CARELESS WHISPERS

Sneha looked at the reservation chart unhappily. The ticket still showed a RAC status. Well, it was too late now to do anything. The journey had to be made.. People were waiting for her at Bangalore. She looked at the seat number once again to be sure before she made her way into the coach.

Seat number 35 was on the side- one berth which opened up into two in the sitting position! She put her bag down under the seat and opened the curtain on the window. The seat opposite which was the other half of the berth was empty- to be occupied by another RAC passenger ! She wished she had made the reservation earlier. But then these events had happened so suddenly ..! She closed her eyes, exhausted putting up her feet on the seat in front.

“Excuse me could you please lift your foot off my seat” he asked politely.

Sneha opened her eyes with a start to find a young man standing opposite her with a back pack.

“Sorry..! I didn’t realize it” she said quickly removing her foot from the opposite seat as he pushed his back pack under it!

“Its okay..” he said with a smile.

“Going to Bangalore?” he asked . She nodded and went back to looking out of the window.

“Are you also on a RAC ticket? “ he asked

“ At the moment yes. Hope it will get confirmed along the way” she said

“ Yeah. Keep hoping.. it is a long weekend “ he said with a laugh that showed up as a dimple on his left cheek.

She smiled shyly at him.  “Hi I am Ravi” he said extending his hand.

“Sneha” she said shaking it.

“So where are you from- Chennai or Bangalore” he asked taking off his shoes and making himself comfortable on his seat.

“Bangalore. I work here in Chennai. What about you?” she asked

“Neither. I am from Pune. I work in Chennai” he said with a grin.

Sneha looked at him with interest. There was something very charming about him- despite the tousled hair and the general air of untidiness!

The train started and Sneha went back to looking out of the window. “ I think you have feline vision. You are able to see in  darkness” he asked after about ten minutes!

Sneha could not help laughing aloud…! This guy was too much! Talk about attention seeking behaviour…!

“ Look, it is only about eight hours to Bangalore and given the fact that neither of us is going to get a confirmed berth, why not be civil to each other and engage in some conversation?” he asked her

Sneha smiled at him and asked “Okay tell me what do you want to talk about? “

“Oh anything..! Tell me what do you do?” he asked her

“I work for a newspaper” she said

“And I work for a IT company” he said

“What takes you to Bangalore” she asked

“Work. And you?” he replied

“A family function. But tell me why are you working on a weekend” she retorted.

“ I will be staying with a friend over the weekend. I have work on Monday” he replied taking out his iPOD from his back pack

“Do you like  Kishore Kumar? “ he asked her.      “Well… I don’t usually listen much to Hindi film music” she replied.

“Then you should.. Here listen to this song” he said thrusting an earphone at her while he plugged the other into his.

“Nice melody. What do the words mean?” she asked    “ Dil kya kare jab kisi se , kisi ko pyar ho jaye– it means what can the heart do when when someone falls in love with another? “ he explained.

One song, then another..and then yet another.. Ravi  explained the lyrics to her. She took out that novel she was reading from her bag and showed it to him. He wanted to know what it was all about. She told him the story. She told him the story of another novel by the same author

The ticket examiner came and went. Neither of them asked whether their ticket would be confirmed.

Their co passengers  began settling in for the night. Lights were switched off and silence was slowly settling in the coach.

“ Look at the moon” he said in a whisper drawing the curtains away from his window.

“ Why are you whispering? “ she asked

“ Because I don’t want to disturb these people” he said waving his hands around the coach.

She began to giggle. It was quite funny-  this whispering.  He said something again in a whisper. She moved herself closer to him straining to hear it against the background of the rattling sound of the  train.

Their faces were now inches apart..! He moved slowly removing her glasses and brushing away the strand of hair away from her face .

She knew what was coming next.. but why was she so surprised when it happened?  He drew her face closer settling his lips on hers. She closed her eyes savouring the moment.

“Why .. ?” she began saying something.

“Shhhhh. Don’t talk. Don’t say anything” he whispered pulling her into his arms and drawing the curtain next to  the berth cocooning them  in privacy. Sneha could not believe she was allowing this to happen to her!  But then was she a passive participant she wondered? She did not know why but there was something that was making her do these mad things. It was so unlike herself!

Sneha, looked at him again. Who was this Ravi?  She never even spoke to strangers.

He in turn looked at her with eyes filled with love. He had known when he walked into the coach that this was HER…! He had gone through twenty nine years of his life knowing that he would find HER some day! It was just surprising that it had to be like this on a train. Life certainly held its surprises. One got something when on least expected it.

The train whistled through the night .. Katpadi, Jolarpet, Salem.. Ravi and Sneha held on to each other .. No words were necessary now. No whispers. Their  heart beats said it all.

Sneha closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. Ravi looked at her sleeping form.. Chemistry like this was very rare. It needed no words to connect. He felt very protective about her. He felt honoured by the way she trusted him enough to rest her head on his shoulder while she slept. He shifted himself around on the seat so that she could be more comfortable. Sneha muttered something in her sleep and cuddled up to him.

The moon slowly gave way to the rising sun..

6.00 AM – the next morning

“Coffee.. coffee…!” shouted a  vendor

She quickly got up and looked out of the window. The train was nearing Bangalore cantonment.  She looked at the opposite seat- it was empty! She looked under the seat. The backpack was also gone!

She walked out of the coach towards the door. No.. he was not there either. She went to the other end of the coach.. no sign of him !  The train stopped at Bangalore Cantonment station. She ran out towards the door scanning the platform for a young man in a blue T shirt with tousled hair….

The train started from Cantonment.. Sneha sat down in the seat dejected! Where was he? Did she dream it all?

The crowd was moving towards the door. The train had reached Bangalore city station. Sneha picked up her bag from under the seat and made her way to the door.

She got down all the while looking around the platform for that familiar form.

“Hello Sneha…thank god you were able to make it!.” said her father taking her bag from her hand.

Sneha looked back at the train once more. The milling crowd at the station made it very difficult to see much…!

She followed her father to the car. He was talking “We have to get home quickly. You need time to get ready. They are all here”

Sneha sighed coming back to reality. Today was her engagement. The muhurtam was fixed for  9.00AM. “They” were her fiance and his family

As her father started the car she took one last look at the empty train standing on the platform and closed her eyes with a sigh

A little further away, in the pre paid auto stand ,a young man in a blue T shirt with tousled hair watched wistfully  as a slightly built girl with waist long hair and glasses get into a white Santro with an elderly gentleman.  An auto drove up to him. The person behind him in the queue nudged him out of his thoughts.

“Where to sir?” asked the auto driver

” National Institute of Mental health and neurological sciences” said Ravi as he got into it.. He looked at his watch. It was 6 .30 AM – a good five hours before his surgery!

Dr. Rao, his neurosurgeon had asked him to be positive. Ravi never felt more so!  He had got what he had wanted out of life last night- a few moments with the girl of his dreams — life however short ultimately did give us hope!

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. renu
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 10:31:14

    interesting story..looks like incomplete..are you going to add something or?

    Reply

  2. KP
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 14:09:22

    A gentle romance that never blossomed.Was she known to Ravi as the story indicated? How could a woman with an engagement next morning yield to such temptation? But anything can happen on the spur of the moment.

    Reply

  3. Jack
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 15:06:34

    Meera,

    Very engrossing and what a twist in the end. WOW.

    Take care

    Reply

  4. Bikram
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 15:46:43

    hmmmmmmmm you know its funny we dream of soul mates and all .. miss the oppurtunity but its the other way round too.. when we have them with us we dont look at them and then also lose them ..

    I loved the story so many things happen during a journey ..

    Reply

  5. Meera
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 16:56:43

    @ Renu ,, yeah I guess it does seem complete. But then that is life.. people walk in and out of our lives.

    @ KP this is interesting – you thinking that maybe Ravi knew Sneha earlier. In a way I can say YES… He had seen her in his dreams and imagination..KP there is something called living for the moment this is about that!

    @ Bikram exactly my thoughts…!

    @ Jack I am glad you liked the story and the end. As you can see. people have mixed feelings about it!

    Reply

  6. Amity
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 13:26:44

    I am with KP’s comment…anything can happen in a spur of the moment…:)

    Reply

  7. Rahul
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 15:57:08

    Meera, your narrative skills are par excellence! Loved this one

    Reply

  8. KP
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 19:30:14

    I really adore the way you change theme!
    This one here is young.. vibrant.. and filled with love and passion.. lovely style of writing.. and I dont see much of a flaw in the plot..
    Anything can happen in love and war! right?

    Reply

  9. Clement Williams
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 09:10:07

    Nice. Like a take your own ending to move this story further kind…

    Reply

  10. reinventionstories
    Sep 25, 2013 @ 08:09:18

    Simply Superb
    Love needs more such stories to make it shine

    Reply

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