It was a hot sunny October afternoon of 2015, when I stepped into the railway station of LokManya Tilak Terminus (LTT). I checked out the electronic display fixed near the enquiry office and came to know that my train will be arriving on platform number 3 at 12:43 pm. I checked out my watch. It was 12:30 pm. I rushed to the stair case. When I stepped down the stair case on the other side, I reflexed back in a shock. Seeing the platform completely filled with passengers suddenly made me feel more concerned about our growing population. I just imagined the book Inferno by Dan Brown which was in my bag, which I had picked to read in that journey from LTT to my home, Kakinada. Note that I have already read that book twice till that date. For a moment I wished that Bertrand Zobrist should exist in real.
* Train tickets mentioned here are just because this is a train journey and life engine because engine is related to train *
I stepped into the train when it arrived. S5 coach, Berth No. 32 it was. I always prefer Upper berth when I travel alone, because of the freedom it offers. Just go and sleep whenever you need, no issues. I surveyed the people around, a couple in their late 60’s sitting near the window seat, a man sitting with a smart phone in his hand and another man sleeping on the other upper berth of the compartment. Not a single person which I wished to see. No colors in the compartment.
The train blew horns and the tires started to roll slowly making the passengers feel the effect of a mild earthquake. After 10 minutes of doing nothing, a young man in his late 20’s came along with his wife and a 3 to 4 year old son. Finally something to feel happy about. Hey, I am talking about the small cute baby son. He came to me and asked where I was going. I said Kakinada town, the final stop. He then requested me that they are two members and they got tickets to Secunderabad in two different coaches S 5 and S 9. First we went to S9 and there no one could shift to S 5 as some were with their families and somewere old enough not to shift. Then he requested me to shift to S 9 as I was travelling alone. His berth number was 31 and mine was 32. Seeing his wife and their 3 year old son, I was not able to say No. I said I will shift at the next stop. They thanked me and arranged their luggage in the space provided under the lower berths. The train stopped after 15 min at the next stop and the guy said S 9 coach, Berth No. 41. I controlled my anger hearing the berth number, and finally got down. Shit! Lower Berth.
When I stepped in S 9, which I consider lucky number for me, I moved to the berth No. 41. Just 3 people were seated in the compartment of 8. And that young man said that no one could shift, he should have said that half of the compartment was empty. Let it be. A couple in their 40’s were sitting and chatting, I mean both on their own smart phones. One man in his early 50’s was sitting at the window opposite to me. At least I got a window seat here. That man in his early 50’s started the conversation.
“So that couple which came here few minutes back exchanged this seat to you?” he asked.
I said “Yes”.
He nodded his head and said “Good.” and then he asked “Where are you going?”
I said “Kakinada” and asked “You?”
He said “Secunderabad”.
And the conversation took off from introduction to all trending topics then, around the world. Till evening we talked a lot about the worldly affairs, politics, economics, population and marriages in India. Then for a break, we just sat watching nature outside for some time, it felt good.
Then we took tea and while drinking it, he said that after a long time he talked in this way to a stranger. I said me too. Then we started to talk about our lives. He asked what you do? I said I completed my B.Tech last year. He nodded and asked now what you do? I said “I help my father in his business . . And I also blog” Then I explained him about blogging and what revolutions it can create if we use it in a good way. Then he told me about his daughter and her determination to follow her passion. He told that his daughter started to learn Japanese at a very young age, as she was fascinated by that language. Even though many people in their family opposed it, she didn’t let down her passion. She then got an offer as a translator in a company as the clients of company were Japanese. Then she flew to Japan, and settled down there.
I was very much inspired by the story. And he started to tell about his parents and told that he is very lucky to have such parents. He appreciated a lot about CIPLA’s initiative of treating Cancer Patients for free. There was a center of CIPLA where they treated Cancer patients. There he admitted one of his relative who was suffering from Cancer and CIPLA took extreme care. There were lot of patients and CIPLA treated each and every person with utmost Care. He told that he saw many people dying there, and told how precious life was.
He told to follow the passion as we will never get another life to follow our passion. I made up my mind that I will not give up blogging, which earlier I thought of giving up. I even stopped blogging for six consecutive months before from (Jan 2015 to June 2015). Then he told about his reason for his trip to Hyderabad (Twin city of Secunderabad), as one of his relative was not feeling well, and that relative’s son called him to visit them once.
Time had passed over 9 pm then, so we started having dinner. We shared our food. My dad’s sister (Lives in New Vashi from where I travelled to LTT for boarding that train) packed me pooris and curry along with some khakras. He brought chapatis and we shared them. Then we had a little chat on spiritual and divine topics. He told that he visited a village ( a village near to my place) twice and he felt solace and calmness by visiting temples in that place. He told that his wife played an important role in taking him to spiritual path. I never visited that place even though I heard it before. I made up my mind that I will visit that place once.
It was over 11pm, and he said he sleeps by 11. Hyderabad which we will reach by 4 in the morning, I told him to wake me up by 3:30 am. But when I woke up, it was 7 am and he was gone. I told him thanks in my mind. I brushed my teeth and then had tea and Idli at the next station. Dan Brown would be angry with me that I didn’t even take out the book during the entire day of the journey. Just like Dan Brown unlocks the mysteries in a thrilling way, Life unlocked the key to my passion, in a most unexpected way. Who would have thought that my shift from S 5 to S 9 will shift my thinking on life. I felt inspired that day and in the afternoon I stepped down from Train on the Platform of Kakinada Town with a new ray of happiness and hope.
I knew that even though new year was four months ahead, my new year has started then. My new way of thinking towards life. To bring out the creativity in me, no matter what. I left behind the nervousness and depressions I have gone through then. I knew that a new sunshine is waiting to spread the golden rays on my future. I looked forward for my life with passion and determination to succeed.
Thank you uncle. This was my key Journey in a train with a stranger, now who is not a stranger anymore. Thanks for reading.
*Everything mentioned in this blog post is real*
I submit this blog post for entries in two different blogging contests held by two India’s largest blogging Communities. Glad that I am part of both these Communities, Indiblogger and Blogadda.
Happy New Year to everyone. Keep the passion alive. Thanks for reading.