The summer heat was oppressive. I looked at my watch for the fourth time in two minutes. Fifteen minutes past 1:10 in the afternoon and still not an indication of the coming train. I looked around to see if there were any acquaintances in the station. After all it’s
I was waiting for the Nagarjuna Express. It was the summer of 2004 and I was going to my uncle's home in
There was a child beside me, constantly nagging his mother for something or the other. I was watching his antics with amusement. His mother was trying to calm him, as he constantly demanded all that was being sold. An old lady in the front seat was trying to find some space on the opposite seat to rest her legs. I took out "The blind men of Hindoostan: Indo-Pak Nuclear war scenario”, a book by a retired general and was quickly engrossed with it.
In an hour, the train reached Nadikudi. I was deeply immersed into the war scenario being enacted at
I kept glancing in that direction, but the seats blocked my view. I don’t know why I felt so or what the reason was, but I still felt like sitting there forever if I was given a chance to look at her. On one hand I was feeling guilty that I was doing this, but I couldn’t take away that feeling of wanting to look at her. I offered my window seat to the kid beside me as if I was pleased by the fellow. I sat at the edge of the triple seat, from where I could have a convenient look at her, and held the book in my hand, pretending to read.
I tried to look away, read and I tried doing everything possible, but could not look away. Finally I gathered enough courage as I would call it, to walk past her to the door and then turn back to look at her face. I slowly placed the book away and walked towards the door as if I was going to wash my hands at the wash basin. I held the tap just for a minute, before turning back to look at her. I tried to do all this as casually as possible, but couldn’t avoid the nervousness that was catching up.
She was looking away, through the open window. Her face didn’t seem to look like what I thought. But what did I expect? Nothing. I just had a hunch that her face is going to enthral me as much as her gait had. But I was disappointed. I glanced at her face for a few seconds before walking back to my seat.
I sat there for almost an hour or so, glancing at her stealthily, never having enough courage to strike a conversation. At the end of it, I felt so bored that I dropped my book and fell asleep. I woke up with a start and by the time I woke up, the train has passed Miryalaguda. I searched for her. She wasn’t there! I had a sudden feeling of dejection grip me. I lost some of the happiest moments of my life to sleep. I cursed myself for being such a moron. Finally I fell to introspection.
I tried to find out what made me feel like that towards her. I didn’t want anything else, but just wanted to sit there looking at her. I didn’t want to trouble her even. All the while, I knew that this joy will be momentary, and that we will part in a few hours. Even that didn’t prevent me from enjoying the moment immensely.
It was for the first time that I felt so towards a girl. May be I liked her red Parikinee. Red is my favourite colour and may be the culprit. It wasn’t her personality, for she looked excessively lean. May be it was just the Parikinee it self. Andhra dresses, though largely ignored by people now have a certain degree of charm in them. I don’t exactly know why, but to me a Parikinee looks much better than jeans and I rate sarees above any other western costumes.
After sometime, I tried to imagine what she would have felt, had I gone to her and told that she was charming. The reaction may be a pleasant surprise or a suspicion. I just tried imagining what she would say, but couldn’t conclude anything. It would have been a suspicion followed by some beating by the co passengers, it was funny to imagine me being beaten up and me shouting “I didn’t intend any harm, I didn’t intend any harm”.
Now I just want to meet her once, if it can ever happen. Just to tell her "Madam, you are charming”.