Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Mr Ressel Live..
“The train is slowing down. I think station is coming”, said Kuhoo. “It must be cold at the platform. Please don’t sit anywhere there. Instead get inside a waiting room”.
We had reached Londa Station today around 12:15 AM in morning. From there Kuhoo and Adi had to proceed to Yeshwantpur (Bangalore). And I had to get down, to catch Goa express to come back to Panaji by morning. I had accompanied her till Londa because her ticket was confirmed from that station only.
“I will”, I said in an almost swearing tone.
I got down. After a brief halt, the train moved on. Didn’t like that sight; but saw the train going, for a while. Few minutes later, I realized I am standing on an almost deserted platform without any trace of civilization.
It was cold there. I started looking for a waiting room. Found men’s waiting room. And found that locked. Finally a little disconsolate, I sat on an iron chair on the platform.
“Why don’t you come in there”, a voice come from behind. I saw a young married girl standing behind, pointing towards ladies waiting room, which surprisingly, was open.
“I am fine. Thanks”. I found the proposal a little strange.
“Don’t worry, there are many men sitting there already”.
I checked inside. I found two old women, one old man, around four-five guys sitting there. And I found another girl sitting half awake. I thanked and sat there.
“Where are you going?”
“Panaji. Waiting for Goa express”.
“We are also going to Goa”, she sounded happy with the coincidence.
“My name is Rashi. This is my cousin Payal. Actually I am on my honeymoon trip to Goa”.
Two girls on honeymoon! It was difficult to hide the surprise on my face.
“No, no. Actually my husband had to come as well. But he couldn’t because of some urgent work. He will reach Goa day after tomorrow”.
I tried hard not to smile. I thought of the lucky idiot. Sister-in-law accompanying his wife on honeymoon.
“We could not get direct reservation in Sampark Kranti. Therefore we had to get down at this station. But we don’t mind since there is not much luggage. My husband is very particular about traveling light. But I will have some luggage on return”.
“Planning lots of shopping? Add cashew nuts in your list”.
“Yes that I have already noted. Actually I have also heard about the flea market, you have to bargain but you get real trendy stuff”.
She was quiet for few seconds. The other girl, Payal, was sleeping as if she hasn’t slept for months.
“We are from Punjab. But I have studied in Delhi. Payal also is currently studying law in Delhi. We normally take flights but you know flights are so costly these days. And trains are so much of fun. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy tea and pakodas, so comfortable, no?”
Then I acted busy. Picked up my mobile and typed a new status on facebook as if I was replying to some urgent message.
She waited desperately, “Why are you going to Goa? You stay there?”
“I am in Goa on a work assignment for few days”.
“Wow. Then you must be knowing all the happening places to go to. I have downloaded information from internet sites”, she took out some printed papers and fumbled. “Could you please tell me how to go to these places?”
“Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in Goa. And if you could get lost, then you would enjoy Goa the most”. Payal got up smiling. Possibly she wasn’t sleeping at all.
Rashi's mobile rang. She went to the door and started talking in low tone.
“She isn’t scared anymore”, Payal spoke, unexpectedly.
“Scared?” I tried to understand whether that was a compliment.
“We weren’t too comfortable because those guys have come inside the waiting room. We saw you outside. We needed company. Among all strangers, we thought you could be the lesser evil.” There was faint smile on her face.
I was a little taken aback. But this was understandable. I sat quiet.
“Which coach are you traveling? Which seat number? ” Rashi came back asking.
“It’s not too far. We are at B1/ 39,40”.
Train came. Slept peacefully in the train. Got down at Vasco station.
“You like to come with us? We are taking a cab. We can drop you if you like”, said Rashi.
“No. Thanks. I prefer the bus”.
“Hello, you didn’t tell your name?”
I smiled back, "I am Ressel Live". And then moved towards Kadamba bus stop.
“Strange. He doesn’t look like a Christian”, I heard Rashi saying to Payal.
Payal looked at me for few seconds. Finally she smiled, “I guess he is actually Ressel Live”..the lesser evil.