The train arrived at the platform shortly after.
I was sitting at the platform, waiting for my express train, when another long train chugged in at its usual time.
One of those similar Indian railway stations, remarkably reminiscent with a pungent smell, of mostly the mix of sweat, dust and the waste strewn here and there, on and off the tracks.
It was early afternoon. Being a Friday, the station had more footfalls than on other weekdays..
My packed bags were placed nearby. I was waiting for the express train which would take me to my family. There was a strange sense of fear, a burning, a tug of war going in my heart. My body was on autopilot. As if blinded by love.
The tension at the household and the events unfolded thereafter, had swept off the smile from my face for past few days. I felt it better to go back to sort it out, rather than working hard in this distant location, running away from all.
A big group of rural family came and settled nearby me. They had very few bags, but one or two were covered with the military cover. A well built man was the center of attention. Everyone shook hands with him. He kept stealing eyes to look at a young woman among them who was on the verge of tears. The elderly men helped to load up the bags onto the train coach.
A soldier? Or someone who worked in the gulf countries. Recently married? How long would it be before he comes back again. How long would have been the vacation?
The last announcement for departure of the train to Mumbai from Bangalore started again while the train started to move.
The tears started flowing down. She was consoled by other women. His face had a grave smile. He was the man, the bread-winner, who was not supposed to shed tears. The family waved their hands to the young man.
And the train moved away..
And then the family..
The dust settled.
The empty tracks paved way for more sun light on the platform.
After a while, people started coming more and more. The working class people who commuted long-distance daily in the crowded general compartment with their monthly passes. The female announcement chirping through the speakers enlightened me that the passenger train is arriving on the same platform. The people blended into their familiar groups formed over the months.
I wondered whether my train would be late.
The crowd was eager to grab the blue seats through the windows with the unconventional usage of handkerchiefs and their bags. I heaved a sigh of relief as the train reaped in away most of the people on the platform leaving me the required breathing space.
And then, when the train was about to move, out of nowhere, ran a young shabby man screaming, “Anamika..”
He went about every coach searching for the lady named Anamika. His looks and clothing revealed a mad man persona who was lost in the thoughts of Anamika. Soon, two constables came and took him away, while he resisted and cried badly calling out the same name again and again.
The thoughts flushed in me again.
A lost lover? How did they part? Any relation with the trains and railway station? Had they planned to run away in the same station which went awry?
As the various options mulled about in my mind, the soul in me whispered some wisdom.
On life and relationships.
On the journey of life always tugging at the constant strings of relationships and making a living.
The relationships consumed every human being bereaving his inner peace, for some with its presence and for some with its absence.
Slowly, I called his phone, and reached out to him.
“Mmm. Hello…Yeah.. I am at the station waiting for the train now..”
“Oh.. okay. I reached home already.. Have tea if train is late. .”.
The hidden concern and care.
“I did check online for the correct time…I will come to pick up around 8.. ”
“Yeah…okay.. Bye then..”
“And hey,… umm…uh.. love you.. ”
“Love you too ya…Don’t worry for now..Okay? Chalo Bye..”
The heart then felt lighter.
Two sparrows from the tracks flew towards the sky.