Ah it was heaven ! She has not had this much time to herself in quite a while and maanvi was so happy to be finally travelling alone and having all the time in the world for herself. She had so much on her hands,it was impossible to grasp the possibilities of all the adventure. Maanvi was sitting in the AC compartment of a Delhi bound train from Chennai and couldn't imagine her luck at having absolute bliss of 40 hours at hand. All she had done so far,was gaze at the beautiful scenery out from the train window,read a novel and sip over gallons of hot coffee.
|A temple in Chennai|
All she wanted to do was to read this novel and sip hot coffee from the train pantry and gaze outside at the beautiful world speeding past her.
|Saravana Bhavan at Chennai Central|
She loved the vast Chennai central and having idli-sambhar at the Saravana Bhavan,as much as she loved to have a cup of piping hot coffee in the middle of night at Warangal. She loved to stand at the edge of the train door at Vijaywada when the train roared past the mighty Krishna river.The thrill of the roaring waters of Krishna below and the lights at the bank of the cities !
|Krishna River at Vijaywada|
You have got to experince it, to feel it. Truck-loads of words are not befitting for it...not even close ! Then somwhere in the plains of Maharashtra comes a beautiful place called Gandhigram,a small town and believe me when i say, it looks as non-violent as it sounds ! She would get down at the Nagpur station to be pushed and shoved in the crowd,all for a glass of fresh juice of Nagpur oranges :) She would admire the city of Bhopal and would wake up early to check it out. Did you know bhopal has a slum running alongside the railway tracks and it might as well be the cleanest slum in India ! Well most of the times she would sit and stare as the train passed those slums and wonder if her room was as much clean as those slums ! Probably not :)
|Somwhere down south :)|
|Lady travelling between the coaches|
All of a sudden, a coolie(porter) came and asked if she would like to hire him. She said 'no' and shifted her attention to the platform,where she could see her uncle running to the next coach,oh bugger...why couldnt he come this way ! She couldnt shout at him through sealed glass windows,but there was a graver problem inside those sealed glass windows,she turned and saw about 15 coolies all sitting around her,laughing and jiving at God knows what and for the first time in this journey was maanvi terrified,she had almost peed in her pants. All she could see was 15 satans in red,laughing at her through dirty tobacco stained teeth. Quick maanvi,if at all there is a time to say your prayers....it is now ! And just as she thought it,there appeared a lean and lanky frame of an angel and a kind voice asked her 'Do you need any help?'. Maanvi sprang from her seat and said 'yes,could you please just help me keep my luggage at the platform'. The angel helped her with bags,placed them beside a magazine stall on platform and asked her if she would be fine. Only after being satisfied he turned and climbed back into the coach,but not before giving her a reassuring smile. And then the AC car attender vanished from her sight.
Note: I was compelled to write this story over just a single thought "Have you seen or received an act of kindness from anyone!" Esp from a person who knew that you could never pay him back. If you have,then it is your duty to pass that good back into the universe. If you haven't...well all i could tell you my friend is that you haven't being paying attention. Pay more attention next time.