Arun was peeping inside her berth. The girl, who watched his reactions, looked up. Arun was peeping keenly towards her baggage and her external looks didn’t really see her eyes. In a casual way, he made a contact with her eyes, and she was staring at him. Arun doesn’t know how to react, started to smile awkwardly. She turned aside without showing any signs. Arun felt very uncomfortable and turned aside. In an instance, she slightly touched his hands while settling herself in the berth. That slight touch was enough to activate all elements inside Arun and he immediately turned towards her.
Again she didn’t give any signs and kept on arranging her bedspread and pillows. Her diffident nature was enervating to Arun. He was not impressed with the woman under his berth, made up his mind not to see her nor watch her and he totally avoided eye contact with her. He kept his mobile in silent and slowly closed his eyes.
Train duly started at time as the shake inside the coach made Arun to believe that the train has started. As it was an air-conditioned coach, he couldn’t see the moving objects outside. Arun deeply yawned and started to sleep.
In a few minutes, where Arun was all the more in the journey to his dreamland, was struck by a sound of a man. He first gestured that it was an illusion and started to sleep. But there were some disturbances added queuing inside, as his sleep was disturbed completely.
He wiped his eyes and turned his bed sheet around to see himself looking like a monkey watching a rarest banana in the tree. The lights were switched on and he turned aside to see a gentile man sitting and offering prayers to his lord. Instead of trying to sleep, Arun bent himself low and looked down underneath. He was very curious about her activities. To his shock, she was fast asleep covering her whole body surrounded with a white thick bed sheet having her hands close around her forehead.
“Hey man, look here. Why are you peeping inside a girl’s berth” said the old man sitting down in the lower berth.
Arun turned his head all round and was shocked to listen to a voice down.
Arun didn’t expect that man would speak, and having spoken about him, he was deadly angry. Arun looked him daringly.
“I’m praying for this whole world, our people, our children, our good old values. Listen here man,” said the old man and continued “May Lord…”
Arun thought that may be that old man’s tendency is to pray at night. Silently he turned aside saluting him good-bye. Arun’s behavior made that old man to get angry on him. He was staring at him and murmured to him, “Young boys at this age don’t know to respect elders.” Arun never minded those words, slept in another few minutes.
The Gentile Man who was uttering prayers at night, too slept after a few minutes, shutting down the lights. It was then, almost there was a pure silence except the shaking of bodies inside each berth during the journey.
Time was exactly 4.30 AM, and the train was apparently stopped for more than an hour. Arun, who was having a sound sleep, woke up in a random movement of the train’s bizarre shake.
He looked at his watch and hit himself with his hands. He rolled few minutes, but couldn’t get sleep. He got down slowly, walked near the door. He splashed the cool water in his face and wiped cleanly with his kerchief. He was looking bright. Neatly combing his hair, he opened the door and stood aside the back wall of the coach.
The train where it stopped was not a station; it was in the middle of some forest. He sat by their, looking around the place. The surrounding was very dark, and the early morning fresh breeze sliced through his face. He took his mobile from his jean and inserted the headset. He browsed his favorite song collections and played one.
Early Morning fresh breeze, sitting on the stairs of the coach and listening to his favorite song added solicitude for his mental solitude. He slowly rested his head on the door of the coach and immersed himself into a different world. The train was silent and there were absolutely no noise around which made him to listen his song more good than ever.
While he was having one of his best times on travel, someone from backside tapped his back. Arun ignored it and continued in listening to songs. He sensed some more taps on his shoulder back. A frustrated Arun turned aside to his shock.
“Chai?” asked the gentile person standing on his back.
Arun was surprised to see him there and expedite his process of moving around from that place. He didn’t utter a word, stood up, cleaning his dust on his back.
“No, thanks sir,” said Arun and moved inside the coach.
“What’s the time now?” asked the girl wiping her eyes, still lying in her berth. Arun, was surprised to hear that voice. He just looked at her in the dim light inside the berths. Her face was only open and rest of her body was covered under a bed sheet.
“Excuse me,” she uttered once again. While he was trying to look at his watch, a stout man who was lying in the opposite berth answered her quickly. “It’s 4.45 AM,” said the man and covered his face again with the bed sheet.
Arun stared at him hardly. One chance to speak to that girl was spoiled. He bent his face down and held the bars tight to climb to his berth. He rested his legs and his hands and sat opening his mobile once again. Train started to move slowly. Time was 5 AM.
Arun has lost his sleep entirely and decided to listen to songs once again. The upper berth where he was lying had an adequate space like a small garret in a house. He has his American Tourister bag with his laptop inside. He kept that very near to him because he was very particular and wanted to safeguard that valuable possession.
He has already conferred with his mother and got only one bag. His mother packed him dresses for one more bag, where he denied carrying those. Arun had a cloven set of mind, where one mind wanders around the beautiful city of Mumbai & other wanted to return back home quite peacefully.
There were lots of random thoughts flowing around his mind, and he was silently listening to music in his garret like structured upper berth. Time flew away very fast as when he got a call from his mother, the clock in his wrist watch slowly ticked to 6 AM.
Arun spoke to his mother and in the meanwhile, the berths in the middle have been lowered and the people at the either ends sat on the lower berth. He kept watching those and slowly came down after having talked to his beloved mother.
“One tea!” asked Arun to the tea vendor who were running errands selling hot tea in the morning.
Arun gave a 50-rupee note and got the change of 40 rupees. He kept the change inside his pocket and sipped the hot tea sitting at the corner end of the seat. The girl was sitting next to him on his right. She was occupying the 60% of the berth, where Arun & other person managed to sit on the edges at the either ends. She was busy in typing messages in her mobile and he could sense her impertinent nature.
After a gap of 2 minutes, he heard a sweet voice from his right side.
“Hi, I’m Priyanka”