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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On a train one night

Disclaimer: Imaginary in parts.

The local train compartment shook left and right as the train sped along the rails. It was a late evening in the 'Up' direction - the direction against the crowd. The train was nearly empty.

Pranav sat at the window with his eyes fixed to his cell phone. He was playing his favourite game where the character jumped over pits, collected fruits and candies to reach the exit door.

The train halted at a station and then took off a minute later. He was still oblivious to what was happening around him - engrossed in his cellphone game.

A couple of minutes later, the train came to a screeching halt. He moved with a jerk. He looked sideways.

He saw a boy standing in the corridor of the train- not more than twenty years of age, with his clothes tattered and torn, hair nearly brown and ruffled into a mess, a skin of a darker shade. Pranav saw smoke coming from the direction where this boy was standing. He went back to his cellphone.

He heard the sound of stamping footsteps - he looked in the same direction again.

The boy was not walking straight, he was absolutely slow in his actions - he was drugged. The boy was stepping forward and then back again.

Pranav leaned to see what it was. It was another boy - in his school uniform, with a red rectangular school-bag on his back. The boy looked terribly scared.

On the background of pitch-black darkness, Pranav saw that the fellow on drugs was walking towards this boy - the boy was scared and was moving backwards slowly.

Pranav got up with his own palms wet. He noticed that the boy was moving towards the door of the train. He felt a sharp gush of heat in his head - he had realized that the boy could fall off the train. The drugged fellow, not in his senses, was precisely trying to do that.


Four minutes later, Pranav was back on his seat - looking into oblivion again...

The school boy was sitting besides him, shivering and scared. He had not yet accepted the fact that he was alive and safe.

The corridor of the train was empty.

Four minutes earlier, Pranav had actually picked up a fight with the drugged guy. The two were on the dirty floor of the corridor punching each other.

"Let him go!", Pranav had shouted as he had pulled the school boy inside.

He slapped the drugged guy so hard that he sat on the floor at once. Pranav walked inside the compartment.

The drugged guy sat on the floor cross-legged weeping. His cries echoed through the darkness outside the train.

The drugged guy stood up and walked towards the door - in the same dull gait that he had earlier. He looked back at Pranav.

"I wanted to die... I wanted to die... I wasn't harming that little kid... I swear I wasn't..."

Pranav saw the tears in his eyes.

The next second, they were not there. The tears, the eyes. And him...

1 comment:

  1. spine chilling... the best a person could feel in a span of 60 seconds..