[Cbe-Palghat 2646 Dn.]

10 07 2007

What would you say if I show you a lonely girl sobbing all by herself? She was beautiful and she cried. Her cheeks turned a lovely crimson and eyes blood red. Yet she looked beautiful.

Those were the days of sweet old 2006, when I first learnt smoking and tasted the first peg of rum. Believe me, I hated it. I proposed and was turned down. I moved to better things and allowed myself to enjoy the last days of my college life. I didn’t travel much but yes, sometime I did that too. Just a solitary trek to the outskirts or a train journey to some far flung places. I met her in train Coimbatore-Palghat Superfast. It was getting late around 6.00 in the evening and dark too. People were few and far in between and my compartment looked deserted. The train started and the beige colored bulbs flickered. It was a good day and I was enjoying the receding lights of the city when I saw her. Sitting across one obscure corner, a little ahead of me, trying her best to sob in private, I think.

I tell you, it was uneasy for me. She didn’t cry, she sobbed and she sobbed with all the sorrow pouring through her eyes. The voice muffled though her dupatta and her handkerchief, carried the same sorrow.

I went upto her and sat up there. She looked up from her dupatta for one surprise filled moment. I didn’t know what happened but she stared at me for one long moment. I didn’t notice her before. She was looking strikingly beautiful. Beautiful and vulnerable. Guess, the latter accentuates the former. The profound grief of hers was excruciating me. Loss of love, a death, possibly both. I reasoned grief dulls the tears, but such profound grief had some other reason, a reason perhaps beyond my cognition. She had just a satchel with her and she was wearing a yellow salwar. She looked just of my age. She returned her gaze to the black world outside. I sat there for what seemed to be an eternity. I just couldn’t muster enough courage to ask her anything. I didn’t say anything to her and offered my bottle of water. She refused it. For some time she sobered up, but memories haunt, you know that. She broke down again. Lights flickered incessantly and blackness raced past us. It was a long journey.

 

I don’t know what happened after that but time stopped. It felt surreal. An obscure station came up and she got down. I still remember her petite figure shuddering lightly against the nocturnal backdrop. The lights of the station drew to horizon and her figure disappeared in the melee of darkness.

 

As for me, I sat there and kept on staring on the lonely tear on that seat, reminding me of the lonely sorrow of its beholder.

 

(c) Soham Das

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