The morning couldn’t have been any better when the Mandovi Express left the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The fresh air coming through the window also brought the hints of debris spread near the station. The Indian railway stations are well known for their unsanitary surroundings. And the interiors of the trains are equally bad if not worse, specially in a general compartment. I could say that because i was inside one at the moment.
Travelling in a General Compartment was going to be a different experience- probably a strenuous one. But when i looked in the eyes of the kids who were sitting next to me, i got some courage. Children- I love them, and i hate them. They can be most lovable and irritating, both at the same time.
When i was a kid, i was obsessed with the idea of travelling. Children around me grew up with dreams of becoming Doctors, Pilots, Cricketers…Well, most of their dreams were inspired by the TV and other media sources. And so were mine. Ever since i watched this movie Bombay to Goa, the only thing i dreamed about was to travel in this route. But unlike that movie, i wanted to travel in a train. I have always loved the trains, more than anything else i love the feel of railway stations and the crowd there. Beggars who are reasonably good singers, lower middle class families with more problems than their luggage, higher middle class people who tend to show off, and those bearded gentlemen with their Beghams – they all make a typical railway station crowd. Inside a general compartment, though the diversity is not that much but the atmosphere is quite filmy and the entertainment value is guaranteed. It wasn’t wrong of me to expect a fun filled journey to Goa, where my friends would be joining me. But sitting in the train when i thought about the saying- journey is better than destination, i found it absolutely non-sense. This chaos in train could never turn out to be better than Sunburn in Goa.
I wanted to sleep for two reasons – i hadn’t slept well last night and i really wanted to get rid of the smell present in the compartment which was probably due to the foul body odor of the common men of this country. I turned my head towards my underarm area. It smelled far better, even without a deodorant – perhaps that’s relativity. Thankfully the passage of air coming through the window, helped in drying my sweat.
It’s difficult to travel in the month of May anywhere in India. The crowd checks your patience and the heat tests your fitness level. Talking about fitness, i have got varied opinions on my fitness. My physical education teacher never went beyond or below “B”, my mom always found me skinny and requested me to gain some weight, my girlfriend always commanded me to keep my tummy inside every time we were hanging out. Least important is my own opinion which keeps telling me- it’s all about survival. Till the time you are able to survive you’re fit enough.
The compartment was totally occupied. Lucky I was, I had a seat but like all other passengers not enough air to breathe. The congestion was at its best. Occasionally i could smell the gaseous product of non digestive systems of my fellow citizens. I hated the pledge i took long back in school- i love all indians. Couldn’t kill someone you promised to love, no matter you really loved them or not. I tried to give harsh expressions so that the culprit could realize his act.
The train slowed and slowed and finally stopped. The station had arrived. I did not put any effort to check the name of the station. I was hungry and quickly rushed in to a shop. Outside the shop there was a poster saying – Love can wait, hunger cannot. I liked it instantly- Great man whoever wrote it. I bought one burger, one packet of biscuits, and one bottle of flavored milk. That was probably the best i could have for breakfast in a railway station. By the way, every time i buy milk it reminds me of my friend who says this phrase whenever he is drunk: Real men drink milk, loners like me drink alcohol. He’s the one who made it up. I am not sure what milk he talked about, nor i bothered to ask him.
As i hurried in to the train, i saw my seat had been captured by a lady who appeared to be in her late twenties. She handed over my bag to me with a broad smile. She thought she looked really nice, i could see that through the arrogance on her face but i did not think so. Or probably, in this filthy compartment she was the best looking woman. Oh ! relativity again. I told her that it was my seat and asked her to get up.
“Oh i am really sorry” she said in a nasty voice, “But i am really tired and can’t stand for this long.You can sit here if you want” she shifted to her right making some space for me. But that space didn’t look enough to me. So i thought of sitting on the bench above where people keep there luggage. There was already a man lying over there. I asked him to move a bit, so that I could also fit in there. But he refused to. He asked me to sit with the girl. I wondered why? This time i requested the girl to shift again so that i could sit. Somehow i managed myself to sit there. As the train started, more people entered and it seemed that entire mankind has confined itself to small space of this compartment.
It happens sometimes when you sit too close to others, you tend to feel even their slight body movements. And specially when the person is of opposite sex, the closeness can ignite a spark inside your brain. It gave me goosebumps, in just a matter of few seconds. I got a feeling that she also felt the same sensation, my sixth sense told me that, though i have no logical argument or evidence to prove that.
I thought for a while and finally decided to make a move. It was a gamble. Had i succeeded-i would have satisfied my sexual desires, Had i not – people would have thrashed me like anything. Well as they say – doing nothing is the biggest risk that you can take, i was ready with my move.
I rubbed my feet against her’s and i did it quite secretively so that no one else could notice. She didn’t resist as i continued my indecent act. Which meant- i had a shot there. Having that in mind, my hands continued the act now. My eyes focusing on each and every person around, and then accordingly my hands progressed.
I could feel her waist now. She was wearing a Saree which was an added advantage. As my fingers crept along her waist, i felt a tingling sensation all over my body and certainly she felt it too. I could see it from her expressions. I pressed my hand firmly now, which made her groan and i moved it back realizing the fear of getting caught.
It went on for another hour or so and by the time i realized that i could do some talk as well, her station had arrived. She was collecting her luggage, but she kept giving me that seductive look again and again. There was something inside my head that told me that i should get down with her. And then there was some sober guy left inside who pleaded not to do it. There was a discussion. And as it goes, in the fight of your rationality and desire, the former never wins, so . . . i got down. The station was – Ratnagiri.
She passed a relaxed look as i got down on the station as if she was expecting me. It was the first time i talked to her.
“Hello” i said.
“Hi” she smiled and stood next to me. Now i had to continue the conversation. I didn’t know what to say.
“Where are you going?” i asked after a long pause.
“It’s my place. Rather i should ask you the same question.” she said in such a naughty manner, i instantly realized her intentions and the fact that she had understood my intentions too.
“I was wondering if i could have your company for more time, you know…” the desperation in me was proving its presence. She did not say anything but she did not refuse the offer. We started walking outside the station.
“Let’s just stay in some hotel.” i asked her but it came off more like a request. It was too straightforward and unless she was a prostitute, she could not have agreed upon it.
She laughed. I looked at her closely. She was definitely older than me, i thought- at least 3-4 years older. And she was definitely a prostitute, i was almost sure now. I looked at my wallet and muttered – Poor you.
“Do you even know about the place?” she said and laughed again.
“I will. If you will show me more of it.” i replied tilting my body towards her.
She looked convinced and we took an auto-rickshaw towards the main city. The auto wallah took us to a hotel. He looked like a nice man. I paid him the auto fare along with 20 bucks as tip. I was so happy; it’s not very often i pay tip to anyone. Next, we entered the hotel.
The receptionist was a middle aged man who looked more like a shopkeeper. The way he explained the tariff, i wondered if he had been in a retail store. I paid him 500 bucks in advance and we walked in to the room. The woman looked more excited than me.
As i locked the door from inside, she came closer to me. She bit her lips like those old heroines to express her cravings for sex. The way her Saree was partially displaying her body, it seduced me without any effort. Plus she exactly knew how to seduce a man. She pushed me on the bed and climbed over me. Our lips touched each other and the feeling was out of this world. The next moment, my hands were all over her body. And she was all over me.
And the next moment i remember she stabbed me with a knife. I was in such an awkward position that i was helpless. First i thought she was joking or she was trying some role play as they show in those videos but it wasn’t fun anymore when she punched me hard straight on my face. Then she hit me with something, i couldn’t recall. I lost my conscious.
When my eyes opened, she was laughing, in her so very nasty and loud style. I could not understand the reason. I saw three more men in the room- receptionist, auto wallah, and the guy from the train. They all shared a big laughter adding more to my worries and sadness. I was ashamed and broken. I gave up. I cried. Their laughter was accompanied by some music. I tried to see what it was.
I opened my eyes, carefully this time. My alarm bell was ringing in highest possible volume. And it saved my life again. Ah! these dreams- sometimes they give me a heart attack.