Thursday, February 28, 2008

No train to return

I felt tired not because of any extra pressure in my office. Actually there was not so much work for a long time and I had to find some involvements to get busy only to get rid of a monotony that erased my sense of being. The fire was not so hot as to burn the passion of existence. The same old hall with innumerable fans hanging from the ceiling, the tables with the burdens of heaps of files, and the same faces that can never want to be brightened with anything around them, instantly determined the mood of this office. I, like all of us, had unknowingly been turned as prisoners in the jails of our lives.

If I had the privilege of leave travel concession I would have gone to the hills and forests. It would be something else not known to me as this pain of arthritis. There had been no breakthrough in the last twenty years. Time was mere machinations. I remembered the days of childhood. It appeared to be a fairyland. But one can not go back to the station he left once.

The office was over. But I was not hurried as I knew that I, as the same person, would have to return to the same place the next day. Suddenly I felt desperate after reaching the station. I bought a ticket for Jangalpur. It was 30 km ahead of my home station. A sense of freedom grew in me. I did not have any plan. I wanted simply to reach beyond my known existence. There was 10 minutes more for the train to leave. So I bought a cup of tea. I never took tea in the train. But time was different. It was new. The train, the people, and the tea-stall –all was new. Even I discovered that I saw them for the first time. The train started. I sat by the side of a window and enjoyed the world outside-the very same world I had been seeing for the last twenty years.

Slowly the dusk fell and the world outside appeared to be badly erased. I felt sleepy. I did not know when I passed my home station. My instinct roused me just when the train started leaving my station –where I had got down unmistakably for twenty years without fail.

I reached Jangalpur at 10 pm. It was a silent place and it was very dark everywhere. I found none on the platform. So I went to the office of the station-master. He was almost an old man. I asked him if he could give information of any hotel there. He stared on my face as if he found something queer in me. He told “There is no hotel here and it can not be as this is a small village-near a jungle.” I soon realized that I would not get any shelter here in Jangalpur. Suddenly I felt helpless. I asked the station master about the next down train for returning to my home. He told “The last down train left half an hour ago.”

So I found no train to return.

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