It was early morning at 5:00 when Dad and I hurried to the railway station.We were the neighbours of the railway station.Morning breeze of early april made me feel even sleepier.I wished I was not bothered to leave home today.Well,we reached just a few minutes before departure of the passenger train with a notion that it was sunday and the first passenger surely will not have much crowd.But to our surprise and disappointment after walking through many compartments we couldn't find any suitable place.Then I saw some four or five ladies sitting in one side of the broad compartment.I squeezed myself through the masculine crowd and reached beside them and with best of the best hopes said,"Didi,tani soon dab ja"(sister,adjust a little bit).I tried to use the tongue of the listener, maintaining the sweetest requesting tone which I thought and think is mandatory to seek a favour. The beautiful lady made a furious face(as expected),gave a nasty look(as expected),turned her face away and started to chat again as if the disturbance created by me was the disturbance of an already smashed mosquito.I was so hopeful that after nasty looks and all she will budge. It confused me and after waiting a while for her response I again opened my mouth adding loads more sugar...Words were half out,half in mouth,some in wind pipe as mere air and some in heart as mere thought.Lady, with the loudest voice she could,started shouting."Can't you understand,there is no space ,not an inch." And she was trying to speak more but something stopped her and I half furious,half ashamed,said in a trembling voice" but why are you shouting"...And a straight answer came..."I dont want myself to get through you people".I saw Dad coming closer and started blinking faster to wipe off the blood in my eyes which turned around with the strike of the words,"You people".I never wanted Dad listen all that...I wished he just comes and keeps quiet.But within minutes these words appeared to hurt many people sitting around of whom I found none was from so called "My people".In India specially in Bihar we dont ask which community a person belongs to.Its all over there.One can see and make out.Clothes,hair style,jewellery all will speak loudly of your faith. So those men,kind men,mostly uncles said nothing about the injury but made a murmering hue about the train space and a common proverb ,of the passenger trains in our place ,that every one has to vacate this train no one is gonna live in many different accents,styles and words.They made the unwilling lady anyhow budge and asked me kindly to sit.It was no elation.The support,the favour made no difference to the boiling blood and brain of mine.I sat on a hardly an inch of the wooden bench just to avoid the uncomfortable situation.Train kept its pace and the chatter around also gained its rythm once again.I tried my best to not to fell down and not listen to what, a few minutes ago the beautiful and now fat, idiot and just fair in complexion woman,was speaking to other woman sitting in front of her.But, you know with a distance so less and no lid on ear and brain avoiding the sound was impossible.My heart started aching when I found no sign of arrogance,hatred,rubbish words coming out of her mouth during her fast changing topics of the gossip.Right from her daughter's school lunch preparation early in the morning to the making of wall hangings out of the old socks and appreciating the idea of making bags to store onions and garlic from old torn mosquito nets she sounded much like my mom, and so many home makers I knew of my people.She was simply good.Then why me?Why hate me?It ached like anything.I wanted to talk to her and tell her we were so much alike.I wanted to convey her my liking for her.I kept mustering courage.Then suddenly the murmering raised.People started moving to and fro.Some hurried towards the door and some appeared from it.Noises and sounds increased.It was a stop.I found this a nice opportunity to start a talk.I enquired the lady maintaining the same sweetness about the name of the station.This time she did not even bother to look at me and turned her already turned back a little more on me.And my mouth was again half open.I watched sheepishly around to confirm that no one was laughing on my stupidity and disgrace.
At the very same moment a girl some eight years old came towards us one hand outstretched and one making sign of hunger or food taking it towards her mouth.People gave her coins.I also took out a coin even before she reached me.The girl kept gathering alms in one hand and kept making a hunger and food sign from the other.No one gave her food for no one had carried it for a three hour journey.I heard a voice beside me calling out to the peanut vendor.I saw the lady buy peanuts and then she called out for the bread cutlet standing near the window. This time I thought and felt so good to have a big laugh on this fatty foolish woman for nothing I was able to get in her to look her down upon after she mistreated me.Now I will atleast laugh afterwards on this fat disgracing benefactor of mine for eating so much of a junk.The thoughts appeared as fast as if they were already waiting there to amuse me.Suddenly again I felt a gush of blood in my brain.Tears in my eyes were mad to roll out.This time not out of insult,pain or disgrace but out of fury,anger,panic,and a sort of defeat.The girl was standing near me all in rags,smelling as bad as any thing,dirty hairs ,eyes and hands, a complete model of filth.She wore a sweet smile and her hands were no more gesturing for food and alms rather they held carefully the packets of peanuts and bread cutlets and was listening carefully what her benefactor was saying and of which nothing I could hear.My brain was shut,heart was beating fast.The coin held between my fingers were pressed harder.What was coming to me?Which form of emotion?What actually was I feeling?What disturbed me so much?Cant say.I picked up myself with a jerk and headed towards Dad.Standing beside him secured a corner.Dad said,"still 45 minutes...why...what happened?" "Nothing".I said.That seat was so uncomfortable.I feel better here.And with a nod Dad again looked outside the moving train in nothingness.I saw his face was tired,kind,full of love and acquaintance for me!