Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rolling Wheels

The train for Calcutta was scheduled to arrive at the station at 2230 hrs. Umpteen announcements about the coach positions preceded the arrival of the Howrah Express though the relevant announcements concerning the time of arrival and platform number were dropped out from the list. I was slowly getting wearier with each passing moment. My skybag seemed to bear a thick slice of my ennui as it had become crumpled from the edges with my leaning weight. I did realize this but apathy seemed to dominate my attitude towards its plight at that moment.

As I was leaning leisurely to extract certain vicarious pleasure from my immediate environment, something led my focus towards the other side of the platform. A cluster of people with  clamorous  sounds in what seemed to be a kind of hurried hindi dialect, were moving an abundance of luggage in between the mark-posts. An octogenarian lady with her docile sons and daughter-in-laws appeared to be guiding the whole bunch. There was her young twenty something grand-daughter who was actually trying to lift one of the boxes which surpassed her amply in both height and attitude.  I was still unable to get a precise view. Some hawkers moving their trolleys with shrilling announcements were obstructing my view. They themselves seemed to be unconvinced by their marketing strategy primed with their piercing broadcasts. I silently rendered loads of indignant curses to them.

                        It was around 2300 hrs when the Howrah Express arrived at the opposite platform. My ever vacillating mind told me that I was waiting at the wrong platform. I pushed out the extensible handle of my skybag and ran towards the connector rolling the strolley across the platform. Within moments I arrived at the assigned coach and found my berth inside the train. Shortly, had I began pushing my luggage under the seat when the overburdened-with-luggage family arrived at the opposite berth. And yes, it was my fair lady's seat too.

I started exactly where I had left. Putting on my ipod earphones to avoid losing my attention to the hubbub of incoming passengers and moving baggage, I began noticed her sparky lips with its hazing movements. Perhaps there was some fast talking going on with her bhabi beside her and those sounds were lost in the mellifluous song of Raajneeti pulsating within my eardrums. Wearing tracks and sweatshirt for the overnight journey did not make her lose any of her allures. A bewitchingly chiseled face with tantalizing eyes were the most dominant things governing her overall charm. Hand gestures were gracefully creating imperceptible ripples in the fragrant air surrounding me. There were a few more enthralled eyes nearby. I guess I got an inconspicuous angle of sight as I was reclining on the pillow. I maintained that. It was already past midnight and the main lights were out leaving the low powered night bulbs do their job. I guess the oculus adjusts impartially to both brightness and splendor. I was camouflaged enhancing my surveillance capabilities.  It happened one moment that my eyes reflected a pair of lustrous stars staring back. Perceiving certain lip movement and I promptly clicked my hands-free to a pause. I waved my hand in a little clockwise move to convey a denial of reception of any message. With a muffled yet honeyed voice there were two words. 'Hi' and 'Good-night'. I courteously returned the greetings. A loud cough of her grandmother in the upper berth put us both on high alert and gradually I fell asleep waiting for the coughing to subside.

The next thing I could realize was that the train had entered the destined station and a rush of red-clad porters came pouring in inside the coach. Sadly, I was unable to locate her and with an agonizing prick in my heart, I started collecting my luggage to walk across the platform. I went to the taxi-stand to purchase prepaid tickets to hire a drop to my apartment. Then suddenly a gradually accelerating Innova and an apparently waving hand came into view. The hand was very fair and the car was on the other side, for I could catch neither. I noticed the opposite berth girl gazing through the window, all excited and vivacious and then with a certain tinge of lament,  hiding her waving hand from the insiders yet with a sheer apathy towards the outsiders. I could only manage to return a smile which was promptly conveyed back.


  1. wow...
    the truck to train conversion is evenly sweetened with a longing for a faraway journey... far away from the humdrums of a professional life, back to the spiritedtunes of college days.. nice.

  2. sometimes u sud give happy ending.otherwise
    they give me a feeling of deja vu.

  3. Random Unplanned Encounters... It has happened so many times with me also ...Phew !! Wish could meet all those girls again..They do fill up millions of bytes of some interesting and happy momemts in my mind disk ...Cheers to the web of chance that plays these games !! I guess I should stop .. Vodka has started to take effect .. Its vodka talking rather than me !! Hick !! :-)

  4. Awesome description......but just wish it had been a bit longer.

  5. @Saby- i had the same wish too :)