Downpour9 mins 395 9 mins 395
On a school reunion, Ayush and his friends were having a chat about their lives. One of the friends Jay suggested that each one of them should tell the others about a story that impacted their lives in some way. Ayush volunteered to start as he already knew what he was going to talk about.
This was a story that happened ten years ago yet Ayush remembered everything clearly. Everyone sat near the camp fire as Ayush started telling the story.
It was a regular working day in the crowded city of Mumbai. It was already 8 am. The meeting was scheduled to take place at 9 am. Mohit was late for his meeting and it was raining heavily. He had to take the train as that was the fastest mode of reaching Churchgate from Andheri. Due to heavy rains the trains were late. He finally got on a fast train but it was already 8.30 am. Mohit called his client’s office and told them he was stuck in the rains. The secretary of his client informed him that they had to reschedule the meeting as her boss (Mohit’s client) was unable to reach office due to the rains. Mohit was furious but didn’t let it show in his voice. Since he was already in the train, he decided to go to his office and finish some work. Mohit had finished his graduation in commerce last year. He joined his father’s business of exports. Sunita boarded the general compartment of the train at Bandra. She sat opposite Mohit fully drenched. Mohit could not stop looking at her. She had beautiful eyes, long black hair and an hour glass figure. She noticed his stare and smiled at him. They exchanged their names. Suddenly the train stopped on the tracks between Matunga and Dadar. It was announced that due to heavy rains the trains could not move further. Mohit asked Sunita to stay in the train and wait till help arrived. As time passed they began to talk about their lives. She was a student at an Arts college. Mohit told her about his family, friends, work, etc. He noticed that she was hesitant to give him details about her life. He felt like she was trying to hide something from him. Then he thought to himself that she was a girl stranded in rains with a stranger in an empty train, so she was bound to be scared. After waiting for almost 3 hours, there was another announcement that the passengers should get off the train as it was not likely to start anytime soon. Mohit helped Sunita get off the train. It was still raining. The wind was so strong that it blew off their umbrellas. Holding each other’s hands, they started walking on the tracks. The platform of Dadar station was visible yet it appeared to be atleast 1 kilometer away from them. After walking for about 100 meters, Sunita tripped at the stones on the tracks and sprained her ankle. They sat on the tracks while Mohit examined her ankle. When he touched her ankle, he felt a surge of happiness rush through his entire body. Sunita was wearing payal (anklet), which complemented her perfect body beautifully. Mohit carefully massaged her ankle and her pain slowly began to reduce. Sunita held his hand pulled him close and kissed him. It only lasted for a few seconds but Mohit would remember this kiss for his lifetime. Sunita apologized for her behavior and said she didn’t know why she did that. Mohit helped her get on her feet. They now walked very slowly. If they continued walking at this pace they could take forever to reach the platform of Dadar station. Mohit had a good physique as he used to workout at the gymnasium everyday. He asked her if she didn’t mind him carrying her in his arms. She reluctantly agreed. As he held her in his arms, his heart was beating fast. She could feel his heartbeat as she kept one hand on his chest. This was the first time Mohit had come this close to a girl. He had always been an introvert with limited friends. All his friends were only boys and his workplace barely needed him to interact with girls. The rains had slowed by now and they were only a few hundred meters away from the Dadar station platform. When they neared the platform, Mohit carefully kept Sunita down and helped her stand on her feet. They got on the platform. Mohit went to a shop at the platform to buy some water and snacks. Mohit offered the water and snacks to Sunita but she refused by saying that she was fasting that day. After Mohit finished eating, Sunita thanked him for being there. She expressed her gratitude to him and hugged him. He held her tight for a few seconds and then let her go as he was worried that she might find this awkward. Mohit looked into her eyes and asked her if she would like to go out with him on a date? Her smile disappeared and she looked away. This astonished him after the way she had acted until now. There was silence for some moments. It had taken lot of guts for Mohit to ask her on a date. How could she simply look away and not say anything? Why did she kiss him if she was not interested in him? Why did she hug him and held his hand? Mohit’s mind was full of questions and frustration when a stranger came and pulled him backwards. The stranger asked him why was he standing so close to the passing train? Mohit was confused as he didn’t realize when the train was passing the platform. He looked around and suddenly saw a big crowd trying to get on the train. When they reached the station ten minutes ago, there was no one at the platform except the snacks seller and them. He looked around him but couldn’t find Sunita. Where did she disappear? How could she leave without saying goodbye? Did he make her so uncomfortable that she just left? The stranger looked at him and said to him that he should get on the train as this maybe the last train headed towards Andheri.
Mohit got on the train, he stood at the footboard looking at the tracks, thinking about Sunita. Then he heard some people talking about the reason for the delayed trains. The station master had found a body on the railway tracks between Matunga and Dadar. The deceased was a young girl wearing a red shirt with blue jeans. She had worn a set of payal on her feet. Mohit’s face was red with shock and horror. The description of this girl matched with Sunita. But how could it be Sunita? She was with him in the train since the last couple of hours. Mohit looked out at the tracks trying to figure out the situation and trying to convince himself that the girl these people were talking about was someone else. Then what he saw horrified him completely. When the train slowly passed Matunga station, he saw Sunita on the tracks smiling and waving at him. Her clothes were torn and stained with blood. The train moved, she moved with the train. Mohit looked away but when he turned to look back he saw her again. He went inside the compartment and sat on one of the seats. The journey from Matunga to Bandra was the scariest journey of his life. Mohit got off at Bandra station and enquired about the girl who died on the tracks. The police had sent her body to the nearest morgue. They said the body was completely unidentifiable. It appeared that someone had thrown her in front of the train. They found a wallet near the tracks which had her picture and address. To Mohit’s shock, it was Sunita! The rains had stopped so he decided to visit her house in Bandra. Sunita lived in a small apartment with her six year old son. When he enquired with the neighbors, they said her husband had died last year and she had no family left. Mohit went to the police station, completed the formalities to get her body and the next day he completed her funeral rites with her son. Her son was only 5 years old. Mohit took him to his house and adopted him. Initially, his family didn’t agree but their love for Mohit made him accept Sunita’s son.
After one year from the incident, Mohit found a letter on his table. The envelope didn’t have any stamp or address. He read the letter
I fell in love with you when I saw you the first time on the train but I was dead by then. I wanted to say yes to the date that you proposed. The moments I spent with you were true. After my husband died, I lost faith in love until I met you. Thanks for taking care of my son. When he grows up, tell him that his mother didn’t commit suicide, she died while saving herself from getting raped. I love you Mohit. Love can happen to anyone, sometimes we meet our soul mate even after our death.
Yours even after death,
Mohit had tears in his eyes when his phone rang. It was his 6 year old son Ayush.
The friends were quiet when they heard the last line. Ayush, their friend was Sunita’s son.
Was it Mohit’s story or Sunita’s story or Ayush’s story? Did it really matter? Who was telling the story? And whose story was it anyway? The words fluttered and flew in the wind.