Few hours at the Railway Station...
This post is rather a journal than a blog. This post, unlike my other posts, is perhaps just accumulation of my bottled-up emotions. This post is a story that I carve out from the day I had anticipated to be full of excitement, but turned out to be something else. This post...well.. let me keep it at this.
Having been quite a pampered kid through out my life, a solo trip had never been on-cards until few weeks ago. Alas, for all the wrong reasons! I was supposed to go home the next weekend for my father's birthday - and here I was, going home only to be in a home without my grandfather in it. But, that's life. You cannot do much about it except acknowledging that it will suck the life out of you!
Since this was my first time travelling alone, I was quite apprehensive about reaching there on time without getting lost on the way. So, I decided to go early - and oh, it turned out too early. My train was scheduled for 5 PM; and there I was at the New Delhi Railway Station at 2 PM. That's going to be a long time! - I murmured to myself. There was not an ounce of physical tiredness; but I definitely needed sleep.
As I exited the metro station and started walking towards the railway station, I was overwhelmed with the number of people, the commotion, and of course - the dirt. Endless number of people - and well, amidst that, I had to go to the platform. And, guess what, my platform was the one which was at another extreme. "Great. Walk and lose fat now!" - again, speaking to myself.
Highly doubtful of myself, I rechecked my train number, platform number, coach number until I remembered them all. And, finally I sat on a bench among other passengers.
As I sat comfortably on the cold bench, I could only think back about my dearest and most cherished grandfather whom I lost a day before, that day. His smiling face, his golden words of wisdom, his jokes - all of it were replaying inside my head. It was making me smile through the tears I was trying to control. Thank God for the mask - at least, no one had to see me crying.
As much as I abhor crowded places, ironically I love observing people. And, what better place than a railway station to find a million stories in one glance. That's what I did, while I was in between mourning my loss and stopping myself from crying.
Breaking my train of thoughts, the lady sitting next to me hesitantly asked, "beta? can I call someone using your phone?" She then gave me a chit with a phone number, which I dialled and handed her the phone. She then gave me a warm smile, and left. I hoped that she would reach safe and sound.
After she left, an elderly couple sat by my side and were asking the coolie to help them board the train. But, the coolie refused rudely that he couldn't. As much as I wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine - I could only wonder why are people so rude? A simple answer would have been suffice, but no you just got to add that arrogance!
Sighing to myself, I saw two aged women with a guy (who seemed to be in his twenties). He made them have a seat, brought some food for them. He must have been a grandson of one of them - I don't know, I am assuming! He touched their feet - oh, when I mean "touched", I mean he literally touched their feet and not the infamous GenZ "half-way till the knees" touch! To be honest, in this ever-so-evolving country of ours, I really hope some traditions like the one I mentioned never get lost. When he was about to go, he bumped into a man. That man was blind. It surprised me that the guy actually held his hand to take him to his destination. It made me smile, and really happy that kindness isn't lost. Yet.
And, then I saw a three-year old literally jumping here and there with his father. What astounds me, from time to time again, is that these kids are more interested to play with the plastic bottles than the expensive toys! He legit spent so much of the time goofing around with the bottle cap. It made me smile so hard amidst the tears.
The last visual I saw before I boarded my train has my heart and soul. A girl, seemingly my age, got off the train. She was looking here and there with anticipation, perhaps searching for someone. And, she was. She found the man she was searching for. It was probably her father. They hugged so tightly; and the girl was in tears. It was such a sweet reunion. She hugged him twice, or thrice before they left for their destination. I could not help smiling; and missed my father at that instant.
Oh, those few hours at the railway station - as I reminisce while writing this - were wholesome. Albeit things may have not turned out to be the way I wanted, I do believe in things working out for the better. Rather than cribbing over the "why" and "what" of the happenings of life, the acceptance to everything is the answer of healing.