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Chug Along - II

While reading Rathz' account of his train journeys, I couldn't help but remember another train journey that i had experienced I was in the first year of college. I had written about it long back on Rediff Blogs. As a matter of fact, this was how I started blogging, in the first place. And I am sure a couple of you have already read this one in the past. That's why I thought not to write about it here. However, thanks to Sakshi's coaxing, and the fact that Rediff Blogs is gonna close down any day soon, I thought I'd post a copy here too, as a part of Rathz' 'Chug Along' Series.

Train Journey that changed my Life!

[snipped and unimportant] I had come to Mumbai during the Durga Puja Holidays. [snipped] I was leaving for Jamshedpur, also known as TataNagar, by the Gitanjali Express on the 11th of October. I was supposed to travel with a friend of mine, Arun Prasad, who stayed in Lokhandwala Complex. Arun was supposed to board the train from Victoria Terminus, more popularly known as V.T. and I was supposed to board from Dadar, the next station. It was scheduled to arrive at Dadar at 0545 hours. So, I had reached the station with my Dad by around 5 o'clock in the morning. There, Dad met a friend of his whom he knew for around 5 years and the surprising part of it was that I hadn't even heard the name of his friend, ever. Anyway, he was with his wife and a daughter of about my age. Dad just introduced me to his friend and that was the end of my 'scene' in there. I just looked at the guy's daughter and gave her a small smile. She smiled back at me and that was the end of it. Fine, I didn't even ever think of that family ever... that is, until I saw that girl again in the train. How it happened was just a coincidence! Arun & I just happened to have RAC 3 and 4 respectively. In the seat beside the one assigned to us, sat a family of an elderly looking man, his beautiful wife and their cute little daughter. Their RAC numbers were 5 & 6. Now when our berths got reserved, I got the family's seat and Arun got the same seat we were in. The family was shifted to a new coach that was added to accommodate the surplus of the passengers and the coach was at the end. That family had quite a bit of baggage. So, I just took pity on them and helped them to transfer their bags to their assigned seats. It was during this shifting that I again met that girl in the train in S2 among all the elderly ladies out there! Again, I just politely smiled at her and she returned mine. That was the end of it there too. To tell the truth, I had absolutely no emotion toward that girl at that time. I just came back to my berth and started chatting with Arun.

I still can't remember where, a policewoman boarded the train and requested to sit beside me since she did not have any reservation. I liked the lady and offered her a part of my seat. She was a really funny lady. We people kept chatting when another girl, or rather a lady, boarded the train and sat in the same berth. Actually she had the berth above mine. She was doing physiology in a college in Nagpur. Then the trio of us kept chatting among ourselves. Around noon, the lady in question, that is, the daughter of my Dad's friend, came around my coach. S4 I guess. This time, she smiled at me first! However, this time we started speaking to each other. We first started about the weather (!) and then wondered how our Dads knew each other. Then we started asking about each other. It was then that I learned her name was Isha and she was doing her First Year of Hotel Management in a college in Kolkata. I was glad to get a nice companion to travel with me until Jamshedpur. From then on, we were almost inseparable. It was only for a brief hour or two at night, before Nagpur arrived, that I was just with Apra, she was the one who studied and lived in Nagpur. After I reached Nagpur, I went to Isha's berth and was there with her up to around 2 o'clock at night, chatting all the time! I know, it may sound a bit odd but we were just like two great friends having ball of a time! A good bond had grown between us two, or at least that was what I thought at that time. She even told me that she liked a third year senior of her college, that it was a two way traffic and that both of them were really serious & wished to marry each other! Now who would tell a complete stranger all this stuff? Anyway, I slept the night out in some other vacant bunk in another coach because by the time I returned to my berth at 2 o'clock in the morning, someone was already sleeping in it! I woke up at 5 in the morning, got a cup of coffee and a newspaper and was enjoying them both until she woke up at 7. Then again, we were together, snuggled up in her bunk and chatting. Jamshedpur arrived at 10 o'clock in the morning, we bid farewell and I left. But, before we separated, we exchanged our email IDs.

I was happy to be back with my friends again after such a long vacation. I enjoyed the whole day with them. But, what surprised me was that when I told my friends the story of Isha, something like sadness came over me. What surprised me the most was that I could not sleep that night, continuously plagues by her illusions. Even though when I managed to sleep, all my dreams were full of the time I spent with her in the train. I thought I had gone crazy. I simply wasn't willing to believe it was love. I had been with her almost all the night, in the same seat and close & not for once I felt any kind of 'special' attraction towards her, never even had a hint of lust in my mind, never cared about how she looked or walked or felt about me and still ………. Now I'm all possessed with her thoughts and memories. I just couldn't analyze the situation. One of my very closest friends always kept telling me, "Mate, you are in Love!" But I just couldn't believe it. Her dreams kept haunting me for at least two weeks! However, gradually, her thoughts swept off my subconscious mind and stopped coming into my dreams. But, still I used to get sad whenever her thoughts came into my mind.

One of my closest friends, Dipayan, kept asking me to mail her but I kept refusing saying I'll first wait for her to mail! However, it was me who lost the war and I, after trying to control myself for a long time, checking for her mails every alternate day, mailed her at both the addresses she had given me. I got struck by the lightening within 5 minutes when both my mails bounced off. The rediffmail one was not present and the yahoo account was full of its quota. It was a great blow for me. I tried quite a few many times after that but to no use. Finally, I had to forget her reluctantly. But still …… there are days when I get thoughts of her and start thinking. Today was one of days and hence thought of writing this blog post.

Well guys, I want you people to tell me what you really think about the situation? Do you think I was actually in love or was it just an infatuation or was it something completely different from all these. I just couldn't decide and hence wrote down this blog so that I can get your views on it!

P.S. : Isha and Apra aren't the real names. I just used the aliases to protect their identities. However, Isha, if you read this article, I know you'll recognize me. Do mail me if you can. Getting in touch with you was also one of my reasons of writing this blog!

Reading through the whole blog post all over again makes me realize how much my writing has evolved in the last couple of years. I could actually feel the 15 year old me through these lines. Anyway, the Isha in question was actually Ipshita (none of them are from our college), and Apra was actually Aprata Belekar. I am still in touch with Aprata. She's in Singapore these days, happily married, and with a really cute son. He's very adorable. As for Ipshita, she was just lost, like a phantom. Nonetheless, it was surely a train journey to remember :)


raj alakshendra said…
that was a sweet post from shayon ... I was imagining a young shayon , how he would be looking that time n how much hair would be on his body :)

aur koi pyaar - vyaar nahi tha .... waise bhi us ladki ki jaan bach gayi nahi to tujhe jhelna padta use !!!
Unknown said…
@Raj: U were imagining about hair on *my* body? Hmm... that's scary!!
That was a nice little story. Enjoyed it. I remember a line from Chetan Bhagat's One night @ Call center. "Before a man boards a train or a flight, he always hopes that he meets a beautiful (unmarried) girl who has a berth/seat adjacent to him" and I think it is very true. I have always boarded the train with the same hope but alas till now in only a miniscule fraction of times, I have found someone good" . I remember it was the end of a summer vacation after 2nd year and I was going back by train when I met with a very good girl who was also going back to her college. Had a great time with her. We exchanged e-mail addresses(those were not the days when we had mobile phones) and then I went through the same sequence of events which Shayon went through.Haha. I know how badly infatuated I was.
Sakshi said…
Man, I am the only one who hasn't had an interesting journey.. no good looking guys around..
Unknown said…
@Mann: haha... trust me... I have no premonition about the marital status as long as the sex is the fairer one ;-) But then, never knew you had a similar experience too. Time to fish out thet keyboard of yours?

@Saxi: To have interesting journeys, you first gotta travel by trains ;)
ABC said…
I might have read this on your rediff there was one time when instead of sleeping you had something interesting happening on a train journey..What was Arun Prasad's role in the story, you grabbed the lead role !!

@Mannu bhai
Yes, checking the reservation charts for F20-F25 range ;)

You have the car now, hit the roads for adventure.. :)
shastha said…
Good Post ... Ever since I left JSR I never got a chance to travel by train e.. however long distance travel is only fun if you have your friends along with you ... It could turn out disastrous if you get stuck up with some old people who end up dissecting your life history and start preaching about the right things to be done
@ Shayon,
Nice post! I think that's an infatuation/puppy love.
Time has probably healed all that!

And you were more than 15 when you wrote that! I bet you were 17 - 18 (1st year)! And Raj is a real joke! He knew you at that time, so no imagination is necessary. Ha ha ha ha ha, and the only thing he could think of was your hair or possible lack of it!

Waise, I've never had good looking/interesting female travelling companions! And I've really travelled via train! Maybe just my horrible luck in that facet of life!

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