Nov 24, 2011

Niveditha - final part

Please read part 1 and part 2 before reading this.

The time was 4.25 AM. Santhosh pushed himself off his pillow, got the attention of a passenger who was walking towards the entrance with his luggage and asked, "Excuse me! Sir, which station is this?"

"Cantonment", the passenger replied hastily.

"Oh! I should get down here!". He got off his berth, hurried to pull out his luggage when he heard Niveditha asking him the same question he had asked the man only a moment ago.

Hearing his reply, she hastened to pull out her luggage when he said, "I think the train is about to depart. Why don't you get down? I will get your luggage and join you in a while"

"Thank you so much", she replied, pointed at her luggage and rushed towards the entrance.

Santhosh pulled their baggage out and was about to run towards the entrance when he stepped over a cell phone. "I think she dropped it in a hurry!". He picked up her cell phone, with a mischievous smile gave a missed call to his number, put it in the side zip of her suitcase and rushed to the entrance. The train had started moving already when he dropped the bags and jumped on to the platform.

"Thanks again", she said, collecting her luggage from him. "My father has come to pick me up", she said pointing towards a man who was moving towards them.

"See you later", he said, bidding adieu. He waited there for a while seeing Niveditha being received by her dad with a warm hug. Her dad collected her luggage and they moved towards the exit.

"I think you are getting a call", Niveditha's father said to her. She took her cell phone out of her purse and found that no one was calling her. "No, dad. Maybe mom is trying to reach you!"

"But I never put my cell phone in vibrating mode!"

She was about to say "Neither do I" when she saw that her father had sensed the location of the vibration alert. He opened the side zip of her bag, picked up the cell phone that was vibrating with a flash text "Wake up alarm", with an option to Snooze or Dismiss.

"It's not my cell phone!", she cried in surprise.

"Oh! Well, don't worry my child. Wait here. I will be back soon", saying thus, he started walking towards the station master room.

Inside the train, Arjun was still sleeping, waiting to be woken up by the fifth alert.

Nov 23, 2011

Niveditha - part 2

Continued from Part 1.

The train continued to gain momentum and with each passing moment, Arjun felt a part of him is moving away from himself. "Why do I care so much about a random girl whom I have never met in my life? I don't even know how she looks! What are her likes, or if she has a boyfriend already!"

A gentle breeze flowed through the door caressing his face, played with his hair for a while and parted with him as he heard the mellifluous voice "Is this S4?"

Arjun turned towards where the voice came from and found a girl clad in jeans and t-shirt, rolling her luggage through the vestibule.

"Yes it is", he replied with a pleasant smile. "God, please let her be Niveditha!", he made a silent prayer.

She smiled back with thanks, rolled her luggage to find her seat. Unable to stand the curiosity, he walked back to his seat to find her again pushing her luggage beneath her berth. "God! A billion thanks to you!", he cried out of joy.

Changing to an expressionless face, he mumbled a hello to her, removed his slippers and was getting ready to settle down on his berth. "Hi!, nice to see you again", she replied with the same smile. Arjun vowed in silence to all the Gods that he would do anything to see that smile on her face forever.

He glanced at seats numbered 45 and 46 which were now occupied by a couple, the husband on the upper berth and the wife occupying the middle one.

The train had crossed the Basin Bridge junction and was running at full speed, just like Arjun's thoughts. A number of call-outs and plenty of questions did rounds in his head when he heard her voice again.

"Will you do me a favor?"

"Anything under this sky!", he wanted to say.

"Sure, what is it?"

He observed that the lights were turned off already, and the fans were moving at their maximum speed. What else could she want me to do?

"Will you please wake me up at 4.30 AM? I have to get down at Cantonment".

"But haven't you booked till the city junction?"

"How did you know?", she looked into his eyes trying to gauge his thoughts.

He let out a sheepish grin.

"While looking for my name in the reservation chart I took a note of my co-passengers as well", he replied.

"Hmmm. I asked my friend to book the ticket. He didn't know that my parents live near cantonment, so he booked it till the city junction", she said.

"Oh! Well, sure! I will wake you up at 4.30. Good night then"

"To you too", she replied with a smile.

He retired to his berth, took his cell phone and set five alarms starting from 2.30 onwards at every half an hour in vibration mode and went to sleep.

The coach vibrated more intensely than his cell phone so that he missed the first two alerts! He jumped up in his seat when he got the third one only to find that he still had an hour more to go. Arjun turned around in his berth, peeped over to look at her. The brilliant moon from outside the window was casting its light on her hair making her appear like an angel.

"Why is it that when cupid strikes, everything about her looks beautiful and romantic?", he wondered.

Amused by his poetic thoughts, he went back to sleep again and woke up when he sensed the next vibration alert. "Is this fourth or fifth alert? Wait a minute! I did not sense the vibration from my cell phone!"

"Sir, city junction has arrived", the TTR was waking up the sleeping passengers.

"What the hell?" He looked at his watch which showed the time as 4.55 AM. "The train arrived fifteen minutes early momma", he heard a passenger talking over the phone to his mom.

"Oh! Am sorry Niveditha! I overslept and couldn't keep my promise!", he wanted to apologize. He quickly got down from his berth only to find the lower berth that was occupied by his dream girl vacant!

will be concluded in the next part...

Nov 22, 2011


The Bangalore Mail was boarding the passengers and was getting ready to depart at its scheduled time from platform number 3. Arjun got onto the train, located his partition, shoved his luggage beneath the lower berth and occupied his seat. Noting that the other seats were empty, he got down from his coach to find out about his co-passengers from the reservation chart.

From the important columns, he read out the names of those who would be sharing his partition.
Krishnan M54 MAS SBC 41
Arjun M24 MAS SBC 42
Santhosh M25 MAS SBC 43
Niveditha F21 MAS SBC 44

His mind started weaving a web of thoughts about Niveditha, which stopped him from reading further down the reservation list.

"Niveditha! What a nice name! Does she look good as well? Who is Santhosh? Is he her boyfriend? Or is she a daughter of Mr. Krishnan?" With lots of questions in his mind, but no answers, he walked back to his seat which was now occupied.

"Hi! I am Santhosh", he introduced himself. "Arjun". They both shook their hands when an elderly man crashed in. "Son, will you help me with the luggage?", he asked in general.

"Sure Sir", they both walked towards the entrance. "By the way, are you traveling alone?" Arjun asked Santhosh, wanting to know if Niveditha was traveling with him. "Ya! I am going to my friend's place. We have planned a trip to Agumbe this weekend", he said excitedly.

Arjun checked his watch for one last time. It was two minutes past 11.15 PM. S4 is now almost filled with passengers, some of whom had already started sleeping in their berths. But Arjun's eyes were fixed on one seat that was left unoccupied!

There was still no sign of Niveditha when the engine started pulling the train outside the station, coinciding with the announcement "Your attention, please. Train no. 12657, Chennai to Bengaluru City Junction, Bangalore Mail will leave shortly from platform number 3".

Stop the train! Should I pull the chain? Where is Niveditha? She is nowhere to be seen! Did she cancel her ticket and the trip? Arjun stood near the entrance with his eyes scanning the crowd at Chennai Central railway station looking for a girl in her early twenties, the only girl whom destiny had chosen to travel with him in a train, ever!

to be continued...

Nov 8, 2011

Day2: To Chalakudy and South

"Take a sleeper class ticket at the ticket counter and get into any compartment", my friend who hails from Ernakulam advised me before we started our trip.

Remembering his advice, I demanded "two sleeper tickets to Mavelikkara please" at the Chalakudy station counter. A lady, about 50 years old, peered through her glasses and said "I can only issue general tickets to you. You may board in any compartment you want".

I understood what she meant only after I boarded the Venad express [*].

Meanwhile, Prasanna had called Venu, our common friend to fix a rendezvous at Mavelikkara. Having nothing much to do, I started to look at motion pictures outside the window.
An adamant kid refuse to give the rolling suitcase to her grandfather

and she won her way :)

picturesque scene outside the window

Day 2 of our trip ended here at Mavelikkara, with Prasanna and myself re-united with Venu. We took an auto to Venu's house, planned for more actions on Day 3 over dinner, and called it a day.

[*] If you are still wondering what the old lady at the ticket counter meant, Venad express is a day train!