An excitement to reach my home gushing through my body as i deboarded train that was scheduled on 5.30 but got late by 20 mins. But still almost four hours away from my hometown and i was eagerly waiting for the next train.. As a big mistake i took a passenger train instead of a express and it did cost me lot at rate of cheap ticket.
The next train being a passenger train, i was completely expecting crowded train but to my wonder it was unlikely to see so less people.. The baggage was heavy as i ran to board the train and as i got up and saw a window seat vacant. i became a lot happy, but there was a bag and i expected it to be of the guy sitting in other seat.
i asked, Can i sit here?? and he said yes, why not??
But the very next thing, i did was put my heavy baggage on his bag as it was too heavy for me to hold.. and the rushing did made me tired.. i was very angry at myself for a moment to carry so many clothes . But i can’t just throw them out of train anyway i had to put them on upper rack, that did took some energy. luckily i do have some chunks of muscles around.. haha.
but again i put another bag on that bag of the boy, i was sure he might be getting irritated but he didn’t took the bag away phewww.. everything was set and finally seated and then he took the bag and looked into it.. then i realised, oh shit!! i surely broke some of his things. and i said sorry.. but he nodded as its fine.. So, i thought it might be fine and i took my earphones out and started listening to the songs, waiting for the train to move. and meanwhile i called everyone to let them know. .Aftr a while i got really irritated because of the delay of the train.. All i wanted was that train to move and get me home as early as possible.. after some delay, Finally it moved and i thanked shivji for making my journey safe until that point.
After a while, i noticed the guy in front of me. . ofcourse i do checkout people as he might have done the same for me. . Motu he was. .. and i found myself slim atleast at that point. . engrossed in his world, Completely into the music as his hands made movement for the rythms which he was listening. I noticed him just in bermuda and i just guessed him working in bbsr and coming up and down to wherever he belonged to. coz some of my classmates were doing the same. .. After a little noticing.. i moved my eyes of him, As, ofcourse it may sound as staring if i would have continued longer. that impression was very bad. So,i played some soft music and looked out of window. It brought so many memories;. afterall ” Train journey ” has always been special despite of the crowd, gazing people but as a child what’s more than new faces, lots of food stalls, and above all family. coz i had been living a gypsy life all my chilhood and i loved these journeys.
Sitting there alone, i really missed them.. journey like this was always on my first list.. i always thought travelling single would be so much fun .. but i never imagined there would not be my father to protect me from the lots of eyes oggling on me, there would no one actually to trust upon.. Every minute faces change and i guess that’s the beauty of it. Admist this nostalgia, a call came and i was expecting it to be my brother and so was it. As i answered and told him i boarded a passenger train, he got really upset for it would take lot of tim as it stops at every station, and it was true. . after i disconnected the call.. it made me realise my mistake and my journey of 3 hours was sure to get late by and hour or so.But i had to keep calm, as nothing can be done other than just sitting and waiting .
Out of getting bored, i noticed the boy again but the reason was quite different this time, the wind was coming at him. .as he was seated in the direction of moving train.. and i was getting little of that.. Although i cannot ask him, but i soo wanted that seat but had no option so i thought of moving in other window seat and got up and immediately got it, for a moment i became so happ indeed a childish memory,..
After a while, the train stopped at khurda station,and i knew it would stop for a while. But lot of time passed and still train wasn’t moving and i noticed something uncomfortable to me.. a man sitting at platform was continuously staring at me.. he was sitting on a bench just infront of my window.. I thought he might look away after a while. . but that continued for another 20mins.. he was smiling and i knew that wasn’t a good smile. After a while, the train gave its signal and i was happy and i thought it was the end. But as the train started moving slowly, he boarded our compartment and sat behind my seat.. i was very afraid.. .he was checking me out from behind. and it made me a lot conscious. . i started adjusting my top or whatever i found revealing if there was any. luckily that was a good top with little or none revealation if i say. Some time lapsed and i was watching his steps from side of my eyes, and my heart stopped for a second when i saw him come closer to my seat.. there was an empty window seat in front of me.. and he wanted to sit there, i immediately spread my legs over that seat.
I never have shown this kind of ill mannered behaviour while sitting in a public place; spreading my legs but i was just out of options, i didn’t wanted that peron before my eyes and enjoy every bit of me with his dirty eyes. that was not comfortable at all. But perhaps, he did came for the seat.
And as my father always says, whenver you are in train use the language unknown to others and that would make you mingle less. Keep yourself as conservative as possible..
As the man came, and said;
” Per hatao apna ( in odia)”, he said
“mein nai hata rahi ( in hindi)” i said.
kyun??, he said
Meri marji. aage jaake betho., i said
Nai mein toh yahi bethunga. mereko window seat hi chaiye as mereko paan thukna hai..
aage aur window seat hai. .
tum kyun per nai uthaogi. nikalo yaha se.
Mein tabse tumhe dekh rhi hu.. and mujhe pta hai kya karna chahte ho tum.
kya dekh rahi hai tu? .. Ab toh mein yahi bethunga..
And he forcefully sat,in the remaining seat where my legs were not reaching.
i got so furious and i stared at him angrily but that was just not not enough , Earlier as i said out loudly about his actions in front of everyone, he was taken aback and being on his terms as he needed to prove himself right.. he could not stare.. as everyone was noticing both of us. that surely came out as a relief..
But just after a while, he started talking about me to the co-passengers in odia which he thought i had no knowledge about but i can understand odia very perfectly..
And as i can hear him saying,
” See, this girl, such a ziddi brat.. she thinks, this is her father’s train.. these filthy hindi people are always trouble to talk.. i surely want to teach her a lesson So i sat there otherwise i had no mind of sitting next to this ill mannered girl. i don’t know what they teach her at her home”..
Coming from his mouth, that filthy dirty mouth.. and full of dirty idea about a girl. i was shocked the way he was explaining himself, and i could see other passengers eyebrows raising at me. i was the victim and now criminal.. That’s what actually happens. i felt so terrible, crumbling in my own fear of travelling alone, oggled by him as a hungry man ready to eat me, and at last lots of eyebrows raised.. people talking about me.. and i actually could listen commenting on my way of dressin, my way of talking, manners and whatever they felt like commenting upon.
But i sat there firmly, with an expression of disgust towards him, no way the fear was coming on my face.. but soon as he gained confidence and as everyone thought him being the Good person he took his action little bit further.. as there was darkness in the compartment and people now were again busy in themselves.. he started rubbing his thighs on my toes slightly.. i moved them away. and stared at him but he smiled back as a winner of the situation. that smile as if there is nothing that he can’t get.. That smile of a animal in human body.. seeing him.. of my father’s age. . i was just hoping him not to have a daughter of his own or any girl near him..I took my legs down and moved to the seat where i was seated earlier, and i asked the boy again.. if i can sit there.. he accepted. i was soo afraid.. i just wanted a hug from my mom.. or anyone.
i texted my bhaiya to attend my call immediately without delay if i call and said him about the man.. and he texted me back as okay, and helpline number.. i was sure he might have become worried but then as i know of my brother, he would never show the same.
as i sat infront of the boy, i don’t know why i just felt good.. as if i am safe and i said him about the incident and after a while of talking about the incident.. i really felt relieved..he was nice person or maybe circumstances were such that he seemed nicest person to me..
we talked about stuff, and was again relieved to know that he was going to the same place as i was,.. And as we talked more and more it felt as if i have been knowing him for years now. weird feeling as it was but it was kind of true.. and he asked about my whereabouts and i replied with my story.. as i always love talking to people( if i get comfortable). we were from same town, he had his friends back in the same college i studied. but he wasn’t opening up much. Afterall, who would in the first ever meeting on a train.. hahaha.
All i knew was, he was software engineer working in bbsr and recently took his family trip to dubai..
Dubai. as i heard, i had some jealousy.. even though they say, you can’t get jealous of unknown people.. but there i was sitting in front of a boy barely known and getting jealous about his Dubai trip.
Maybe coz, he seemed happy person and dubai is way too exotic to spend some nice time.. i wanted that time…
and for my part, i was blabbering kid.
he got to knew about my studies, my family, some sad story of my epic marriage sagas.. and what not.. i always remembered myself as the chirpiest person. i do miss that jyoti in me. . and after a while, as he seemed to got bore of my terrible never ending stories, i muted myself for a while. . and i noticed my bindi has been missing, i love small black bindis.. and i took one and wore it. . and i did saw him noticing me..
it sure was worth talking and the journey seemed light meeting with him.. i thought again nd again to ask him the window seat.. hahaha.. i wanted to feel the air and open my hairs that were in bun to feel like what it is to enjoy something out of nothing. . ( i hope you get that feeling ) feeling to be a free person of negativities aside.. Luckily the compartment was slowly getting less and less crowded. but the man was still there, i just hoped him to get out next..the train was already late by an hour and it made me feel bad for taking that train..
Finally, there came a station where that man deboarded and even as he deboarded ,he stood on the platform and was staring right across me. i wanted to show this to the boy but as he was on the call. i stopped myself… i prayed again nd again for the train to move. it seemed he would just throw stone at me. or maybe drag me out of the cabin. he seemed furious.. but atlast , the train moved and i thanked shivji for keeping me safe. It was always a lesson that shivji try to teach me but always with some help around “This time; that boy”.. . i only had to look right.
And as we were approaching more closer to the hometown, i was getting more and more happy a feeling of safety was there… and indeed there is no safer place in the world as home. . and there is no pure touch in the world as of your mom… and we talked some more. . and as i started getting ready took my luggage down as i thought we are close..but he said me, it will still take some time.. just stay calm..
well, he was not feeling what i was feeling… i haven’t seen any trace of my family from last four months. . i wanted to be with them..
and as i asked his name at last.. which i hoped he would do first… he said ” Goutam ” and odia. Shit, i was hoping him to be telugu. .. you know these train meetings sometimes turn way more interesting than it seems…For the bunch of stories i had in my diary, Goutam padhy, train wala would be the most nice to talk about. . it was filmy .. only if he could have been more like shahrukh and me kajol.. but it was sweet. and i said my name. . he immediately searched me on fb.. and i didn’t resisted. i really like that boy. afterall he owed me some help..
As i approached the station, i shaked hands for the first and last ( if it is) time and bid farewell to the nicest co passenger offering a warm gesture. . a journey to remember and as ” IT WAS ONE WAY TICKET TO FRIENDSHIP”… with lots of sweetness, spice and smiles..