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...