BACK ON PUBLIC DEMAND!! Swagat nahi karoge aap hamara?
I have a very charming habit of giving unknown people a weird look, every time they try to start conversation with me, needless to say I have very few friends and made fewer friends during journey.
Although it is difficult to admit, that too after the release of “Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani “, but I must confess that I don’t like to travel. Sharing oxygen and gaseous body emissions with hundred odd people for a particular duration of time is not the most appealing idea to me.
Not to mention my another bewitching characteristic, motion sickness. Since childhood, I was very good at vomiting violently if I had to go for a longer distance than from my fridge to my bed. And I used this as a major excuse for avoid travelling, but don’t remember when DEAR GOD took this wonderful blessing from me.
The idea of going somewhere, always gives me few sleepless nights. Maybe it has to be with the fact that I like being at home. I like sitting in the couch that has a dent in the shape of my bum already imprinted on it. I like knowing what’s in the fridge, knowing the phone number of the neighborhood shop by heart so that I can dial it when the milk or bread runs out. I adore the luxury of browsing through my bookshelf to pick any book than sitting ideal during journey and noticing co-passengers irritating behavior.
In other words, for the world although, I am very Boring person but for me it’s divine to be on the aforementioned dent in my couch in home forever.
But that day, I had to reach somewhere and I had no other option but to book a ticket on IRCTC. Next day I found myself in front of coach of the train, where I had to spend my next five hrs. It was still 10 min from departure of the train so I went ahead to nearby book shop.
“Hey listen, show me some latest fiction book “I said
Although there was no one on the shop except me but still the shopkeeper ignored my voice and kept rubbing his nails against each other.
There are enough reasons for me to hate Baba Ramdev and this one was one of them.
After Cricket, Movie and Politics, to save hair fall is the greatest fascination which most Indians have. I am not sure whether this trick from Baba Ramdev has done any favors to a single Indian or not but I am very much sure that, every time I see anyone rubbing their nails, I feel like punching hard on their face.
“Hello” I was louder this time
He looked at me, grinned and said pointing towards his fingers.
“It helps, Along with Kapalbhati; I am doing this for last 2 years “He acknowledged
“Yes, I know. My friend’s hair started falling at the age of 20 and after that he started doing all these stuffs “I said
“And how is he now?” He asked with curiosity
“Give me that book first “I said, pointing to ‘And the Mountains echoed’
He took the book, ‘Sir, please tell me, how is your friend now?’ He asked again
I snatched the book from his hand and gave him a thousand note.
“What happened to your friend, Sir? “ He queried again
I looked for the time. It was getting late and my train was about to go.
“Give me the money back” I shouted this time. There were still questions in his eyes.
“He is using wig now” I grinned.
It was sure that he didn’t like my answer but may be the manner of my response hurt him more.
“I don’t have change; let me get the change first “He replied.
Train signaled and it was about to go.
“Give me, my money back. My train is about to go “I screamed.
“Wait, wait, I am coming with change.” He said and went to nearby shop for the change. I knew, he was returning the favor for my gag.
Train started crawling now. I looked at shop owner once. He was no way near to return me my money in next 2-3 mins and that would be too late. I looked at the Book shop once again.
“Two copies of ‘And the Mountains echoed’ @ 1000, was not bad choice either, at least I could gift another copy to someone.” I took another copy of the book from the shop and ran toward my coach in the train.
The Shop owner saw this and he ran toward me. Now I had to win two races. First race was against the moving train and second one was against that shop owner.
Losing the race with train was out of question as it would definitely lead the shop owner to grab my neck and i could found myself in Hospital.
I ran faster. I was about to touch the rod at the compartment gate but Train also gained momentum. Distance between my hand and train was increasing and I was about to lose the first race. But then there was a guy at the entrance. He saw me running toward the train and extended his hand.
Given any other situation, I would avoid this all Guys DDLJ scene repetition but shop owner was about to catch me, so I hold his hands tightly and jumped inside the compartment. Now I was in the running train and the shop owner was still at the platform frazzled.
There was a small exchange of foul language between myself and that shop owner. Out of frustration, the shop owner even threw stone chips on me, needless to say train was faster and he was not Abhinav Bindra. I won the battle and train moved passed the platform.
“Thanks” I said to that guy and went inside and took my seat.
I hate travelling and I didn’t need to remind it to myself. It was a day journey but half of the passengers were sleeping, as if it was their first sleep after their daughter’s marriage and Bidaai.
“BEEP” I said [Replace BEEP with other crude word as per your convenience]
There was one newspaper and some set of passengers were sharing that single newspaper. Every page of the newspaper was circulated in the compartment, just like the examination notes. I observed that the page having photo of Katrina Kaif was very much in demand. Every time that page was released by one passenger, multiple numbers of hands fought (but in a sophisticated manner) to pick that page.
I found that few of the uncles won Katrina Kaif twice irrespective of their not so agile body and few were still amatory taking a glance of her from distance. Their desperation to get that paper proved the common complaint of many parents that they can’t watch “Sheila Ki Jawani” enough in their TV Set, due to presence of Kids in home.
“Poor Chaps “. I thought.
But Kids in the Train were not naïve either. They were making sure that not a single penny left in their parent’s wallet. They had to taste each and every food item which hawkers were selling. One of the kid was pulling his father’s shirt every time any food item was coming. After sometime cold drink came.
“Dad, I need Pepsi” He said while pulling his Father’s shirt to drew attention.
His Father was still busy in glancing Katrina from distance and waiting for his turn.
“Dad” The Kid pulled his shirt again.
His dad ignored. After few minutes, I heard 3 sounds one by one.
“Charrrrrrr” Sound of tearing of Shirt
“Thap” Sound of Slap on the Kid’s face
“awwwwwww” Sound of the Kid’s bawl
And then the fourth sound came. It was of my laughter. I laughed vigorously and the Kid started yelling more.
I looked around. Everyone was looking at me with animosity.
“Sorry” I said and started looking at other side of window.
After sometime, I again looked inside the compartment. That Kid was still staring at me with same hatred in his eyes which Mithun Chakraborty used to have against AmrishPuri in every eighties movies.
It was better to move to another seat then getting a punch on the face by Mithun Chakrabotry.So I stood up and looked around. Except that Kid, no one was looking at me. I smiled animatedly at him again. That Kid started crying again and I went to look for another seat in the compartment.
The Train was almost vacant so I got the seat in same compartment far away from that Baby Mithun Chakraborty.
That Guy who rescued me from the shop owner was sitting just in front of me. He smiled and I responded too. [End of conversation from my end.]
I didn’t want to indulge myself into observing other passengers’ behavior this time, so I took the book from my bag to spent rest of my time in the Train.
“Is this the new book from Khaled Hosseini” That Guy sitting in front of me started the conversation. I nodded affirmatively. [End of conversation from my end.]
“Hi, Myself Vikash” He Said
“Narayan” I replied, I told him wrong name. [End of conversation from my end.]
After sometime, He again tried to start a conversation.
“So Where are going?” He said
“Last Station” I replied [End of conversation from my end.]
“No, I thought, you went inside this train just to get rid of that person “He countered
I didn’t reply.
“What have you done?” He queried again.
“The rope that pulls you from the flood can become a noose around your neck.”
I read this line in the book. That Guy was doing the same thing.
“Nothing” I replied [End of conversation from my end.]
“Am I disturbing you?” He asked again
“No, No “I smiled and replied back [“Yes, You are. I don’t want anyone of invade my space“]
“Actually travelling in day in quite a tough task and it’s tougher, if you have nothing to write “He clarified
And for the first time, I took my attention to that Guy.
“Are you a writer?” I queried
“What exactly you write “I questioned
“I write many things. Sher, Gazal, Nazm & Poems to be very precise “He answered
“Do you want to listen? “ He asked. I nodded affirmatively.
“मेरे मासूम से बच्चे की आँख में आँसू, ऐ ग़रीबी हमें त्यौहार से डर लगता है… “ He said
I repeated the words in my mind again. “Wow !! That’s very good” I said
“One more please “I requested
A Creative mind always looks for audience , especially writers and Poets.
“पानी फेर दो इन पन्नों पर.. ताकि धुल जाए सियाही सारी.. ज़िन्दगी फिर से लिखने का मन होता है कभी-कभी… “
“This one was even better “I said. He acknowledged proudly.
After that we talked for a while. He shared few more with me and those were equally good.
“I must tell you, your creations are very good” I encouraged him
“My Wife says the same thing that I am better in Literature than my Job”
“What is your Job?” I asked
“I am in IT “He said and told about his organization
“Same here!!” I replied and informed about my employer too.
“That’s great, My Wife is also in the same company “He replied back
I involved myself in reading the book in hand and he was still looking for some topic to start the conversation again.
There is no containment in Human mind, it always looks for appreciation and Vikash was not different.
He was trying to remember few of his poems.
“Just recently, I got married “He started the conversation again
“First Poem I recited to her was
साथ साथ घूमते रहे रात भर दोनों, मुझे आवारा , उसे चाँद कहती है दुनिया “
“She must be feeling very proud of you” I added
“That I don’t know “He replied
“But She should be “I said
Later I told him the whole Book Shop incident and we had a good laugh
“I would have taken more books” He supported my misdeed.
After some times, we reach the destination and we were about to go.
“It was nice meeting you “He said
“Same here!!” I acknowledged
“Hey Vikash, When are you going back to Kolkata”I asked
“Not Sure, May be in one or two days “
“Great!! Then we can meet some day in Kolkata to listen to your new poems” I replied
“Sure. Give me your number” He replied back enthusiastically
I gave the number.
“Okay, Narayan !!!” He saved my Number
“I will tell my real Name to him, some other day” I thought
“It’s my Business card” He gave his Business card and we parted away.
I took his card in Wallet. Next day while returning, I took the Business card to save the number.
I typed the number and one name appeared. I skipped few heart beats.
“No, it can’t be possible. It might be my mistake”
I again looked at the Business card, typed each and every digit after verifying. After the completion of number, again same name appeared. The number was already stored in my mobile but with different name.
I took the phone and opened the message.
“I am not sure, how serious you are. But looks like it’s little late. My family is planning for my marriage now “
I took the mobile and hit it hard on the wall. Mobile shattered in pieces and so did my heart. I arranged my mobile but heart remained dismantle.
The Very next day, I stormed to her cube.
“I want to talk to you”
We came outside. “So, your marriage is fixed “I asked
“Not Fixed, But talks are going on. It’s still in initial stage.” She replied
“Then, what’s the problem? If it is not fixed, Tell your family that you don’t want to marry that Guy” I replied with anger.
“No, I can’t. I am not sure about you “She admitted slowly
I didn’t reply and turned in opposite direction. She hold my hand.
“See, don’t get me wrong. You are a nice Guy and I really like you but…“ She pleaded
“I don’t need the consolation prize of being a nice Guy. “ I outraged
“Why don’t you understand? I need some time before being sure about you, even if you are serious” She clarified
“I don’t have any problem. Take your time. One Month, Two Month or even six months” I replied back
“But, My Family will not wait for so long” She replied
“Great!!! So you need time for a Guy, who loves you immensely but you will marry someone, whom your parent will select just after meeting once or twice “I countered
“Who Knows, he might reject me “She replied
“That, No one will do. “ I replied
“Because anyone can lose their heart over this pretty face and no one will ever know how mean this heart can be“I added and stormed out of that place.
She tried to call me, many a times but I never picked the call. I never replied to her SMS and messages even once.
One day, She sent me SMS that her marriage is fixed.
I deleted all her mails, messages. I deleted her from my contact list in Facebook, Twitter and internal office messenger but couldn’t able to delete her from my Mobile.
May be it was kept for today only.
<<Love Failure – End >>
I smiled and saved that number with a new name, Vikash.
Train started running again and I remembered one of Vikash’s creation
छोडो,बिखरने देते हैं ज़िंदगी को.. आखिर समेटने की भी एक हद होती है. ……