Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Haunting Melody 2 - the journey

(Contd. from part 1)


Meanwhile my father and i were unsettling.We had a few curses at each other as well as the "You-Know-Who".We were thinking of some way to travel without her.so,with great hopes we approched the T.T to find out if it is possible to get away without the original of the ticket.
He had told a detailed procedure of how to do that...As my father was asking many a questions to the T.T,i was peeping into the list of passengers that the T.T was carrying- i was more than curious to know her name as i generally try to conceive the face by knowing the name.
"Sampath m/19"
"Lavanya f/19"
"Lavanya...okkk...not bad a name...".But i was sure that she was not going to look good...
The last announcement came,"dayachesi vinandi..."
"She did not arrive yet!...my god! Am i going to go today???"
As my father and i were contemplating this way,suddenly a girl entered into the train and seemed as if searching for her seat...
My father doubtfully asked,
"are you...are you sharing the ticket with my son?"
"yeah yeah...ok the other guy is you right",asked her elder sister.
"yes",i replied.
"ok ok where are you studying?"
"IIT Madras",i proudly replied,with an expression on my face reading,"i am studying where everyone desires to!"...
"IIT???...under which university...is it Anna university?"
"my god!!!she doesn't know IIT?...wtf is this",i said to myself.
"no akka...IIT itself is a university",she said,in a cute voice.
I looked back and saw her for the first time in my life.
As my thoughts about her face were running in my mind,the train was almost chugging away from the station.
"get in,get in" was the cry through out the platform crowds,and without an exception,my father's and her sister's.
Finally Got Into The Train!!!
We got into our seats and had our luggage and ourselves comfortably placed.
I was still cautious not to come under the sway of lust,so i was being too much careful not to speak to her,nor look at her.
"which year",suddenly came a deep voice that apparently resounded in my ears.
I saw who was speaking.It was her voice.
The voice itself was as cool as an ice-cream!
And to my surprise,she was more beautiful than her voice!
I could not understand whether it was my luck or i was doomed!
'coz if you ask a friend he says without a second thought that it is the greatest luck.But,well,how many people have really proven to be lucky ones in the long run???
"In any case,why to take risk...just be to the point and that's all about it..."
"aah,me,second year",i replied and kept quiet.
She was wearing a black tee-shirt and a dark blue jeans,so i thought she was a bit too talkative and might even be a ruffian,so i kept a bit away from her!
The second time i looked her...oh my god!...she was damn good!!!
Still i had my eyes totally under control...i looked a few times at her within a few minutes,only to note that she was totally engrossed in her own business and did not even notice what i was doing.
"Anyway this is what i want,very good that she is not talking to me at all!"
Meanwhile the passengers around us seemed to be ready to ask the question,"are you brother and sisters,or friends,or whatelse?"
But i did not give any chance to them to speak anything about our relationship;at least i tried not to.
Well then suddenly,my mind rotated approximately 180 degrees,only to have myself realised that maybe i can speak to her lest she should think bad of me.
"okay then,let her start the talk next time,i am going to have a non-stop chat"...
I waited...
waited...
waited...
No!...she was not speaking a word...
So i got my earphones inserted into my ears...the songs were continuously playing...but i could not really listen to them...my eyes were being pulled towards her...of course,i pulled them stronger towards myself...But this time,i was not happy to!...I feel like seeing her and speaking to her!...
She started speaking over the phone to what i concluded to be her mother.Suddenly her phone rung back...I looked as if i did not take care of that call...She suddenly tapped on my thigh.
I did not know what was going on."how come a girl is touching me?"i thought,having realised the fact that i had never allowed even my sisters to touch me.
She was handing her mobile over to me.
I looked incredulously,not expecting her act,and took the phone and held it near my ears.It was from my home.They had called her because i was roaming and my phone did not happen to be filled with balance.


“How are you doing?”,asked my sister.
“okay...not bad,not any trouble till now”,i replied, carefully contemplating whether i was telling the truth.
“No i was not”,my conscience began to tell me.
Anyway,i ignored all the arguments going on in my mind,and continued to eagerly wait for her to speak to me.
It was 3.50 p.m.The train was chugging and moving swiftly along the lush green fields of East Godavari.It has been almost two hours since we boarded the train.Not much of an exchange of words was made between us.Appalling?...well...that was solely my mistake i would say.
Suddenly,she again called me and said,”aah,4.15 ki can you please wake me up,i am going to have a short nap”
"yeah,sure”,i replied with an absent mind,thinking of something else.
“ok thank you!”
The next moment i realised what i had told her...I sweared i would wake up a girl from slumber!...”How are you going to do it my dear rascal??”
While she was taking rest,i tried to assess her.My God!...her feet were like white roses with a golden yellow shade on it!...Her fingers as soothing as the stalks of a lily!...Her face clearly resembled a full moon’s glow with the eyes looking like black marbles floating in milk with sparkles in it...Well,maybe this is the limit of what i could describe about her to you...if i do more,you may as well end up beating me to death or maybe rate this post as an A certificate!...Anyway,all-in-all she seemed a perfect girl for anybody,having a perfect stature and perfect temperament.
The minutes hand reached 3...slowly i began to sweat.
“how are you going to do it man???...how is it even conceivable for you???”
So then i drank some water from my half-filled bottle,trying to gain some strength this way.
But not coming was the strength.
So i drank more water.No...nothing was coming out...
So i reached the bathroom and returned,thinking that then i would be able to do it.
I reached our seat.
“Dont think so much man...just tap on her leg na!!!”, a part of my mind instructed.
“what if she beats me up for the act”,argued my innate mental setup.
Finally,of course,the former prevailed,and i tapped on her leg twice.
She did not wake up.
Meanwhile the passengers around us were becoming suspicious that i am trying to flirt her or something like that.
So,i ceased to attempt to wake her up.
“But why have you given your word to her”
So I asked a co-passenger,who was in maybe his mid-forties,to please wake her up.
“Why should I???”,he screamed,bringing out his hunch on me.
“She asked me to...”,as i was telling this to him, his adjacent one intervened and asked,”why are you shouting at him?”
“She asked me to wake her up at 4.15 sir”,i told him completely ignoring the rebukes of the other guy.
“papa...papa...wake up!”,he told her,and had her finally woken up.
“You asked me to wake you up right...?”,i was trying to tell her before she gave a fierce look at me as if saying,”You shameless son of a bitch!...why are you asking the mass to yell at me when you are my classmate worth of having me as your girl friend?”
I was embarrassed at her look.I was regretting what i have done...”Yeah there is meaning in her look...mistake is yours you fool!”,i again blamed myself.
“anyway whatever is done is done...”,i consoled myself.
It was almost 5 o’ clock in the evening-the most romantic time for those who are so inclined.The train gradually came to a halt.It was a big railway station.I went out to see what the heck it is.
“Samalkot Juntion”,read the board as if telling to me,”you have travelled 200 kilometres without even speaking to the girl!”
I was more embarrassed!...This time i made my mind that i am going to start the chat myself.
I went back to my seat,only to find two similar young men speaking about the famous “Kakinada kaja”.
“Okay cool..now atleast i have someone to speak to”,i thought with a background  idea in my mind that i can get away without speaking to her!
Again a change of my mindset!...”what’s going on man???”...
But i started to speak with one of the newly entered guys.But not as much as half-an-hour has passed,he had escaped me saying,"i will be back at 8,my friends are waiting over there for me".
"Ok bye",i said with a sign of relaxation that now nobody is going to disturb me from reaching to her!
"Well she is so good,why not commit for a relationship with her",suddenly impulses came from my lust-filled mind.
"Yeah it would be a good idea...but....",i thought with an idea that obviously she must have rejected me in her mind due to my stubbornness in the first leg of our journey.
"But how to impress her best atleast from now on???",i thought.
So i recalled...
It was approximtely a year ago.A friend of mine and i were returning in a train after having visited the   
exquisite natural beauties of the araku valley and the like.A guy sitting adjacent to us had inquired,"You are studying in IIT,so you must have had atleast a few girlfriends"
"no no not yet although i am trying to find one for myself"
"Well then that's good...remember...if you find a girl of your liking,just tell her that you are studying in IIT...half of your job will be done"
"Oh is it?",i asked, bringing out my clear apathy on such a topic.
So recalling this,i satisfied my egotistical mind,"Well you dont have anything less for a girl to fall flat for you,my dear friend!"
So i continued my wait for her to see me and speak to me.
"Time is running out...do something right now man",i repeatedly said to my mind.
It was 8 p.m.The train came to Vijayawada.I got down to have some grub for myself,and i got a lays pack.As i started to eat the chips,a thought ran in my mind,"why dont you share it with your friend?"
Suddenly she searched in her bag and came up with a box of lemon rice.She was eating it all alone.
"Why doesn't she share a bit of that with me too",wrangled my egotistical mind.But she doesn't even seemed to have a second thought about that.
The guys who owed me some chat at 8 p.m  joined us.One of them feigned to have understood the dignity of what it means to be an IITian,and started to speak all kinds of junk with me.I too responded well,and combinedly we felt as if we got away totally ignoring her.
But still i was thinking,"why dont she join us in our conversation".
"Aah excuse me",she told to me.
I was in more than cloud nine at that moment,presuming that she is going to join us.
So i gave a royal look at her,almost expecting something in my favor.
"When are you going to sleep,i mean when do you want to rise the berth so that i can sleep",she asked.
Shocked at her question,i thought for sometime,
"She is going to sleep so early???...why dont she let some words come out of her mouth for some time?"
As i was thinking like this,i babbled in what i call as not my usual style of talking in English,
"Aah whenever you sleep".
I realised what a blunder i made in my English grammar.Anyway i thought i got away with it.
On hearing my statement,She gave me what i would like to acknowledge as the "smile of my life".The smile seemed so pleasant and soothing to me that i felt now i have taken a bath in Ganges for all the sins i committed that day having shown such an indifference towards her.So good the smile was that i felt the journey is totally worth it after having spent six hundred rupees on it.Finally i would say it is a "life-saving smile",potent to cure a few hundred men from their disease of "apathy towards a girl"!
In any case i finally concluded that none of us behaved intimately with her,so it's not so much of my mistake being away from her.I silently hopped to the upper berth and took rest calling it a day.
The next day the train was supposed to reach Chennai Central at 3.50 a.m.And sure enough the train reached its destination half an hour early.Everybody was getting down,so i too was about to get down to pack my things,when i saw a shocking sight...The girl and the guy i spoke to the previous day,were sitting face-to-face and conversing as if none else was there in the train!!!
"You rascal!...how sad it is!...the guy has kept you off the track and had himself on track!..."...I was more than disgusted.
So i finally stepped to get down the train.A final thought came,"maybe i will say bye to her"...
So i looked at her if she would see me atleast once so that i can tell her a bye...
No!...she never looked at me!...she was so much preoccupied with their conversation...I slowly alighted off the train so that she might see me at some point of time and greet me.
No,she never did that!...
Slowly,with a morbid feeling filling my gut like a snake's venom,i went straight towards the prepaid auto-stand to have myself escorted to my hostel by a taxi-man.All the way i was travelling from the station to hostel,a melancholic feeling haunted me,"you fool!...you have missed someone you would like to have in your life,atleast as a friend...you shall be condemned for ever!"...
Slowly i realised that this is the way of life...to experience bitterness and to learn lesson not to put neem onto your tongue again!
"Anyway,atleast i got a good memory to cherish whenever i want to",i consoled myself.
Or is it?...Yes it is...and even now whenever i recall the journey and the few interactions we had together,a strange but lovely feeling permeates my whole body,and feel as if a sweet melody is haunting me!...
(To be contd.)

A Haunting melody 1 - "She is a girl!!!"

Well...
well...
well...
do not suspect that this might be some case of a ghost or something like that...it's just a segment of my life that has made a deep impact on me...and obviously "she" is a girl!!!
Generally i am a bit too shy while dealing with girls,in particular, my classmates.But a day has forced me squarely and roundly to change this attitude,although i continued to be "mind-strong"...
It was our fourth semester at IITM.The heavy academic homeworks and assignments usually implicate us to take a periodic break from the pell-mell.Without an exception,i went to home that sem too,this time,for Ugadi(the Telugu New Year).
With great trouble,i reached home...well,you know it's not so easy to reach Vizag from Chennai if the journey is not preplanned.The onward journey went too cool,with heavy music around my ears for most of the time,and some chatpata...Finally i reached home at 6.15 a.m, only to see my parents eagerly waiting for me to arrive.
The day,as i expected,went cool,and everyone in India was waiting for the next day...well...it was going to be the final of the  world cup cricket match...As every Tom and Dick knows,India happened to win the game.Personally i enjoyed the game along with the famous "chilli bajji",although most would like to mix some pop corn into a game of cricket.
Meanwhile,many thoughts were running in my mind about how to return;infact,most of the time i stay at Vizag goes into thinking about my mode of returning to chennai.Not as an exception,this time too,more than ever before,i was feeling more and more tense about my journey.My father,as usual, scolds me for making such unplanned journeys, and my mother wishes i would stay longer at home even if it means bunking a few classes.Finally,anyhow,my decision prevails,and i search for the nitty-gritty details of all the trains possible.That day night, however,i had no stock of ideas,and without a second thought,were hoping for a "tatkal ticket" as all of us were very busy in enjoying the cricket match.

Next day

Here starts the main story.....
As usual i woke up the next day at 6 a.m.,and i should say even in my mind i did not lose track of having a return ticket even in my dreams...well...i should just say it is...

8 a.m...
the time when the purchase of tatkal tickets commence.As most our travelling guys know,people become literal dogs hungry for their coveted ticket.As everybody else,I too,was glued to my computer,having made all the arrangements for the booking to be successful.
The booking started!!!
i logged in with my usual id..."samp1315"
"logged in successfully"!!!
"search for trains from vskp to mas"
"hwh-mas mail"...the train i wanted!!!
"check availability..."
"available-6"!!!
"Book ticket"...
"please wait till your transaction materialises...dont press back or refresh"
As this all was going on,my adrenaline was gushing and rushing and playing with me all kinds of games...A ray of hope rose above the horizon,waiting for me to reach it...and ofcourse,i reached it...
the hourglass was toppling over itself again and again...
finally...
"sorry your transaction could not proceed due to unknown reasons"!!!....
Suddenly i lost my mind...it was as if i lost my life...nay...myself!
Slowly consolations came saying "it's ok...this is not the end of your life..."
Well.i know this is not the end of my life...bu..bu...but....BULLSHIT!
Ofcourse with little hope,i searched for other trains as well,and to  my dismay,i could not get a ticket for a comfortable journey.Finally,i had my ticket saying"from vskp to gudur;not valid without id proof,bla bla bla..."...i was not very satisfied...
"cool man...cool!!!"
Then,suddenly my father told,"dont worry,you still have the chance...i asked an agent to have a ticket for you"...
"ok whatever it is,i am travelling to chennai and attend my class on tuesday"...
The sun was getting slowly down the mountains...
Suddenly,the door was knocked...
"namaskaram murty garu..."
"namaskaram saar...mee abbayiki ticket kavalannaruga...idigo,aayana(the agent)book chesina ticket..."
I was feeling relaxed...thank god!...i need not take any pain for this "after-all" journey...
As he was handing the ticket over to me i was feeling more relaxed than ever before...it was as if i was    
brought from the ethiopian heat to the Himalayan mountain range...also a strange feeling somewhat akin to curiosity i was experiencing...
The ticket read,
"vskp to mas tatkal seva ticket"
"s6/35/(sex)M/(age)19/rupees six hundred ninty two"...
unexpectedly the next line  read,
"s6/36/(sex)F/(age)19"...
thought i read it wrong...
again it reads,"s6/36/(sex)F/(age)19"...
"Holy Shit!!!...i have to travel with a girl???...that too with the original ticket in her hands...No! never!...i am not going to travel tomorrow"...
Slowly i began to accept the reality..."just twelve hours man....it's ok...you need not think so much!"
The next day went quite well,with some friends and some "pani-puri"...By this time the fact got digested in my mind...no alternative...i have to travel with a girl sharing the same ticket...yep!...it's ok man...be cool...
The day of journey arrived...
the train was at 1.45 p.m...
It also happened to be the day of "ugadi"...
As always i had an extra dose of the "ugadi pacchadi"...this time i was being careful as i had a journey ahead...
This time too,like always,my father escorted me to the railway station.Not surprisingly the train already had itself on the platform..(the howrah-chennai mail is notorious for being on time...all the time!).Unfortunately i had only the photocopy of the ticket;the original is with the "sex F age 19"...
I had a preconception that the daughters of known ones are seldom good-looking...So i was not hoping for anything other than a dark face with lot of pimples on it,and a fat figure.To add to my curiosity she was a bit too late...infact she arrived only two minutes before the ETD...(to be contd. in part 2)...