Tuesday, July 9, 2013 | By: Anamika

The Last Jounrney

I dragged my heavy luggage through the platform looking for an empty seat. The familiar voice echoed in the station, " Yatriyaan kripaya dhyan deejiye, train no,XXXX, thiruvanthapuram se hokar calicut thak jaane waali janshatabdi express platform no 2 par aane ki sambhavna he". I had an epiphany that this is my last journey from college back to home. Four years of pointless slogging for a B tech degree is over.

        I refuse to brood on the four years, time spent not so well. But every train journey has been memorable. I would give an arm and leg for another journey with my fellow mates. The most notorious members of the gang, Deepak and I use to walk in through the train crossing the pantry car, through the jam packed compartments, ignoring the visibly annoyed passengers, we would slow down occasionally to award a cold stare to the jerks who crowded the passage to take advantage of the gorgeous girl( that would be me!) who would walk in. We would walk till we reach the last compartment and then return. Finally we would settle down in our respective seats which are usually scattered across the compartment, thanks to IRCTC's insensible automated seat allocation system. Having been a regular passenger in this train for four years, I almost know the chaiwala and biscuit wala on a first name basis. I would wait for the regular "layssh bisshcut choclate" wala. His name is Ahmed. Found that out from the name tag pinned to his uniform. I would buy the green lays and choclate chips claddded gooday biscuits.

       After I have my fill I sit back and enjoy the scenery of the paddy fields and backwaters, the suns setting around the time when it reaches Alleppey, the neon lights shone brightly near the backwaters of Cochin Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the wind is chilly and I enjoy the flying of my hair in the wind and sit there pretending to be one of those Bollywood heroines with a background score playing. Sometimes I doze off drooling over my laptop bag which would be skillfully positioned as a pillow. Sometimes I wander off from a boring book and slip into a reverie. Sometimes I plug in my earphones to remain in a blissful oblivion.

          Everyone loves to rain on my parade! There are those annoying curious passengers who interrupt the reading, music or the pretentious heroine thingy of mine, the old grandmas who innocently offer eatables and I politely decline. Then there are these hunks who believe themselves to be the doppelgangers of
Tom cruise and John Abraham and looks like they ran into a staring contest at girls.
     There is something captivating about every place the train stops ( Let's skip the imagery of the dirty railway tracks for now)  , an incident or a person associated with each place reminding me of the old times.
Calicut, the hometown of my best buddy, Shornur from where a college mate of mine boards the train and her parents wave her goodbye like it's her bidaai time after the wedding, all touchy and mushy.
Thrissur, days of horror at entrance coaching centre, Eranamkulam, the growing metro, Alleppey the town that I have never visited, the Kottayam tunnels which blacks out the train and I jokingly warn Deepak that I might let out a scream when blacks out, tricking others to think that he did the unspeakable and might get beaten up by the passengers in the process. He replies with a vicious grin that if he's getting beaten up for nothing, he would rather do the unspeakable and then get beaten up. My inner demon laughs at me and I shut up. Finally i would reach my station Tirur, get down, give away my backpack to mommy and sit silently at the backseat of the car and doze off.

 My last journey wasn't any of this. I was too tired carrying the luggage, everyone was held up in a myriad of emotions of the last good byes being said. Ahmed was no where to be seen, no lays and biscuits to bid farewell to. I brushed away my choking feeling under the carpet and dozed off.

 Adios Janshatabdi express...


Harisankar said...

Ayyo!.. That was touching. Went through the same series of emotions two years back when I finished college from CET and boarded the train to Kanpur bidding goodbye to good ol Kerala.
Love the way you portray the sights and sounds around you.
BTW Which college in TVM?

Anamika said...

it's amrita, kollam. The train starts from tvm.

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