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Monday, October 1, 2012

Train to Delhi



What else could go wrong with his life? Almost everything he did was either unacceptable or dejected. Ajay took his backpack and walked away from his friends, friends who once stood by him. In the last six years life has taken a 180 degrees turn. Once swinging high on popularity, Ajay now hears sympathetic whispers. His presence resonates sufferings. A Saturday night outing turned ugly for his family when a speeding SUV hit their car. His mother died on the spot, his sister was badly injured and he lost his leg. His father suffered the least but the emotional loss was beyond repair. 

It took Ajay four months to return to his normal life, though the cry for normalcy was snubbed somewhere within. A normal 17 years old can walk without support, he couldn't. Initially he was grateful to his friends who infused hope and spattered cheers on dull evenings. But not now, now, they all have moved on leaving him alone, not literally though. He was welcome but not like old days. He was expected to sit and do what others recommended. He couldn't lead them. He couldn't command them. A leader can never play a subordinate, no matter how humble he is, and the same was true for Ajay.

After many undignified get-togethers, he refused to be the part of his older group. He avoided spending time at home too, somehow being near to them was like reliving the tragedy over and over again. He needed space, a canvas where he could draw his future plans. He wanted to be  heard but without sympathy. The anguish was ablaze, he couldn't take it any longer and he thought of running away. One evening, blank as a new slate, he walked to the nearby Subzi Mandi Railway Station and without bothering to buy tickets, boarded the train standing at the platform. 

He sat on the first empty seat available, opened the text messages saved in his cellphone. All at once, he found that he couldn't read. His vision was blurred. He was weeping. He wiped his tears, not even a single message deserved to be read. He deleted all, switched off his phone and looked at the platform as the train started pulling away. What to do, where to go, what will happen; none of these questions bothered him. He started looking at the fellow passengers, a man sitting left to him, half sleeves, a cheap tie and a visible effort to look dignified. A middle age lady with dark lipstick, searching for something in her pink handbag. He scanned deeper, glimpse of a young girl in jeans, kurti and big earrings but she couldn't hold his interest for more than a minute. Then, he looked on the other side. A man sitting with his sick son holding a poly bag and an AIIMS card. Ajay looked at the man who was wiping sweat from his forehead. It was Wednesday and the man must have taken off from his work, he thought. He looked tired; mentally, physically and emotionally but he was smiling at his son. 

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Ajay saw a reflection of his father in this man. His father nursed him, consoled his sister, managed the home, went to work and mourned his wife's death. His father did everything without any expectations, a selfless act which being a son he overlooked. He closed his eyes and that dreadful day flashed in front of him. He felt sorry for himself, how could he betray his father? How will his father survive another loss? He could never repay his father but at least he shouldn't add more sorrows. He realized that being with his father, being a support to him fitted perfectly in his future plans. He disembarked at the next station and asked for the next train to Delhi.

*A short fiction.

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67 comments:

  1. Very well narrated! It is the willpower to carry on , which holds us together in times of trouble.

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    1. bahut accha likha ........sakaratmak post hai yah .ek sandesh deti hai love and support is necessary

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  2. Such a nice story with a strong message! There are times when we overlook what our parents go through to keep us happy, and get lost in our own world. Love and support are the minimal things we should give to them :)

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  3. That's a captivating and a poignant one. Glad that he took the train back towards positivity and hope!

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  4. Beautifully crafted story. I loved the emotion that you weaved in so simple words that the effect was all the more profound. Well done.

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  5. Wonderful capture of the emotion...Loved it, Saru:)

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  6. very nice Saru...this is one of my fav genres...where there are no conversations...the scene itself says it all...good work! :)

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  7. wonderfully written...emotions need litle space and less words...they speak for themselves....you just did that by avoiding too my details and keeping this concise...wow

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  8. Nice writing and hope to see more soon Saru:)

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  9. Sometimes ,it just takes a split second to make a wrong decision right.Nice,poignant story Saru!

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  10. very well narrated saru-jee.. sometimes we overlook things that are far more worse than the condition we are in..

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  11. Absolute meaningful story. This story is capable of explaining the right approach toward life. Our perspective can change the situation for us.

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  12. Wonderful! it tells that your life isn't just yours, it belongs to your loved ones. Your life gets a meaning when you live for others. :)

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  13. Oh, what a heart touching story. Sometimes we need to set aside our sorrows and consider others feelings...beautifully narrated, I felt as if I was watching a movie!

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  14. Very interesting story. Quite touching.

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  15. First time when I read this post yesterday, I had mixed feelings, I felt the post lacked something, somehow I felt the post was incomplete in some way; so I refrained from commenting as I am a great admirer of you and didn't wanted to leave a negative comment. But after reading this post twice, I still feel this isn't one of your best efforts. I know I am in no way qualified to pass a judgement on a great writer like you, Saru but this is what I felt. Sorry. :(

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  16. Very meaningful story, Saru. This is one that you can really learn from!

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  17. Good one Saru. A simple straight-forward story of self realization. In this post, the protagonist realized his mistake and rectify it. In life, more often than not, we fail to realize our mistakes and live with it.. :)

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  18. simply a knock at the doors of heart... allowing one self to ponder what is inside; the hidden truth, the self, the love...
    could not put this in any better way Saru.

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  19. I agree with Binu. There couldnot be a more simple way to put this Saru. Wonderfully written! Gather yourself and face the world. Simply put but brave words. Face life as it is. Life is never fair, but never give up!

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  20. Mmm! Saru! Now that he has taken his mind of himself and started thinking of others, life should start looking up. Great write.

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  21. Nice one. Well written.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  22. If we look around carefully, there are many small little situations around us that can actually help us realize our mistakes and teach us lessons that can take us back onto the right path. I loved the many layers of thoughts this story presented before me - sorrows, friends, parents, our own emotional turmoils - I think it was short, subtle and yet a very intensely woven tale.

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  23. so simple but yet so beautiful .. very well written Saru ..

    it made me recall an incident which happened on pune mumbai highway 6 months ago where a speeding truck hit 3 vans standing in series behind the emergency lane. the passengers were relaxing under and around the vans when thr truck crushed all of them and around 50 people died on the spot, some of them were split into 2 ..

    how horrible the incident was .. i am sorry for bringing it up here .. this post reminded me of that so thought of sharing it with you...

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  24. Very touching and encouraging. At times, when we are just about to give up, a little ray of hope is enough to wake you up for the rest of your life.

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  25. Very well narrated...we can never re pay debts of our parents and their unconditional love and support!

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  26. "a visible attempt to look dignified" this is the line i really loved..this one small line is way too above the entire narration..not that the rest is not good: but this is a kind of line that has beauty,very very keen observation and the best way to put it.Sometimes we observe a thing but the way we put it fails to convey it literally.An when it does , it often fails the beauty.This one line is just perfect.Keep it up...words like that.. i can picture that middle aged man just as you want to..kudos

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  27. It says so much. We often take our parents for granted and in fact they sacrifice their whole life for us.
    Niice..

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  28. Very nicely scripted... a good strong message...Saru..keep it up

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  29. Incredible narrative and writing Saru. Beautiful message too.

    My world, my thoughts, my musings...

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  30. that was a good read saru, thanks for the lovely way you ended it all .. very nice ..

    Bikram's

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  31. Emotions often drive u to right direction ...!!GOOD WORK ....!!Carry on ...!!

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  32. The ups and downs are always there in life, but its how you ride the waves that matters.
    Well written.

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  33. very poignant! Sometimes, sufferings can be so intense, that we feel like running away, but we can never run away from the source; we have to meet it head on, particularly, when we have a loved one in the equation!

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  34. A lovely, stirring and emotional story that touched me very deeply. The emotions you brought were very real and they infect the reader. You brought out the psychology and the emotional trauma that was going through Ajay’s mind so well. I can totally understand and relate to how it feels when you lose a part of your body. It is a pain that cannot be expressed and will never leave you. Only those who have experienced it can understand its sting but you have brought it out so well. And I really loved the ending. It made my eyes swell with happiness to see the boy take the right decision in the end. A lovely little story brilliantly told.

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  35. That's a beautiful touching story Saru!

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  36. A man's perspective and you have handled it well. i liked some of the expression extremely much. Like,


    Once swinging high on popularity, Ajay now hears sympathetic whispers.

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  37. I liked the narration.Very touching indeed!

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  38. With all your comments, I will try to improve my work. I apologize for not replying to each of your comments. Thank you very much for reading. :)

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  39. Quite emotional and inspiring. :)

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  40. Loved it... Beautifully put, our happiness is not ours alone. Its the happiness of a multitude of people who touch our lives put together... Keep writing.. :)

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  41. good ending..liked how the story unfolded...

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  42. How can I not love something specially when you write about parents? Nice thoughts Saru. Parents take care of us when we need them, if not out of love, at least for that we should respect them and take care of them.

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  43. a great article..
    conveys the message within strongly..

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  44. very sweet and lovely saru.. how sometimes small things we see or hear make us realise about our life and loved ones..

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  45. Excellent write up, following your blog :)

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  46. @Everyone - Thank you so much for reading.

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