Train Journey11 mins 16.8K 11 mins 16.8K
“HEY SHRUTI, GIVE IT TO ME. HEY, PLEASE,” a guy said to his girlfriend, who was vivacious, splendid and looked taller than him. Her peach color skin tone was excellent to take a nod. She wore a light green top and maroon tweed jacket which was not buttoned and left open. Her black jeans had clenched her long legs tightly. Her hair smelled of pomade, soft and shining like diamonds.
“No, I won’t. I know you will delete this photo. Oh God, you look so cool in this photo. I have to send it to my friends right now,” she said and tapped her facebook and trying to share his photo with her friends.
They were in a local train. The train was whizzing past the Jagarthla railway station and heading to Histapur in Mumbai. It wasn’t cramped with people, because of Sunday. In the back seat an elderly lady was sitting and munching the peanuts. Her hubby was checking his knee pain as they had returning to their home after visiting the hospital. And on the front seat, a boy about fifteen years, was preparing for exams with a text book of science in his lap.
“Huh? No way. You can’t do this. Just look at me. I am looking like a beggar with this half beard. Please don’t share this photo,” the guy, Vikranth said in a cheerful voice. He was taking this chance to touch her all the way from shoulders to her sleek waist. He even pressed his hands on her thighs, but she was light hearted and enjoying it rather than blaming him.
These two were working in a telecom software company and they both joined recently and in the training period became good friends and this friendship had blossomed into love within four months. Shruti was happy to find a mate like him. He was an excellent and courteous guy, she thought about him.
Amitav was watching all this. He was sitting on the opposite seat to them. He was Vikranth’s friend, and he was working in the same company. Not only that, they all were together working in the same team for Tukk-mobile, a client from San Francisco.
In fact, Amitav was in love with her from the day she had joined in the office. But something had stopped him from speaking with her. Maybe it was his corpulent body which scrunched his confidence. Yes, he was a fat fellow. But he was an excellent scholar. He was the school topper in tenth and twelfth standards, and he had passed with distinction in engineering college.
However, from the beginning he was very nervous to talk with girls. Even now. It was like his congenital defect. He could still remember the incident when Pramila, a girl who had disliked to sit next to him in the fifth standard. He was a potato sack that time, full of flesh and no bones. She told this truth bluntly when he had asked her why she had refused to sit next to him. The impact was still implanted in his brain securely. From that day, he had always hesitated to speak with girls, fearing they might be disgusting about his appearance. You could see him ducking his head to meet the Shruti’s eyes who was courting her boyfriend, opposite to him.
The train had stopped in the Gazirabhad station, a bright girl about twenty two years had entered into the coach. She had seated in the window seat right next to the boy who was mulling with the book.
“Here it is. I have shared this photo on facebook,” Shruti showed the mobile to her boyfriend, who plucked the phone from her and started looking for the evidence. He thought she was joking, but she had really shared the weird photo with her friends.
“You…………” Vikranth said and lightly tapped on her cheek. She smiled as the furious wind stuck her hair which flew like dust in the air. She stroked her hair and tucked it behind her right ear and looked at him honestly. Her tweed jacket was flapping like a flag on the pole.
Amitav had seen her with half opened eyes, he was feeling devastated to peer into their love courtship. He had loved her so much. But he didn’t have a glint of energy to tell this truth in front of her. If you go and see in his house, you may be bewilder to know how many letters and how many drawings of her had been hidden under his bed. There wasn’t a day when he had moved without looking into her photo, which he had taken in his mobile when his office colleagues had cut a birthday cake for her in the office cafeteria.
How warm her blue eyes were then. How beautifully she had swung her slim body when her friends had requested to dance for the song from Kar Gayi Chull. No, Shruti didn’t know anything about this. If she knew, she would have asked him to delete the photo immediately. He wasn’t the fellow she had expected to save her photo in his mobile. His eyes were glistened when he had seen Shruti stroking Vikranth’s hands with lust in her eyes.
“What happened Amitav, you are so silent. Don’t you talk anything?” Vikranth asked, he released his hand free from her.
Amitav looked at him slowly, he was careful not see Shruti who had held his hand again.
“No, I..I… am just looking at the scenery outside,” Amitav said, struggled to speak cohesively.
Vikranth smiled arrogantly and said, “That’s why I told you to date someone. You could have tried Sasha, she is a great match for you.” He laughed as he looked at him. His shoulders were heaved up and down and his hair shook on his skull as he let out a laughing fit. Shruti joined him too as clapped her hands together. There was a reason for this irritating laugh, because Sasha was twice the size of Vikranth. She got married recently.
“I think you are teasing me,” Amitav said in a soft voice. He knew they were telling this just to make fun of his fat figure.
“Ohhh, that is tremendous intelligence and you are a maverick man,” Vikranth said as he laughed again and high-fived with Shruti, who was in the same wavelength.
The old lady and old man saw this blistering conversation, but they wished to smile on seeing Amitav’s face. They were enjoying this ride. But the new girl who entered the coach was playing i-Tunes on her iphone 6, clearly she had inherited more money. Her looks and her belongings had meant it.
The cellphone beeped. Shruti ran her fingers over the mobile (white Samsung S7) and scrolled down to see the notification.
“Oh goodness, look at the comments, you became a true champ,” Shruti said and showed it to Vikranth.
“Who has commented?” Vikranth said and pushed his neck to see the messages. Though he didn’t like to share his weird photo, he wanted to see the comments from her friends.
‘Hey, he is your boyfriend??? He is choo chweeet,’ one of her friend typed in the comment section.
‘Wow, such a beard I had never seen. He rocks baby,’ her college friend Gaikwat commented.
‘I think, you can marry him for this fascinating beard alone…he heee…..’ more smileys attached.
“Oh, that’s interesting,” Vikranth said. He came close to her and smelled her like she was a morning flower. He couldn’t control his temptation to punch kiss on her lips. He did elegantly as brushed her linen soft full lips, which was reddish and enticing.
Amitav had seen all this romance while they did with enthusiasm and overfilling zeal. He felt like drop down to the next station, he didn't want to hear their frantic squeals anymore. Their comments were like droning motor in his ears, harsh and plummeting.
He croaked his throat to intrude them. Though he knew it wasn’t a good etiquette, he didn’t have any other option.
“Hey boy, why are you sitting here?” Vikranth said in a thick voice, but almost grating. “Go and see if you can entice that girl,” he pointed his index finger at the girl, who had entered into the train earlier. He knew she couldn’t hear his words, since she was hearing songs.
Amitav stood up immediately. It was like his friend had punched his chest with a brick in hand. He had walked down through the small aisle and came to stand on the foot-board. This he hadn’t done in his life before, and it was for the first time he was attempting to foot-board on the train. Though it was a deadly experience, it had given him soothing feeling to come out of the strain he had in his soul on bearing his friend’s baleful words.
He swallowed the blob of air into his mouth as his hair swayed to and fro with the strong wind cultivated by the furiously speeding train. A moment he thought to jump out of the train and commit suicide. But he whacked his brain for having had this savage thought. Though he was a dumb fellow sometimes, he didn’t want to give up his life for such trivial matters. Things will change in the future, he muttered himself as grabbed tightly the vertical iron rod for the support.
“What the hell is this ?” Shruti screamed suddenly.
Amitav thought it was a joke. Maybe they both were playing. But he was wrong.
“I don’t know,” Vikranth said. “This is fake news. I don’t even know this girl”
The sudden commotion brew in between them, because Shruti’s friend Shalini had commented like this. ‘Dude, I believe he is not your boyfriend. If he is, then control+alt+delete him from your life immediately. This one sentence would give you a clear picture of him.’
“Don’t give me bullshit. I know my friend Shalini would never lie to me. She is my best friend from my schooling,” she boomed once again.
“Oh babe, please believe me. I don’t even know who she is. Don’t you trust me?” Vikranth said, his hands were shaking now.
“For God’s sake, don’t call me babe. Tell me what you did to her. Did you everrrrrrrrrr fu….?” Shruti said, her eyes were staring furiously like a 800 degree Celsius furnace.
Amitav averted his eyes at them. In fact, everyone was staring at them. The girl had removed earphones from her head and looked at them with vapid eyes and wondering what had happened suddenly. The old woman had stopped munching the peanuts and looked at them with gaped mouth, and her jaw was quivering as if someone was shaking it.
“Shruti, calm down. We will resolve this matter peacefully,” Vikranth said in a low voice, as he had turned his head left and was embarrassed to see all the people were looking at them.
“No, I can’t keep quiet. You are a cheat. You just get out of my life,” she blared as threw her hands in the air.
Vikranth swallowed a thick lump down his throat. He had never seen her ferocious temper before, but for the first time. Now only he understood how a prodding pug like her would become a thunderous storm in the cloud of life. She is always a cuddling teddy, he thought earlier. But now he had revamped his thought.
He slowly came forward and tried to touch her hair, but she threw his hands aside and sprung out of her seat and jogged down towards Amitav, who thought she was going to hug him to pamper herself. But she didn’t. She tossed herself out of the speeding train. Her skull was smashed on the jagged stone and she was dead immediately. The people inside were horrified as they closed their eyes not to see this hideous suicide.
Amitav was speechless, his senses were numbed. He couldn’t believe what had happened before his eyes. On seeing this, Vikranth came down furiously. Amitav was devastated, when his attempt to save his friend failed miserably. It was like a nightmare. His friend too hurled himself out as his body was mangled by the opposite train. It was like a frog being flattened under the tyre of a lorry. Amitav closed his eyes, and he didn’t know what should do. The girl who was in the train had pulled the chain and stopped the train.
There was a beeping sound from the mobile. Amitav slowly came down with his clenched heart and grabbed the mobile. He wanted to know why they had fought suddenly. His forehead swarmed with perspiration as if he had trekked the hills for continuous three hours. His fingers were shivering , his cheeks turned pale and white like a dead body kept in the mortuary. The impact of their suicides was crushing his soul, his blood was frozen and his heart was heavier than the train.
He slowly took the mobile in his hand, which was cold like he was holding an ice bar in it. His eyelids fluttered faster like a giant bird as he scrolled down the mobile. His heart pricked and thudded furiously, when he had seen her facebook page. The comment was this.
‘April fool!!! April fool!!! Dear, I am sorry for the previous comment. Have a great day!’ Shalini commented again.
He let out a huge cry and smashed the mobile phone on the iron door of the train.