of hours passed, some more guys came in from the next station. Lesser space, I had to walk past her to find some air. She also had to move a bit as the pressure on the other side was slightly increasing. I started watching them just to kill my time. And sometimes she turned around, throwing a look at here and there. She was about to leave her teens. She had a thin watch on her wrist. The stoned piercing on her nose was sometimes shining, especially, when she moves.

A women sitting right next to her looked like she want to doze for a while. Some times she did, with her forehead bending over. That’s a quite usual scene during long journeys. The girl touches the women’s forehead and wakes her up. Might be her Mom, I said to myself. She did the same thing many times as her Mom tried to nap many times. She was cool and comfirtable with the situation, even though she was the only girl standing and it didn’t last a long time.

Stations passed, a few always had to get down and more to get in. A women sitting opposite to me offered her a seat. I think she was even better at being modest. She turned to her Mom, closer to her in the next cabin, engaged in talking. Needless to say I got a crush on her.
Its been some hours now, everything was going fine. Many sellers walking here and there. Somebody had lunch. I had no breakfast more than a coffee from the railway platform. It was a good day, the elderly women sitting right next to me came up with an offer- to share her seat. I smiled at her, ‘you might have a son of my age’. She had already had lunch. I never wanted to eat in a place like that. I was counting the hours to go. Around six more! whoops.

She was turned away to her Mom and kept on talking, sometimes turned around, sometimes looked down. The train kept running stations after stations, but Salem( say-lum ) was special to me. She stood up from her seat, paid a bit of attention to her clothing. Her Mom had also gotten up, pulled out a bag from under the seat. Along with few others they walked out, I saw them passing by the platform towards the front of train. She was carrying the bag, left her Mom free. ‘Good girl’ I said. That’s all, its over now, I got a bottle of chilled mineral water. Kept looking outside and the train started moving. There were many on the train station platform. Somebody walking, somebody sitting on the bench, somebody looked curious, somebody looked tired. Quite usual and natural. I went back to my seat.

I kept on watching them until I hit with something unusual and awkward. They formed the three legs of a tripod. Along with her Mom and another guy, she was sitting on there. Facing away from the train, and turned around almost 150 degrees backward. That was pretty awkward. She had to turn more and more as the train was moving. It wasn’t easy but I was happy, and a bit disappointed. Because as long as I could see her through the windows, we're looking at each other.

Clocks ticked away like they always do. Some bells were ringing in my stomach. I stood up from my seat, walked to the end of the compartment. I got two vada and a tea. I stood at the door for some time looking outside. Sun was hot, but wind was cool. The dry countryside has been vanished, it was greenery all out there, aligned coconut trees and paddy fields. Its been a long time, and the train was to enter Kerala. I walked back to my seat. The elder women who offered me a seat, was smiling at me. I smiled back at her, a pale one.


retheesh said...

hey its very nice!!! actually got the feeling!!! what a writer need from his readers!!!good work!!!!

Bharti Gupta said...

may u meet the girl again.. in cochin xpress.. :P :P

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