It was beautiful Sunday morning. Meera was sipping coffee from her mug looking at the sky but her mind wandered somewhere else. She thought about the journey that she had experienced the previous day. She will never be able to forget it. It was the most beautiful experience ever. The purpose of her trip was already fulfilled in that journey. She had learnt the most important lesson of life in that journey.
Meera is a 21 year old budding writer. She is a resident of Delhi. After completing her graduation she decided to go on a trip on her own. She believed that an artist must go on a trip alone once in a lifetime. She believed that this can give artist some time to remain in solitude in order to explore themselves. She decided to go Jaipur. Meera loved mountains as well as beaches. But what she loved the most was palaces and forts. She believed that palaces are the places where you can get maximum number of stories. She also loved abandoned forts. She believed that they carry the silence with utmost royalty. She had decided to visit Bhangarh (India's number one haunted place) too. Not that she was interested in any kind of horror story. She just wanted to explore the abandoned palace. She thought that she would sit there and write there amidst the silence. To write sitting at an abandoned fort was her childhood dream. Meera always had simple and weird dreams. But that is the thing with dreams. They don't need to be something extraordinary. They just need to be yours. Her parents wanted her to travel by air but she chose to travel by train. She loved the train more than any other means of travel. Little did she knew that the same train journey would become the most memorable part of her trip.
The train journey started at 3:00 p.m. Meera plugged in her earphone. Listening to music while travelling was like a ritual for her. Only half an hour would have passed when someone tapped her shoulder. She looked at her right and noticed a boy of 7 or 8 years old sitting beside her. She took out earphone from her ears and smiled looking at him.
"Hello" she said.
"Hello" the boy replied. The boy introduced himself as Shlok. He told her that he was getting bored so he wanted to make some friends and so she should talk to him and should not listen to songs on her earphone. Meera said"Ok. My cute little friend." "Are you travelling alone ?" the boy asked. "Yes" she replied. "Wow! My mom don't allow my elder sister to go to her friends home alone at night. You are going on a trip alone. " Shlok exclaimed. " Aren't you afraid of thieves or goons ?" he asked. "No. I am state level judo and karate champion" she said with smile. " And next time tell your mom that teach she should teach your sister karate too and then she can go anywhere alone." The boy smiled and ran to tell this to her mom.
Next station came and an old couple came and sat opposite to Meera. Aunty was scolding Uncle in Malayam. When they finally got settled Meera looked at her and smiled. Aunty smiled back at her. Aunty introduced herself as Chaitanya and Uncle as Murli. Meera also introduced herself. Aunty asked her if she was travelling alone. Meera was not ready for another lecture but still replied with a nod. Aunty smiled and said that this is a great decision. She should enjoy her life. Meera was shocked hearing this from an old woman. Uncle understood her shock and replied that Aunty is way more modern than any person of her generation. Aunty said that she believes that women should live her life on her own terms. She should fight for her dreams. She said that her daughter is a pilot. Meera told her that she has really given wings to her daughter. Aunty replied that she hasn't given her any wings. She was born with them. She just let her use them on her own. Meera was quite impressed by this old lady. She thought that age is really just a number. Meera and aunty talked for hours about life and she got to learn many things by listening to her life stories. She told her everything about the challenges faced by her in her career and how society stood against her family because she was chose higher education when everyone else was getting married. She told about her husband being from another community and their struggles. Meera thought that how ambitious and hardworking the old woman was and how she had managed to smile through all the problems. She knew she would be a different person after this journey.
When it was evening food arrived. But Aunty didn't allow Uncle to have sweet as he was diabetic. At that time a woman who was sitting on an adjacent seat came and gave a bowl of Sevaiya to him. She told Aunty that it was sugar free. Aunty allowed him to eat it. Aunty told her to sit with us.
The woman introduced herself as Ruksana. She told that today was her Roza and she had made Sevaiya specially for today. Aunty smiled and thanked her for Sevaiya. Aunty asked her what does she do for living. Ruksana said she was environmental scientist. She said that she had deep love for nature from childhood. She told that she is working with some NGO's to which helps poor children.
They spent the rest of journey talking about life. When the station finally arrived they went to their respective places. Meera was deeply moved with the experience of the train journey. She had learnt so many things from a single journey just because she listened to that child and removed her earphone. She thought about that aunt who chose to live her life on her own terms. She thought about Ruksana who worked for the welfare of environment and society. She thought about the beautiful bond that they experienced even when they were from completely different communities and different regions. She thought that how beautiful her country is. She thought about all those people who don't do anything for country but just keep complaining whereas there are some people who are genuinely working hard in their respective fields and showing kindness towards each and every person. Meera felt that she was lucky that she was born in India. As the birds chirped in her hotel balcony Meera looked at them and thought about Aunty and her daughter. Trees reminded her of Ruksana's love for nature. With this Meera got ready for her trip and decided to work with dedication and love. She decided that she would write with all her heart. She would give her dreams wings and will write good stories about good people like Aunty and Ruksana.