The Co Passenger ( Concluding part)


Image result for Indian girl sitting by train windowPriya woke up when she heard the local commuters asking her to move so they could sit down. She sat up on her seat and looked out. It was nearly 7.00 AM. The train was slated to reach Mumbai by the afternoon. She took out her phone from her hand bag. There were two missed calls from her father.

“Oh God. what is it now” she thought worriedly as she dialled back. Her father picked up almost immediately

“Priya, what is this I hear?” asked her father

“What have you heard?” asked Priya wondering whether it was Smita or Srikant who had spoken to her parents.

“Smita told us all about what that husband of yours has been doing to you! How come you never told us anything about this?” he asked

‘I wasn’t sure how you would take it’ she muttered.

“What did you take us for. Do you think, we are the sort of parents who would force you back into an unhappy marriage” he asked her angrily.

She could have hugged him for that, had he been in front of her!

“Listen, you mother and I are both coming to Mumbai by this afternoon flight. We should be at Smita’s house by early evening. We will discuss the matter in detail there. Smita told me she knows of some good lawyers who can help with the divorce. Meanwhile stay calm. All will be well” he said before hanging up.

All will be well… wasn’t that also what Nandini had said? She looked for Nandini on the opposite berth. There seemed to be no trace of her.

“Where is the lady on that seat” she asked the woman on the upper berth.

“What lady? I do not remember seeing anyone here except you and the two vendors in the next bay” said the woman.

She wondered if Nandini was in the toilet or had moved to some other part of the coach. She made her way  up to the end of the compartment but there was no trace of her.

“I guess she must have got down en route” thought Priya.  It was funny how she had not actually told her where she was going. All she had said was she was going “home”.

Priya wondered where that was. She had said that her brothers had not accepted her back at their place. Did she mean that she was going back to her husband? She hoped not. But what else would “home” mean?

She felt guilty about not showing more empathy towards Nandini. Maybe she could have asked to come along with her. But she was so caught up in her own grief and psychological trauma that no one else’s pain seemed to matter.

The train was approaching a station. She decided she would get down there, find a tap and wash her face. The toilet inside the train looked too dirty to be used.

The train was pulling into the Daund junction. She requested the lady sitting next to her to watch her suitcase as she got down at the station. The ladies waiting room was just opposite her coach.

She quickly went in, used the toilet and washed her face, using the wet tissue from her bag to clean herself up as best as she could. She combed her hair and went back into the platform. There was a boy selling newspapers. She bought an English newspaper from him and made her way towards the coach.

The engine was hooting as she hurried into the coach, making her way toward her seat. She took out the newspaper scanning through the pages. It was the Gulbarga edition of the paper. Lot of local news. Even the political news appeared to be very local.

She was just going to turn the page when a photograph caught her attention. A small black and white picture of a young woman who seemed eerily familiar with a tiny write up below it “A  28  year old woman identified as Nandini Reddy committed suicide by throwing herself under the Udyan express near Adoni yesterday. Police are investigating”

Priya’s hands froze. If this was true, then who had boarded the train yesterday?

Who was the Nandini who had encouraged her to believe in herself and boosted her the confidence to make an important decision regarding her life?

The wind was blowing strongly through the window and before she could stop it, the page detached itself from the rest of the newspaper and flew out of the window. Priya tried to catch it but it was too late.

Did she imagine it or was that Nandini’s profile that she saw for a split second resting against the window opposite? And yes.. what was it that she had said ……?

“All will be well”


( Image from the internet)




12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KP
    Jan 08, 2018 @ 20:18:01

    That was a good though unexpected end.Poor Nandini, she could not believe in her own case what she encouraged Priya to believe that all would be well. May be she opted for tragic end as she had none to fall back upon as Priya had.


  2. jotiverma
    Jan 08, 2018 @ 21:19:35

    Unexpected way you turned the story. Keep writing


  3. sslmay11
    Jan 08, 2018 @ 21:36:37

    I expected this. Meera please keep writing:)


  4. jotiverma
    Jan 08, 2018 @ 21:43:14

    Finished reading Meera


  5. vishalbheeroo
    Jan 09, 2018 @ 13:54:03

    Oh gosh! The lady killed herself. Life can be so unfair Meera and this compelling story tapping into our emotional state took my breath away.


  6. amanram
    Jan 12, 2018 @ 21:04:00



  7. Anu singhal
    Jun 06, 2018 @ 20:14:18

    Wow Meera so beautifully pen down .Very inspiring and how i wish even Nandini was alive


  8. Sunith
    Dec 16, 2018 @ 22:40:45

    Nice. Well penned Meera.


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