Friday, August 04, 2006

the girl in the train

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 Guntur, my native place.

I was waiting for the Nagarjuna Express. It was the summer of 2004 and I was going to my uncle's home in Hyderabad. I had come to the station by 12.30PM and was waiting since then. With no friends to be seen around, I sat their impatiently waiting for the train. Finally the train showed up at 1:40 pm and we were soon moving out of Guntur. I was feeling happy that I was able to get a window seat. I didn’t want to sit somewhere in the middle, sweating.

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 Delhi by the defence staff when suddenly, something caught my attention .Through the corner of my eye I noticed someone dressed in red walk past. I lifted up my eyes to see who it was. I think she was a teenager. She was wearing a red Parikinee*, and was slowly carrying a heavy suitcase. She moved past me with difficulty balancing her luggage carefully, before I could see her face. Suddenly I was very excited. To describe the feeling truly, my heart started thumping and I could feel it. She was gracious and I wanted to see her face. I was longing to sit there and watch her for ever. She walked forward and seated herself two rows ahead of me, facing away. I tried to come back to the book but to no avail. All my attempts to concentrate proved futile.

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”.


Shankar said...

from what i know, red is the colour of seduction ;) as i said in a post before ... you are growing up

Shankar said...

btw, this post reminds me of some stort stories by ruskin bond ... very well written

Sharique said...

sorry for this spam but as i could find ur email id i had no other option
I plan to start a community blog for IIT Madras on the lines of metroblogs. It will be a blog and not a news or discussion forum. People would be free to write anything but not on the lines of eboard, basically free of controversies. Perhaps a mirror for the outside world and also insiders. So shall i count you in? And please pass this message to others who blog.


Sash said...

"It wasn’t her personality, for she looked excessively lean."..could you explain how lean is excessive and how lean is enough numerically???
So complicated sentences are difficult to understand esp. for unsophisticated minds man.


Sash said...

great blog however

Sash said...

dude learn from this ra...your contender for babes in red dress

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