The guy on the Train

I woke up at 6AM in a sleepy state. My alarm had gone off for the 2nd time now.

My train is at 7.15AM. It takes all my energy to wake up from the bed. I get to the washroom, get fresh and just when we are about to leave, my Mama announces that the train is late. Nevertheless, we get to the station and check.

My train is 4 hours late. It is expected to arrive by 11.30AM. I sigh, internally calculating the delay I would be causing my friends because of this late arrival of the train.

We get back home. I slept at 3AM last night, woke up at 6AM to catch the train. My mind is not in a state to think anymore. I lay on the bed and immediately doze off. Next, I remember my brother coming over to my bed and screaming that you have cancelled your trip right. I answer a sleepy ‘No’.

He then says, what are you doing here on the bed then, it is 11AM. At first I don’t believe him, because he always annoys me. So I take my phone 2 minutes later and jump in horror when I see the time as 10.59AM. I go screaming towards Mom, ‘MMAAA, I have a train at 11.30AM, why didn’t you wake me up earlier?’ She replies ever so calmly, the train is late. I ask in frustration, ‘how late?’ My Mama then comes in and says at least till 12.30PM.

I am internally calculating the amount of abuses I will receive from my friends for 5 hour delay now because I began to get numerous phone calls and messages, asking if I had boarded the train or not. I am in mild panic by then.

From 12.10PM, I tell my Mama to hurry up and drop me at the station or I might miss my train. But he says, the train is still late, it won’t reach by 12.30PM. By now I am furious with Mama for taking my train so lightly. What if I miss it?

Eventually, we leave the house by 12.50PM. I reach the station by 1PM and see that my train is going to reach the platform 2 by 1.15PM. So I reach the platform 2 and wait for the train to come. The train arrives at 1.18PM, finally.

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I get on the train, get to my seat and see the place surrounded with males and no acknowledgment of the fact that I should be allowed some space to sit and settle down. Nobody moved an inch. But well, I was too pissed to be bothered by it. My train was FREAKING SIX HOURS LATE, my friends were waiting for me in another city to start our vacation trip and here I was, among these people. I didn’t think much about the people then.

The guy opposite to my seat was particularly, for the lack of better words, pissed. It looked like my mere presence there had pissed him off. He has those, dark, deep, unforgiving eyes, like those of an anti-hero of any B grade Bollywood hero. He had tied his hair into a pony-tail and had a resting pissed off look. I think to myself, first my train is late, then I have to be in a coach with weird people and then this guy sitting opposite to me has to have a pissed off look. Aren’t I supposed to be the one who is supposed to be extremely pissed with the turn of events?

So I did what I do the best. Plug in my earphones, play music, stare out of the window and ignore the world. I later slept and woke up 2 hours later. Had my lunch at 6PM and then another uncle next to me starts talking and doesn’t shut up. I chose to talk to the bare minimum. Entire journey seemed excessively long. I still had another 6 hours to go, if there was no further delay. Everyone somehow expected our train to reach the destination by 12AM, considering that the train would cover up at least some delay in-between.

By 10PM, everyone puts off the lights and goes to sleep. I couldn’t sleep because I had no idea when I was going to reach, no idea what mode of transport I would take to reach where my friends were waiting and no idea how much I would get abused for causing so much delay.

Eventually, by 10.50PM, I decide, it is best I sleep. No use worrying anyway.

One gentleman, comes up to my seat, out of ALL the available seats in the coach, when I am almost sleepy, and asks, if he can charge his phone there. I mean, seriously, did he not get ANY OTHER place to charge? What happened to his charging socket? But well, I was too drained to ask anything or talk to people on this train. I was anyway surrounded with weirdos. So I just said, yes you can charge here and tried getting back to sleep.

So he fits in the charger in the socket and gets back to his seat. He comes back in another 5 minutes and checks if his phone is charging. (Like yeah, the phones obviously don’t charge when we put them into a charging socket)

And another 2 minutes later, he announces that our train won’t be reaching our destination until 1AM. Now I pissed at him for ruining my imagination of reaching before 12AM. Why did he have to do this? I could have slept and not bothered what time we were reaching. Now I can’t sleep and begin to panic – I am travelling alone in some train with weird people and will arrive in the streets of a relatively unknown city past mid-night.

The uncle again began blabbering something and this phone charging guy decided it is a good idea to stand and talk about the train being delayed. So I begin to ask the estimated time the train could reach, etc.

Eventually, I ask him if he wants to sit in the empty seat next to me. He surprisingly agrees. By then, I and the guy decide to ignore the uncle and start talking. Initially, the conversation began by this dammed train arriving late and reaching even later.

Then, we get a bit comfortable with each other and spoke about our homes, family, friends and education. Conversation was flowing smoothly. I began to relax, as the train was anyway going to get late. No use worrying right. So I continued talking to him. Let’s call him G.

Turns out, G was also going to meet his friend and it would be awkward if he turned up at his friend’s place in the middle of the night. So we were venting out our mutual frustration. Our train which was supposed to reach at 1AM, was now showing that it would reach at 1.57AM. My frustrated reached a new high and I was still internally calculating abuses to be received.

The train eventually reached at 2.05AM, when in fact it was supposed to reach at 7.15PM.  Me and G, kept talking till the train reached the station, sacrificing our sleep in the process. He walked me outside the station and then dropped me where a cab was waiting for me. We ended up exchanging phone numbers and thus became friends.

Sometimes, you meet people out of no-where. We were in train from 1.15Pm, just a few seats away and yet, we met only around 11PM. Sometimes, people come into our lives when we least expect it and help you in ways you never thought. Had it not been for G, I would have probably been panicking or sleeping not-so-peacefully. Not that he did anything magical, but somehow, because of the conversation, I did relax.

Sometimes, there are delays because some other thing has to come your way. When I saw that my train arrived at 1.18PM with a 6 hour delay, I honestly didn’t think there would be anything good coming out of it. When I look back today, it was a memorable journey in its own way, also because I never have reached this late anywhere. The entire trip was one big beautiful memory.

As they say, “Go with flow”, don’t try to go against it. Try and be compassionate with people. A little kindness goes a long way. I will remember G’s smiling face for a long time, even if we don’t remain in contact, because, on that day, in that train, surrounded with weird people, someone tried to make things better for me. Don’t be the person with deep pissed off eyes. Ever. Be the smiling-welcoming person. Try and make things easier for the other person, if it doesn’t help, well, do what I did. Plug on earphones and ignore the world. Sometimes, there is no better therapy than music.

Meet people with an open mind. Make random friends. Be kind. Smile more often. Create memories. Laugh. And always have faith. You never know, your 6 hour delayed train, might actually help you find a friend. 😉

 

 

If you have any such crazy stories about your train/ flight/ bus/ auto or whatever, share it with us in the comments section below.

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