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He sat on resin-moulded chair with a thump as his legs were really hurting today. He shoved his tote bag between his legs and clutched it hard between his ankles. He closed his eyes momentarily and sniffed the wetness in the air. It’s been raining relentlessly in Mumbai. He questioned his own wisdom to choose this day to go to Nashik. He opened his eyes and scanned the hustle-bustle in the Kalyan station’s waiting room. He observed few gujratis were sitting in a group on spread-out “gujrathi samachar” and savouring the “farsaan” and “khakhra”. Another guy wrapped in towel with shaving-brush in one hand and razor in another dashed out of washroom.
” Who says we Indian take time to acclimatize to new environment? I see a high degree of comfort among Indians,” he mused.
His eyes fixed at a large wet patch on the wall of waiting room and he felt a strange pathological hatred towards that wetness. The colour was badly peeled off from the entire wall. He tried to look around to see something interesting in the room. His eyes shifted downward towards a middle-aged woman who was sleeping to glory with her mouth opened on one of the chair. Suddenly his eyes dilated as he saw a slim face with curly long hair, hanging down on her face like serpents. Her eyes were glued to the “cosmopolitan”. She had thin face with prominent nose and full lips. His eyes refused to part from the beautiful view of this slender girl. The girl took the tissue from her purse and wiped the sweat from her forehead. In the process of wiping she caught his eyes and looked away at the entrance of the waiting room. He tried to pretend that he’s not looking at her. He felt that these moments were bestowed on him by God to make the most of it. Still, an unknown force had tied him to the seat and enhanced his inertia. Suddenly he faced the most insurmountable obstacle in the form of his diffidence which was sprouting its wing and forcing him to stay where he was.
He took out his train-ticket and checked the arrival-time of the train. An abortive attempt to divert his mind.
“Still 25 minutes to go…..,” he thought.
Out of the corner of his eyes, he stared at her and basked in her beauty. He felt he was sucked in the aura of her divinity, from where he might not escape ever. He felt a bond was forming with her which might need an affirmation from her to cement it strongly.
An announcement at station brought him out of his reverie. It was about “Pragati express” which was about to arrive at the station. He summoned up courage and thought of getting friendly with her. Much to his chagrin,girl had put his magazine in her bag and ready to walk out of the waiting room. She was tall and had a sylph like figure. Her pink top was crumpled from the back with sweat and from seating for a longer time. He felt the sand was escaping from his closed fist. She slowed down and cast a glance at him. He felt her eyes were seeking something. She dashed out of the waiting room. He felt his heart pumping adrenalin at ferocious speed. He grabbed his bag and decided to follow her. Smitten by his indecisiveness, he dragged himself slowly towards “Pragati express” and made penultimate attempt to catch her last glimpse. He walked past two train-bogies and train chugged along without any warning. Suddenly he felt he saw a pink-coloured dress in one of the window of the bogie. He started walking briskly along with that bogie and made an attempt to exceed the speed of the train. He finally saw those big brown eyes…….staring at him with stern facial expression. By then, the train had picked up the speed and all he could see was few serpents swaying out of the window. He stood there dumbstruck and a sense of loss prevailed him. All of sudden, a void was created in his life and milieu was sucked into it. Something has strummed the strings of his passion. He never had such stimulation before. His eyes chased the flickering red light at the back of last bogie and slowly it dissipated in red dot which mingled with the melancholic sunset.
He whispered softly to the wind ” Goodbye to my love which is ended before it’s begun !!”