Sunday, December 6, 2009

An unfinished journey

For once Gayatri is not irritated waiting for the train. She dreamt of this journey many times, sure that it’s going to be a joyous one. Lost in her dreams, in harmony with the cacophony, she felt his arms around her. She smiled and looked at him. She kept staring at him, searched for that assurance. She couldn’t find it. Is he trying to convey her something? The quiet and shy Gautam, took her by surprise often with the innovative ways of expressing his affection. Ah! How much she savored every such moment.

She held him close oblivious to the disapproving stares. She felt his body stiffen. “Why is he tensed and uneasy?” She thought. “Didn’t we dream of this day together? But it’s natural to be apprehensive about a new journey, bigger responsibilities and unknown challenges.” She was talking to herself in her thoughts.

Her reverie was broken with the approaching train. She pushed back her thoughts, held him tight, ecstatic as a child looking at the roaring train.

He held her away from him; “it’s time for me to go,” he said.
“I’m sure I heard it wrong,” she thought looking at him.
He shrugged her looking at the stoned figure. Mouth parched, she whimpered, “but why?”
Silence was the answer.
“Can you ever forgive me?” He asked.
He couldn’t see her agony. He was already looking for salvation even though she hasn’t absorbed the news yet.

“Sorry,” he squeezed her hand one last time and boarded the serpentine train as it chugged its way out of the platform to its onward journey.

Day melted into dusk; perched on a marble bench she stared emptily at the sad and happy faces bidding adieu to their dear ones. With a numb mind and wounded heart, she wobbled towards the exit. Her frail body quivered as the tears of humiliation drenched her in shame.

Her once perfect world is shattered into pieces now. It’s for the time to decide if she can shape it up again and discard the useless parts.

“Didn’t we dream of this journey together? How could he take a decision on my behalf without taking my consent?” the thought irritated her.

“Show me your platform ticket please?” Asked the ticket collector at the exit.
She showed her train ticket.
“Oh! This train left in the morning. Did you miss it?” inquired the TC.
“I was never meant to be on that train,” she smiled feebly and moved on.