Thursday, June 7, 2012

Catch another butterfly

                                                                                                               (Section 8: Impressionist)

It was a thursday evening, during the early weeks of November, 2008. I was on my way back to Bangalore after a week long trip to Raigarh.

I had to catch the night train from Raigarh. And in hurry, I had reached station bit early and the train was running late.

My ticket was done by hotel’s travel desk. It was wait-listed but those guys had assured that it would be confirmed.

I sat on platform number 2 waiting. Though it wasn't too late in night but the platform was almost empty. Vignettes of tea-stalls, vendors, book-shop, went through as I breathed slowly after a long tiring day. It was getting cold as well. I wore my jacket and cuddled up with my laptop bag. Time slowed down as I tried hard not to sleep.

Since childhood, I have waited. I have waited to grow old, waited to become self-dependent; I have waited for the people who’ll love me, waited for the ever elusive happiness, waited to connect to and listen to those I've grown up with, and to express my feelings. I have waited for every little respite, the work stress didn't allow. The wait continues.

Train reached almost an hour late. There were no charts, no other person traveling with me from that station. I got into the train thinking my ticket would have been confirmed and I would get the berth number from the TT onboard.

It was late night by then and curtains were drawn. Almost everyone was fast asleep. I decided not to disturb them and I waited for the TT outside, near the wash basin area in the coach.

No one came for long. It was getting colder. I sat on my bag and closed my eyes.

I got up with the sound of water flowing. I saw a girl washing her face. She gave a corner eye and went inside. I saw the dislike in her eyes as she banged the door while going inside.

She might have thought I was traveling without ticket. I felt bad and cursed the TT for not showing up. Since I had to catch the morning flight to Mumbai from Raipur and in the evening another one to Bangalore, it was too costly to get down and cancel and re-book the flights.

Train picked up speed as I sat outside in the cold. I remembered when I was studying, my travels were mostly unplanned. I had to travel waitlisted several times. I traveled sometimes during holidays, sometimes after exams. I never really cared whether I will get a berth. My ‘Weekender’ jacket was enough to keep me warm. I slept careless of the world. But that night it was difficult to sleep. I was worried about my image before the so called world.

Finally TT came; he could offer me a berth. But I did not sleep because the train had to reach Raipur at 2.20 AM in the night. I reached Raipur, took morning flight to Mumbai. Completed my work in Mumbai, and boarded the evening flight to Bangalore.

Bangalore flight was quite crowded like most of the fridays. Anyway I had decided to sleep through out. Hardly had I buckled up when a crew member informed I was upgraded to business class. Thought it was even better place to sleep. I came ahead, kept my bag and slept.

“Towel for you sir”.

I got up. I saw the air-hostess. I saw the same girl. I almost smiled.

"How are you sir?" she smiled.

"Tired", and then I slept.

She came later, told that she actually wanted to offer me the seat next to her because she was not sleeping and had to get down at Raipur. But she did not do so because I could have been misunderstood her.

I came back home. Adi had to tell me a dozen stories of the week gone by. He talked about his friends, all girls !! and his plans to go to water-park with them. Then he showed me all the cards, stone colors, and drawings they had made together.

He never has to think about what others will think about him; he doesn't get bothered if anyone may misunderstand him. He is as clean as he does whatever he feels like.

He does not know the inhibitions and restrictions an adult life comes with. And I have decided I will teach him the basic minimum. I will let him enjoy the clear heart. I will tell him to wait; before he gets into adulthood; before he gets impacted by others; I will tell him to go catch another butterfly.


Manish Raj said...

HDWK - This is refined from the earlier one. I have to keep this in Section 8. Please let me know if the flow is ok. Will call you sometime next week.

Cranium said...

Good one bhai...
Please correct spelling of berth at one place...Also air hostess on train is really a rare event because of scheduling issues...especially for 'on work' journey.

Manish Raj said...

@ Bhai: Thank you !! Scheduling a consultant on train for 'on work' journey is equally rare :)

Issue is, all the major flights operate from Raipur. From Raigarh to Raipur train is the option we get in evening.

That KF girl got married in Feb 2009, and this year they have shifted to Delhi :)

Spontaneous Mini said...

wow, lovely! SO this is a fact not a fiction? nicely written :-)

A Walk to Remember said...

Manish, Excellent! surprisingly my comment i left earlier is missing. Just logged in to check the second part. when is it coming? And you do not need to ask or inform me about any pic you are using. I saw your comment very late. i am away from FB.let me know if you need any original pic.

Once again, liked story very much. Awaiting rest of it :)

Manish Raj said...

Thank you Ashish Bhai !!

I am writing section by section but in sequence :)

Next one is out 'The show must go on' ..hope you'll like it :)

You Know Me Very Well said...

So nicely written Manish... your way of writing and expressing almost presents the picture in front of us as we read.... almost as if we are that train and flight with you :)... very interesting bits and insights as well... Great going !

مصطفى شعبان said...