I have a habit of getting bored at railway stations, well obviously not out of habit; it is kind of a usual thing to get bored when you are traveling alone. More because I arrived almost an hour ago on the platform, not that I knew the train would be an hour late. I have another of my habit in such situation, that I easily calm myself down by reasoning “this is India”, it is so normal when things are not on time here, in a way it makes the journey more interesting. That philosophy of mine wouldn’t find its place in the books of those Indian travelers who just need a reason to get pissed off and eventually start playing the most favorite Indian game namely “The Blame Game”. Meanwhile I thought I’d check out some good books at the railway book stall. As I hit the store, I found this cute girl looking for a particular book in the store; she was most probably not an Indian, funny how easily you can make out who’s what. I could sense her confusion, and saw the shopkeeper was clueless as well, so again out of habit, I offered to help. I spoke to her, gauging from her response and her English accent I realized she must have been French and her appearance claimed that she must be 22 or 23 years maximum. She was polite and greeted me with her cutest smile when I offered to help. She was looking for a good Rabindranath Tagore book there, but was not so sure which one to look for as she had never read a single book by him before. All she knew was the name. Well this seemed a no brainer for me, even though the person she mentioned probably wrote books which needed a lot of brains. I started looking for some of the books I knew about that guy. This particular bong had an enviable fan base amongst the foreigners. I came up with something light and perhaps one of his greatest works till date, Gitanjali. She seemed really happy, with the book and no points for guessing that we actually began a conversation.
“So what’s your name?” I asked her.
“Am Natalie, I have come to India to study history and thus am going to Chennai, I know a professor there who would guide me in my studies, also I have a friend there, and what about you?” she smiled. Indeed it’s quite true there is something about girls; be it from any ethnicity that she brings a smile to your face when she speaks nicely with you. Just when I thought that; I heard a girl go past us who just said a series of cuss words to someone she was talking to over the phone, my thoughts were brought back to reality, and all I did was give a Cheshire cat smile over my thoughts!
“Am Aryan am an engineering student, and I’ll be stalking you to Chennai” I paused to see her expressions to that, well she did get surprised but kind of she knew I was kidding.
I cleared the air and told her my reasons of going down south. She smiled.
“So are we in the same train?” she enquired, and by now she seemed to open up a bit.
“Well, I wish we were in the same coach though, I would have a good company as you know this is gonna be a long journey” I winked at her.
“Hmmmm…. I know I enquired about it; it will take us more than a day’s time to be there. And even I am traveling alone, I might get bored, but looks like our seats are not even remotely in the same coach…..” Before she could finish her sentence there was an announcement on the platform, about the train arriving. We got up and arranged our luggage, and moved to our respective coach positions and bid each other goodbye for the time being. I thought later I might ask the TTE for a seat exchange if am lucky enough.
I entered the train, and found my seat, it was a window seat and I was glad to find that. I have always loved a window seat, well who doesn’t?
The time I was at the station with Natalie, Anvesha was on the phone with someone, unbeknownst to me in within a matter of moments we both were about to take the most interesting journey of our life together.
On the phone,
Voice from phone: Anvesha, look you are acting really silly, I mean this is totally ridiculous of you, I bet someone has filled your ears….
Anvesha: I don’t have to reason with you, calling another girl bitch, and verbally abusing her maybe a normal thing for you, but I don’t think the same.
VFP: Well, i… er, I was doing this rap thing, where I needed to you know, so I uhm thought I would do try myself in public first….
Anvesha: What a lame excuse, you already had a problem with my friend Rhea, you were just looking for an excuse to insult her. Don’t give me any of your bullcrap, you sonovabitch! Motherfucker, asshole, pathetic dick, and yeah and definitely a cocksucking faggot and obviously not my boyfriend! So fuck off!
VFP: babe…. Am sorry how can you be so rude to me? It’s not like I have cheated you…
Anvesha: would it explain if i tell you what I just said was a fucking rap, how does it sound…. Look vinay, you don’t have respect for women, you are not going to stay in my life, did you get it. Perhaps it is not just because of Rhea, but on many other occasions I have heard of you being disrespectful towards women, and you know how much I hate it. It’s all you fucking men’s fault, whenever a woman sets out to believe that a man is good, he breaks no… no… make it shatters her trust. Every time…. Fuck off, and don’t expect me to send you a notice to tell you that it’s over between us.
VFP: Don’t bring the entire woman fraternity along with you, it is just your problem, your feminist mind does not want to think straight.
She disconnected immediately. Probably Anvesha was already in a state of disgust when she entered the train. And to top it all the entertainment I provided her for the first one hour into the journey, would definitely piss anyone for the day, and this was going to be a journey of day and night.
“So what is it?” Anvesha spoke.
“Well you see, there was this girl, who was in love with a guy who lived miles away from her, they couldn’t meet each other because of the distance, but their love was more than the distance between them” I said and paused for a while and took a brief moment savoring the beauty that she was, and then suddenly realizing the task now laid before me, and that was to make up to her for a bad start of the journey. It was maybe not required, but again out of habit, I decided that this one was one thing I have to get involved.
Anvesha said, “Hmmm… then?”
“Then what, the place she currently lived she met a boy there, the guy fell in love with this girl, you know “Love at first sight”.
“hmm…. Then what did she do?”
“As any girl in her place would have done, she rejected him!”
“But the guy did not give up, he tried to impress her through many ways, somehow he wanted to convince her how deeply he loved him and that he could do anything to prove his love.”
“Was he an idiot? I mean have some self-respect at least”
“Well, you think quite like this girl…. Well but it did not matter what she thought, because after trying to convince her and sticking around for over a year, all he could manage is a good friendship. But he still had his hopes pinned on for her”.
“What about the girl? What did she think of him as?”
“Maybe a part of her liked him, but with the guilt of deceiving her bf, miles away she did not give in, she remained friends though. She was always surprised by the amount of love this guy had for her. She was confused, and one day this guy cleared her confusions totally”
“What did he do now?”
“He proposed marriage….”
“Wasn’t one rejection enough for him?” she smirked.
“Quite exactly, she did the same thing as you guessed.”
“Well, you see, this story of yours is getting so predictable, that I think its tending to bore me”
“So before I stop go ahead and predict the next act?”
“He never gave up, kept stalking her, such a loser!”
“In fact, he committed suicide, and the guilt stayed with the girl for the rest of her life, partly ruining her personality…..”
For a brief moment it looked as if she was the girl from the story, and that guy actually had died for her. She sat quiet, looked at me and said, “Stop it right there, I don’t want to listen further”
“Well, that’s what happens when you start getting a feeling that things are so predictable in life, it turns out this way, isn’t it the same situation with your life too? Perhaps something which you are running away from”
“You don’t know anything about my life”
“I know something…..”
“That you are not happy, and this is the least I know about your life”
“Well, I see, Mr.Sherlock Holmes is predicting things which he himself is not sure of”
“What could be so worse, than to end up in an asylum, for someone who does not deserve to be there?”
“What??? Who are you talking about?”
“This is ridiculous!!!! I mean yes you are somewhat cracked up there, but an asylum, means you are totally insane”
“Well I am, actually I was…. Back in my 10th standard, I was diagnosed with….” I paused for a while and looked at her, she was listening intently and a part of me hinted that she was concerned, I might have been a terrible liar otherwise, but it seemed that whatever I said was actually believable to her.
“….. With Bipolar Disorder” I couldn’t think of anything more scary.
“Are you serious? I mean, okay how did it happen, and are you cured now??”
“That’s not the point, I am perfectly fine now, as you see I look normal, and you have no reasons to get threatened by me, I am the most safest bet as a co-passenger trust me” I winked her with my rarest charming smile.
I sensed she kind of blushed, as she looked down and smiled, but immediately brushed away her thoughts and looked at me, and said, “Well am sorry to hear that, and I am really sorry how I initially behaved when I entered the train, actually I was really upset….”
Before she finished I cut in, “And I pissed you off, right? Well now we are talking!” I smiled again suddenly realizing that the situation which looked out of control some time ago suddenly was turning out to be something sweet.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” Anvesha asked me and she looked serious.
“A mad guy like me, well who do you think would want to take the risk to be MY girlfriend” I looked back at her, she smiled and looked away.
“I have a boyfriend” she paused this time to look at my expression, which unbeknownst to her was a jaw dropping look from within but I managed it with an “Oh! That is so romantic!”
She sensed the tone in my voice. She said what happened before she entered the train. And was dead serious again, the feminist inside her suddenly woke up and she was unstoppable.
“I seriously hate and disgust those guys who cannot respect women, they show their attitudes, and think they can do whatever they want, with whomever they want to. They can say anything as they wish, but not with me.”
“Well, I know that, if any guy does that he would be the biggest fool in this galaxy and maybe several other galaxies, depending you don’t have any competition out there” I smiled again, somehow, now when I knew she was single I couldn’t stop smiling.
She laughed at that comment, and said, “You know what I bet you weren’t properly treated in the asylum”
“How did you know, well you know actually my doctor was a feminist herself, she hated guys badly, and thus treated them badly” as soon as I said that we both started laughing, perhaps she knew I had taken a dig on her, but maybe this time she chose to be a female and not the feminist. She looked at me, looked down all the time while she was smiling, somewhere she had forgotten who she was, and that was the moment I saw Anvesha in her pure form, no issue, no stands, no arguments, no male bashing and definitely no feminism, just herself, just Anvesha.
or is it…….