Kaniyakumari Express from Trinelveli to Chennai Egmore
Our cousin’s (I was cousin to Anamika and we had common cousins) wedding just got over and we were returning to Trichy by train from Trinelveli. Aunt, she and I were travelling in the same train but I was in different compartment than theirs. My parent s were already at home as they left early by car to Trichy. They were going to stay at our house for a day and then they were planning to come to Chennai as well. I was actually carrying my certificates to submit at Anna University for my counselling in tomorrow.
I came to their compartment at about 8pm and sat with them. Anamika and I were not together anymore but we had some strange relationship between us. It was living as if nothing happened between us. We still smiled at each other, talked to each other like best friends and made fun of each other, yet there was nothing between us and we never had actually in love.
“Hi….” I said as I came to them and took an empty seat near them.
“Hi Gautham…..” they said together.
“At last we’re all going home” I said after a long pause.
“Yeah….we’re going home but you’re going to the counselling tomorrow remember” she said and giggled.
“Oh yeah…..”I said, “I have a long day tomorrow”
“Hey where’s your laptop?” she asked.
“It’s at my place” I replied.
“Let’s go get it….I wanna see the wedding pics that you took. And beside we’re both vetti sitting here” she said and smiled at me. I was flattered by her smile. “I’ll come with you” she added.
We both went to my compartment and opened the laptop and powered it on. I opened the pictures we took at the wedding. We scrolled the pictures one by one. I was sitting so close to her and I felt the warm breaths from her lungs. It was an air-conditioned compartment and her warmth was really making me want to hug her and squeeze the breath out of her.
“I like the way you have taken this photo” she said showing me the picture.
She was in a pink coloured Patiala.
“Your outfit looks good” I said
“Only the outfit or me too?” she asked with a serious tone in her voice.
I didn’t expect such a question and I was taken aback and said, “Well….the Patiala looks good because you’re wearing it”
She smiled and she knew I was trying to flirt with her.
There was long gap. She was still having a smile on her lips. The other mates in the cabin went off to sleep and we went to my berth on top. We sat there sitting close to each other and staring into the happy moments of our cousin’s wedding pictures.
“What relation do you have me as now?” she asked breaking the silence.
I replied, “I guess we’re just cousins….” and added in a silent tone, “for now….”
I don’t know whether she heard that last word or not but she didn’t care for it.
“Will you be cousins forever?” She asked immediately.
“Yeah I’ll be your cousin forever” I said. (Even if we were in love or get married, we’re cousins by blood and that was not going to change anyway!!!).
“That’s your mind talking…..What does your heart says?” she said carefully framing her sentence.
I gave a long gap and replied, “My heart feels that I will have you as my love if you are destined to be mine and I’ll be happy and blessed for that”
She was looking into the laptop and didn’t make eye contact and then after a few moments she said, “Good….but you’ll find someone really better than me.”
“Why???” I asked I confusion.
“We don’t really suit each other. We fight with each other all the time” she said. It was the first time she used the words ‘we’ after a long time.
I apologised to her, “I shouldn’t have raised my hand that day and I feel really sorry for it. I am responsible for what I did and I really want you in my life again”
“It’s not possible again” she said blankly.
“It was possible two years back and I know it is possible once again” I said.
“It’s not going to be good if we get married” she said again with no expression.
“What do you mean and please tell me what’s bothering you….please….” I said.
She turned to me and our eyes met.
“If we get married then our children may have problems relating to genes and stuff” she said.
I went blank for a second. I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t expect such a reason.
“Who said so???” I demanded in a louder tone yet it was quiet.
“I had read it on the internet some time ago and I don’t want anything to happen to our children. It’ll be a burden for both of us. I want us to be happy but we can’t if we are together” she said. When she said ‘us’, deep down in my heart I knew she loved me and I loved her even more.
I carefully composed my words and replied, “Look Anamika…I want to be with you and I’ll take good care of you. If you’re thinking about our children then know that I love our children and it doesn’t matter to me if they are born imperfect. I love them for they are a symbol of the bond between us”. I was aware that it was not the right time to use the ‘L’ word.
“We can’t be together happily. If the child born for us has imperfections then I don’t want us to rethink at that moment why we had married after we knew all the risks” she said.
“It’s not about taking risks Anamika. I won’t think that way….It’s my child and I’ll take care of it the same way I’ll take care of you” I replied in a haste manner.
Her eyes were moist but she was clever and she hid them and said, “We fight almost all the time and it’s really impossible to live together. I admit I loved you but things are not working out fine”
“You are really special to me”, I said in an undertone.
“I can’t accept you back Gautham. I’m sorry to say it but it’s not possible anymore” she said and turned to the screen again.
“Anamika I don’t want your answer now. Tell me the same answer after five years when I ask for your hand in marriage”, I said.
“Please no Gautham….” she said.
“After all the things that happened between us in these years….” I stopped talking hoping that she’d get my point about what I was talking about.
“Yeah….but nothing serious happened….” She said in a very low voice. I really had no idea what she meant by serious. Actually I don’t know what girls think is serious.
Is holding hands and walking not serious enough? Naaa….anyone can do that.
Is kissing not serious enough? Naaa….It’s so common even in school these days.
At least is having sex not so serious enough? Nope….wrong again….there are so many contraceptive methods today that it’s a piece of cake for anyone. (I’m sure all you dirty minds are googling all possible methods in your head right now!!!)
All these thoughts went through my mind that moment. I felt like asking her all this but I wanted to maintain a low profile with her and it really mattered because I loved her.
“It may not have been serious for you but it is for me.” I said with a weak smile. Before she could tell anything else I said, “I will come back for you after five years”. I left the compartment immediately not looking back at her response.
I went to my berth and slept. They were getting down at Tiruchirapalli junction and I volunteered to help get the luggage down from their compartment.
0100hrs 23.07.2009, Tiruchirapalli
The train stopped at Tiruchirapalli Junction and I went over to their compartment to help my aunt and Anamika get their luggage off the train. Dad had arrived at the station to receive aunt and Anamika. It was 1a.m. in the morning and I was half asleep.
“Take care and all the best with your counselling tomorrow” aunt said giving me a firm handshake.
Anamika joined in and said, “I hope you get in a good college tomorrow. Tell me as soon as you get your admission letter”. She said and gave a smile. I felt happy for it.
“Bye….see you soon” I said. The train signals went green near the engine and so I started walking towards my coach.
I reached my coach door. It was shut. I tried to open it and to my shock it was locked.
Like I told you in the beginning of this blog, “Fate always plays pranks with you when you are really in need of luck”.
To my damn luck the train started moving. This is the moment I realised the true power of adrenaline.
Wikipedia defines Adrenaline as:
“A hormone when produced in the body, increases heart rate contracts blood vessels and dilates air passages and participates in the "fight or flight" response of the sympathetic nervous system.” It was something like an emergency response system.
True to the fact my mind started racing and searched for alternatives and I quickly ran to the other entrance of the coach. It was locked as well. That meant only one thing….’I am terribly screwed up!!!!’
“F*%k!!!” I shouted on seeing the other door locked as well. By now I was awake like never before and maybe my blood was filled with more adreline than blood itself. Thousands of thoughts raced my mind in an instance. The significant thoughts that came up were:
- I was carrying all my certificates with me. Dad will definitely kill me for losing it (like all other dads of course).
- I was carrying my personal laptop and losing it carelessly meant I’ll be given immediate death sentence by Justice DAD!!! (Definitely like all other dads!!!)
One great thought crossed me in those milliseconds. A voice in my mind started screaming, ”Go to the door from which Aunt and Anamika just got down!!!”. It was a practical solution. But it was impossible since the train has already started moving and it was two coaches away.
“It’s your life in the train you bloody ass h*!e!!!” the voice in my head shouted.
I ran in full speed to get inside that door.
Sometimes you think that some things are not worth doing in your life. But they all have hidden fruits of glory. That’s what I thought when my friends joined me into a badminton club. It was a boring sport I had thought but I played it since my friends really suggested it and dad was a college player himself. Badminton increases one’s stamina by 150%. Trust me in this because that’s how I ran at thirty kilometres per hour accelerating from zero to thirty in less than a second.
I ran past aunt, dad and Anamika. They all watched me in horror, only thing they didn’t was scream. I over sped the train and reached the door.
I saw the open door. It was well in sight. I grasped the handled and I pulled myself in. I stood near the door and watched my face in the wash basin mirror. I felt pity for myself. I was panting for breath when my phone started ringing.
It was Anamika.
“Hello….” I said still panting for breath.
“Are you okay??? Mom’s so worried here about you here.” She said.
“I’m sorry….” I said holding my breath for a second.
“Never do that again!!!” She screamed similar to the voice in my head. “And listen….get to your coach at Srirangam station. The train will stop there for a minute”
“Yeah okay….Thanks” I said puffing out air still in the state of shock from the fastest run in my life.