Tuesday, March 11, 2008

He did not arrive

It was a very cold evening.
I reached the station a little too earlier to receive Dilip. Dilip had written to me that he would come by the last train-2115 UP which was scheduled to arrive at 9 in the evening. Dilip was my friend. But both of us had forgotten each other as we forget many things in life. The streams of our lives had carried us to different shores and we had been separated from each other. We had belonged to two different worlds and never need to cross to the other’s. Perhaps demands of life are more impelling than the needs of friendship. It does not mean that I had been living a friendless life. Some had become my friends in the mean time and I enjoyed their friendship and I loved them also as it was natural to love my wife and children. Life is weaving through relations.
So, when after twenty years I received a letter from Dilip informing me that he had intended to come here to meet me, I was puzzled. I frantically tried to feel what this meant. The very first sense that confronted me was a sense of absurdity. But this vanished instantaneously and I tried to wake myself up in a far off past to find who and how this person had been to me. I started connecting the worn memories into a living feeling. Twenty years was a long time. I started musing on our friendship and in a few days I was able to enter in my past and discovered that I had lost a world-that had been more mine than this one I lived now.
How old was Dilip now? He had been four years older than I. Was he too old to be recognized? He informed me nothing about himself. Even he did not find it necessary to write how he had come to know my whereabouts. And why he was coming? I got tensed. I looked at my watch. There were a few minutes for the train to arrive. I started walking along the platform with some restlessness. Very few persons were there on the platform. I lit a cigarette and as I puffed my tensed smokes before my nose-the green light appeared on the signal post.
The train was coming. He was coming. The train stopped on the platform. Suddenly I became numb. Some persons got down and the persons waiting with me for the train got in. There were two ppeople near me who had just got down from the train. I went near them. No –Dilip was not there. They were all known to me living in my neighborhood. The train was shown the green signal. Suddenly I could gather myself and frantically seeking Dilip in the silent void in the platform. Was it really that Dilip did not come? I got satisfied that I searched to my best. I had nothing to do if Dilip did not come. I lit another cigarette.
The last train began to move and soon vanished in the dark. I stared on the two rear red lamps as long as they could be seen.


Anonymous said...

very chilling. very original. it is like a beautiful painting covered with dust - dust of incorrect English at places. I suggest the author go over the article a few times and remove the mistakes. Then post it. It will then make an excellent read.

Anonymous said...


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