The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train is a story which took place when I was working in Varanasi. I tried to pour the emotions which I felt at that time. It is about a girl and the journey by train between Jaunpur to Varanasi station.

The Chase

It was 2018 summer evening time. I just took the review of my Jaunpur team and my train was at around 6 pm from the Jaunpur station to Varanasi. When I left the office it was already 5:30 pm and I was late. So I asked my friend Basant who was working there as an Engineer to drop me at the station. We took a bike and started rushing towards the station. Basant took the shortest path possible. He took us in gullies and taking the bike very close to the people in the market. I was carrying a side bag and a laptop bag which I was unable to handle and I requested him in fear to not drive that close to the people. He laughed and said not to worry. “We will reach on time,” Basant said. “I do not want to go in pieces” I replied. After this Fast and Furious chase, we finally reached the Jaunpur station.

I rushed towards the platform carrying that red trolley bag tilting my left side of the body down and a laptop bag after bidding good-bye to Basant just to check the status of the train. We reached on time. The train was about to come. It was on time. Jaunpur junction is a small station. I was in complete formals. Black shoes, socks, formal shirt, and pants as I directly ran from a review meeting and did not get any time to change in between. I called my boss Mr. Amit Sharma for 2 days’ leave for my ISTD Training and Development Program and like a nice and caring boss he approved. In those days I was not getting enough time for myself and I wanted to do something that requires more communication and expression of thoughts so I decided to be a trainer and enrolled myself in that program as a future target basis. I took some tea and biscuit as there were few minutes left for the train to reach. It was refreshing.

The Eyes

After few minutes the train arrived. It was an AC coach with a chair car. I got an aisle seat. In a chair car, half of the people used to sit facing another half. I settled my bags and relax for some time. Passengers were hurrying to get their seats. The halt was for just 5-7 mins. The train started running towards Varanasi. That time I used to read a lot while traveling so here again I started to read. I put on my glasses and started reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad” book by Robert T Kiyosaki. One must-read books to change the way of seeing the world. Reading few lines and thinking about it for a few seconds while looking away from the book is my habit. I used to read and introspect a lot.

After half an hour I realized that something is wrong. I looked around and again started reading. After few minutes it again happened. Now I knew it. Someone was staring at me. When someone stares at you I don’t know why it feels like someone is staring before you watch that person. I saw beautiful eyes and a tiny bindi on her forehead staring from behind a chair, sitting on the window side in-front and right to me in another row. She started looking outside the window. At first, I thought it was just a coincidence. I started reading my book again. A few minutes later that feeling of someone staring came and I looked at her again. Now I confirmed it. She was looking here and as I saw her, her eyeballs shifted to the window of the train. I giggled at it and started to read again. I said to myself to focus on the book. The journey between Jaunpur and Varanasi is about one and a half hrs. We already spent 1 hour traveling. This went on the whole journey. I was only able to see her eyes and her forehead with that tiny round bindi.

The Past

My 4.5 approx years relationship was over back in 2017 as I was not giving proper time to her due to my busy job schedule or because of a too long-distance relationship. She kept begging me to come to Mumbai to meet her once but I never had time for her as I was busy giving priority to my job than my relationship.  Now it was 2018 and maybe this nature has given me a second chance to correct and forgive myself. When you have someone with you for so long like 4-5 years and they suddenly go, it feels like some important part of your body is missing and there is some empty space in your heart that can’t be filled by any promotions or pay raise.  Now you need someone to fulfill that hollow heart. Someone better than the previous one at least the same as her but you cannot have. You start feeling that something is missing in your life. Who are you earning for? What will you do with that money, promotions when you don’t have anybody to celebrate? When you don’t have your people with you? I kept my book upside down removing my specs and started looking faces of the people on the train then I saw her. She was looking outside the window.

The Halt

Our train halted for some time due to some technical issues just before we reached. The passengers were frustrated. They were accusing the railway department. Some were busy in their mobiles. The vendors were selling their stuff. Some people started political issue discussions. Everything was looking like a mess. In spite of all these frustrations and mess, there were four people who were having a great time. Two babies who were sitting at the ends of the coach, playing in the whole train, hugging, laughing with each other and of course we two people. By now I have stopped reading the book started observing around. We together were laughing at these babies. I could only see her eyes becoming tiny when she laughs. Until now I have not seen her face. It was as if we were just talking by eyes and she has a lot to speak and so as I do.

The Stupid Me

Finally, we reached Varanasi. Everybody was taking their luggage. While I was taking mine and for the first time, I saw her. She was gorgeous. She was wearing a light pink ethnic dress and juti and had a hanging clutch bag. She had a nice long black ponytail hanging to her back. Her beauty was increased by her tiny black bindi and long round dark earrings. It seems that she was well educated and had a great dressing sense. But it was time to move on as our destinations arrived. When we reached Varanasi, we have not shared any single eye contact. She de-boarded first. Half of my heart was saying to talk to her and half was saying just go to my room. I have to use the foot over the bridge to reach platform number 1. It was an overly crowded platform. I could not see her properly. As I was walking towards the stairs of the foot-over-bridge I saw her walking towards the same stairs. I left the thought to talk to her as I thought it was a stupid idea and started going upstairs with my 2 bags.

I was tired when I reached the top of the foot-over-bridge. So I kept my side bag on the floor for few minutes. Then suddenly someone tapped on my left shoulder. That was her. My heart started throbbing. “Can you please tell me where this address is?” she said.  “I am new here, sorry you can ask those shopkeepers” were the words I uttered. “Ok Thanks,” she said. We stared at each other for a few fractions of seconds and then she left. We were at the last platform of Varanasi at this time. I wanted to speak but couldn’t. I saw her going down the stairs as if my old relation was going away from me again. I saw some old uncle waiting for her on a scooter. She sat behind him and I watched her until she disappeared in the crowd from the foot-over-bridge.

The Emptiness

A sense of attachment was there. It felt like I knew that girl for years. I stood there for few more seconds watching trains come and go. I took a deep breath and I turned my face towards sunset. It was a summer evening and I could feel the hot air breeze blowing and a sense of emptiness.

Loved the story? You will my Vipassana Experience also.

2 thoughts on “The Girl On The Train

  1. We all have an incredible bottomless well of knowledge within us, and if we learn how to freely give as little as an ounce of it, it can really change our world for the better.
    I knew Prashant as an engineer… but the depth he has gone into writing this article really shows how little I really knew of him. It was a breath of fresh air, to a bookie like me, to read about such spontaneity being put down in writing.
    I now have to re-evaluate my entire being towards this new being… and it is indeed refreshing!
    Kudos Prashant!!
    Keep writing and you will go miles… then onward to your own book(s)🙂.

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