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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

PARNEESH MISHRA

Drama


4.8  

PARNEESH MISHRA

Drama


Shabbyman

Shabbyman

6 mins 16.9K 6 mins 16.9K

Train no. 12545, Intercity express, going from Jaipur to Delhi Sarai Rohilla via Alwar is delayed by 1 hour and is expected to arrive at 07:30 am at Gandhinagar Railway Station. The inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.


The only desirable delay in the morning that one earnestly long for, is the delay in rising sun. The announcement of the delay of train at 06:15 am in the morning has the earmark of repugnant good morning by Indian Railways.


How easily they get away with the inconvenience caused by deeply regretting it, smirked Cheenu to herself. But Vikas, her manager will not at all empathize with her for being tardy at the office. She had committed him to be on time for the team meeting at 09:30 am but now that ship has sailed. This ‘Intercity express’ is just getting her underway for some serious trouble at office today. She blighted herself for missing the train last night so that this early morning fiasco could have been averted. Sometimes life gives you lemons at the eleventh hour and all you can do, is keep them in the basket to rot.


Cheenu is in the chaotic age group of 25-30 years when everything is falling in places and falling apart simultaneously. Teenage is where you can take the decision and have the chance to review or change it. But in the chaotic age club or as Cheenu put it ‘XL-Teenage’. Here you have to take the decision which will be contemplated to be taken for the life time.


Her hectic job schedule has bereft her of the exquisite long morning showers, smell of morning tea and fresh ink of crispy news paper. They always were her I, Me & Myself intervention time which gave the awe feeling of life tangled in the webs of the day by day evolution. But now the only thought bud shooting in the showers is of the cab waiting on the gate of the society compound.With so much to ponder about life this wait on the railway platform could be worth a while. In 5 years this corporate world has taught her to make lemonade of the lemons of life even in the eleventh hour.


The Gandhinagar station is not the typical Indian railway station where angels fear to tread considering so much crowd. Due to less frequency of trains this station welcomes less people so waiting for 1 hour 15 minutes did not appear that much irksome to Cheenu as long as nobody tries to make a conversation with her.


She searched for a single waiting chair or empty bench to make herself comfortable for the next hour. Cheenu is always paranoid of strangers starting conversation during the travelling. The only strangers she interact with are the tea vendor and the ticket checker. One is the necessity while the latter is an obligation. To fulfil the necessity she raced her eyeballs in search of a tea vendor and there he is standing close to an empty bench. The morning is getting better from worse after all.


As usual, below average, she said to herself after taking the first sip of the tea after sitting on the bench. Howsoever savorless tea is sold at railway station, it still has the magnetic effect on travelers who go for it even after knowing the insipidity awaiting them just to abate the waiting hours. This is the power of time, even if you have to kill it you have to pay some price.Then what caught her attention diverted her from rating of her tea to a ghastly sight of a beggar.


Cheenu would not have thrown the second look on a beggar but this one was distinct in a rogue way. The gangling fellow was wearing a torn trouser, the true colour of which was concealed under the layers of dirt. The jacket or the shirt, Cheenu not able to figure out, was reminding her of the rags used for dusting. The short, rounded skull cap on his head gave her his surname. The most distinctive feature of this man was the bestial smile he adorned. People wearing rags are not conferred with this kind of smile by life. The smile of a beggar should also beg in itself but his smile was relentless to the extent causing distress to Cheenu. The fact that he was carrying a large stone in his hands with that brutish grin on his face alerted Cheenu, who for most of the times remains lackadaisical to her surroundings.


Why on earth this ‘shabbyman’ is carrying a large stone towards the rails. The shabbyman, Cheenu has this praxis of providing her own nomenclature to the livings and non livings. From pankhu, the fan to kamli, the maid, they all had their designated names in her home bestowed by Cheenu. Some habits subconsciously never let your inner child die. But this dingy character was surely not the affair of some inner child.


Oh my god!! He was heading towards the rails with vicious determination. She started to look at other people only in despair to find that nobody else was paying any heed to him. These smart cellulars have turned us all into dumb sociopaths murmured Cheenu. The girl who soberly avoided strangers was finding herself in a fix now. With every step of Shabbyman Cheenu was transforming little by little into a public go doer.


This man is certainly setting the foot for some trouble, the traditional white Taqiyah on his head, horrid grin on the face and the stone in his hand are the testimony for that. I think he is going to place it on the rails or ploy it to break something. To desist his determination I am going to need mine. Cheenu then decided that she is not going to be some simpleton to read about mishaps later and condemn society for not preventing it from happening. Our reticent girl has decided to take matters in her own hands. A little corner of her heart secretly wished that this about to be doughty endeavor of her be noticed by her manager.


Thinking What should she do now, She first decided to approach the tea vendor but then his stall was thronged with some local type guys with whom Cheenu wanted no social mingling. Sweet lord!!! He has left passed the first set of rails but there is no sight of stone in his hand now.He surely has placed it on the rail, it might be a disguised bomb, where is the police, why is not anybody else looking worried or is it just me already running late for office lady getting petrified!!!! All these thoughts were rushing in her head. The devil has cast the spell. All she could see was his back suggesting the rising head of the chaos.


Cheenu lost her composure she scooted towards the tea vendor and blabbered hysterically which tea vendor couldn’t understand. She then composed herself and just started to explicate the situation just then saw a man in that direction with a big suitcase climbing the edge and that too very comfortably. She reached the edge of the platform and the big stone of terror was found placed near the edge helping the passengers to climb the platform comfortably.


The platform was buzzing with the computerized announcements, but the only thing echoing in her mind was the bursting of prejudicial bubbles.


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