The girl with the newspapers

She was on the opposite berth and I was on the side lower berth. I easily got inside the Sharmjeevi Express that runs between Patna and Delhi. It was one of those days when I used to travel a lot due to medical entrance examinations. Even if Kolkata is closer, I used to prefer Delhi. It was because I never enjoyed newspapers that were published in WB at that time. Reading newspapers was my trick to get seat in trains, however, that day I had my reservation. When people used to buy cold drinks and foods, I used to buy all newspapers in the journey. It was that time when I developed interest in politics especially world politics due to this habit.

After some time the train started moving and people occupied their place. I looked in the cabin and realized after some time that she was with her family. I started reading newspapers and it did not bother anyone in the cabin. At the Mughalsarai Junction, I took some other newspapers. Then, the interaction started with her family, as they were curious to know what I did as I was continuous reading newspapers that contained the same news. The whole journey, we just looked each other while I was talking with her parents. In the night after food, she told something to her mother and her mother slept on the lower berth while she was sitting at the window. I realized on that day that girls look beautiful in the night. And then the moment came; she collected all the pages of all newspapers that her family took from me but did not returned. As a 10+2 guy, I was wrong in thinking that she would return that to me.

So, the whole night she was reading newspapers and I was staring at her. I was confused whether she was reading to show her feeling or appreciation for me or as a typical Indian girl she inhibited her desire to know the world before her family. Indian girls like to do things in last if other family member is also interested like eating. It still haunts me when I remember that journey. I don’t know when I slept or she stopped reading. In the morning at Delhi junction, her father awoke me and gave his best wishes for my examination, while she just gave me a smile. I collected my belongings and looked for newspapers. However, I did not see any page in the whole cabin. I had lost them.

Parmit Singh Dhurandhar

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