A fascinating travel story

Going by the name, you may be expecting a travel story stuffed with galvanizing experiences nothing short of a James Bond flick. Oh! Oh! Just hold back! Tear down the James Bond backdrop and move to a new scrim where a pleasant, breezier travel story is about to be rolled out.

Here is an alluring page from the book of my travel memoirs!

It was festive time. I wanted to make the most of a week long holiday. I hatched a plan to visit my native down south. Quick visits to nearby places were up close to the indigenous agenda. I waited on the platform, sipping a cup of coffee. Boarding early morning trains was the last thing I ever wanted to do. Jumping into the III AC compartment of the Nagerkoil Express, I dumped my baggage on the upper berth and cuddled myself by the window side. The engine howled leaving behind the dusty old broken platform benches craving for attention.  After a while, I became disinterested in the moving world outside. I slowly shifted my gaze to an elderly couple deeply engrossed in a defensive conversation. The old lady sensed my snoopy look and dispensed a gentle smile. I responded with a ‘grim-who-stole-the-christmas’ smile!

“Where are you going?” she asked. I almost became blank when she shot this question to my inattentive mind. “To Madurai”, I replied. “Oh the Temple City”, she exclaimed. “Yes the most beautiful city on the planet”, I replied with a great sense of pride. “We are going to Tirunelveli”, she said. I gave a nod in reply. “Do you like visiting temples?” asked the lady’s old husband. “Yes, I love visiting temples!” I said. Who knew, these five words said in reply would kick start an immersing discussion with the couple which remains deep rooted in my memory even today. From my childhood experiences to their family history, everything was shared; probably much faster than exchanging ideas on the social network. With chuckles and laughter filling the pep talk, lunch hour fled by like a high speed monorail.

After exchanging morsels of our packed lunch, we went in for a nap. My nap gradually elongated to precisely fit the definition of what we call ‘sleep’. I got up to see the couple having tea with the biscuits I savored for a lifetime – Parle G! I descended from the skies (I am no angel! I meant the upper berth of the cubicle!). The lady offered me a biscuit. I shook my head in negation.  From her expression I could make out that the lady was ready for a second round of conversation. My expression was no less! Time swept by. Keeping the dinner short we chatted through into the midnight.

I half heartedly ended the conversation to pacify the restless co-passengers waiting desperately for the lights to go off. That night I slept like a toddler with no wild thoughts to cut through my deep sleep. Next day morning, I got up, brushed and sat besides the old lady who by now had become my ‘aunt’. To my wonder, all three of us were unusually silent. The train caterpillared into the city where I spent the wonderful days of my life. Finally I was home. I bid adieu to the elderly couple and departed with a hug. “Thank you for the nice company” said the lady. I responded with a smile. I noted her phone number on a piece of paper and got off the train. The couple stood at the entrance and waved to me. My parents stood on the platform to welcome their daughter with all the happiness in the world.  In my excitement, I failed to notice the departing train.

I waived a final goodbye to the couple and unfortunately to the piece of paper bearing their phone number as well. I saw the train taking a 180 degree turn allowing me to wave to the couple a bit longer. Finally the train went out of sight leaving behind sweet memories of the warm camaraderie we shared.

At times life gifts you with such wonderful acquaintances. I was lucky enough to own one. It sits cozy in my little heart even today!

 

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About Gayatri Subramanian

Passionate about writing and exploring new dimensions of life !

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