Posted by: Prem Piyush | April 26, 2005

Back from Kolkata


Yesterday I returned back from Kolkata. Although my actual trip is related to my profession and my career and let the trip be sandwiched between two similar posts.

Since my returning ticket was booked in hurry, I got the waiting list 117 and at the last time it got improved to RAC-31. Thanks God, when I was ready to travel in the general class, at least got a seat to sit after sharing with some other co-traveler.

There is a proverb which reads as “Someone fall from the sky and got stuck in the palm tree”.

On seeing the final chart on the platform, I saw another passenger on the same seat was some Dwivedi, a female of 23 years going to New Jalpaiguri.

When one gets a RAC seat after sharing with someone he can stretch the legs if not sleep. Especially if the both the persons are of same gender. I became aware that now I have to seat whole night without stretching the legs.

The lady came after when I took the seat. After formal chat I knew that she is some engineering student from Karnataka returning back to her home in Darjeeling.

Until the lights were on by 12 o’ clock in night, I was reading my new purchased book and making the notes. Earlier I thought that I shall tell the girl to stretch and sleep since she may be more tired and already was journey since last day and I shall be reading the books at the side of the seat. But afterwards when the co-passengers put the lights off to sleep, reading became impossible for me. But low light, tired body and breeze of summer nights was putting me dizzy.

Neither I could stretch completely nor I can sit straight . Till 2 o’ clock my back was aching badly. The girl was sleeping in a sitting posture with her folded legs and her head submerged in it that seemed to show the inherent tendency of woman to seek safety also the girl typical Indian lady. She seemed like my maternal sister, Bunu, who travels alone to Delhi for her engineering studies. If I would have stretched my legs a bit, it may feel her more insecure. So the conscious person like me shall like to take a safe side.

Firm believer in God, I soul was seeking for a solution. The near upper birth was still vacant but the near by Tamil Pilgrims were telling that one of their person was there. But till 2 a.m. no one came there. My back ache was unbearable by that time. Thus I told the girl to stretch and sleep there only and informed that I was going to the stretch on the vacant birth till it’s vacant. Goodness returns back the same if the brain can feel it. She told me that if the actual person comes there, she to be waked up. What she meant was that she would leave my portion of seat to me if I had to leave the new found birth. On the new seat I was expecting that the actual owner shall wake me up thus I kept eyes open and stretched my legs. Once I stretched, my long breaths took me to sleep. I got up in the morning only when the pilgrims’ party of senior citizens accumulated.

The girl was still sleeping. The adequate leg side space and a fine morning was enough to read my book. I had to go my seat. I sat on my seat and was reading. Later when the girl got up for a while and saw me reading and she slept again provided me more space after pulling her legs. I could have told her that you must get up since it’s morning and I have sit properly. My conscience did not allowed that. It’s not to impress her or anything like that. What could have happened if Bunu traveled like that and some elder was her co-traveler? Taking the cases on myself and my own persons gives me many solutions.

Later when she got up and while ordering tea she ordered two cups of tea, and I was ignorant of this. Before that time I had already taken two cups of tea. Seeing the same vendor with two cups, and the vendor being the same person who was from my town and already served me just half an hour earlier, I took the cup. In the mean time while she was sleeping I chatted with the Tamil pilgrims for a while and heard about their tour plan. The Tamil ammas and uncles were telling about their all India tour and later shared their bread and Jam too. They were complaining about not getting idli- vadas in the journey.

Now after I took tea, she started chatting about the journeys and her friends in the same journey. When she asked that when shall I get down, interestingly by the time the train was passing near by my office? I showed her my office and told that I would get down in one minute. Actually my station already came by the time. I became ready with my bag and bowed down everyone and get down at my platform. Down the train, from the platform when I waved my co-travelers, I saw many hands waving towards me and few inquisitive faces. Again who they were, I don’t know. Who am I, they too don’t know. But it was again the short journey in the long journey of life.

May all the Bunus and Dwivedis reach their homes safely!

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