Monday, February 25, 2008

When you need someone!

With[Or]Without

In sweltering heat, while the Sun’s blazing rays penetrated even the thickest skin on the Earth, it only looked every living entity would succumb to Nature’s oppression upon us.
In biting cold, while the Snow’s flaky crystals brought frost bites and made one irreversibly numb; it appeared everything else that survived the heat would finally give up to this cruel face of Nature. There isn’t one place. We are never really at one place…

“Number 40. And..Yes this is my seat”, I spoke to myself, placing my bag underneath the seat, my shirt soaked in sweat and stank really bad.”Do you mind me taking this lower berth? ”, asked a middle-aged pregnant woman. “Oh Sure, your comfort”, was my instant reaction in a tone of rue. I smiled and she never smiled back. I wondered why. As I began reading Stephen King, I could hear the woman quiver and talk on her Sony Ericsson handset, with an Americanized-Indian accent. For the first time I really didn’t bother what model that was. I was rather moved by her voice of anguish. I felt a glug in my throat and continued reading. I soon realized I flipped pages but lost track of the horror in the story. “Why is she in tears?” “Husband deserted her?” “Problems with pregnancy?” “Why the @#$% is she alone on this train? Isn’t there anyone for her?” “Nothing Wrong, lemme just listen to her talk on the phone….” And then…

I couldn’t sit there. I am not good at consoling people in pain. I wished she had some source of gratification and sadly there wasn’t. I got up and walked on to meet my friend who was in the other compartment. I turned and looked again. She took a bundle of papers and did some evaluation. Ticks and crosses. “Teacher I s’pose.” And while she did that, tears kept rolling down her cheeks.
“But why isn’t anybody else bothered? Why are people so indifferent?”

The year was 1998 when she gave birth to her first child. Life seemed happy and gay. She then worked as a Mathematics teacher in Juneau, Alaska. The year was 2000 when she had a miscarriage. Her hopes of a second child got completely shattered. From then on her God-like husband turned evil, she recalled. “Never trust Men”, she said. The year is 2008 and she is just out of a divorce. “What a time to divorce her!”, I thought. Her ten year old son was on the phone that evening on the train. “I’ll be back soon honey... Eat well aaand play ok…. Mamma will… miss you. Ask John for any help…. Take care.”, in an incoherent voice.

I recalled all this the next morning when I resumed reading Stephen King…

8 comments:

sum4me said...

that is very touching. but i have to disagree with your assessment of people's indifference. It could be that people have problems of their own to have the energy to be bothered about others'. It is admirable that you noticed and empathized.
lastly, i cannot believe your literary taste has plummeted to the level of stephen king.

Sai Vishnubhatla said...

good one ....

Varun said...

Touching indeed. When was this? On your way to Chennai?

Rajeev Turlapati said...

@sumant: hmmmm..
@sai: thanks man
@varun: ya tat happnd on my way to chennai last month..

Hemonthi said...

Really touchy..Nice of you to empathize with her.

shreybomb said...

I guess indifference breeds making a difference....the only plausible way the world has survived so far..

Akshaya said...

Nice one! Very touching. So true of what happens to us and all around us today.

sum4me said...

@shreybomb- what????