Just then my reverie was broken by someone. Now obviously irritated by the sudden intercession, i looked on to see who was it. An man was standing on the inner side of the compartment. He was of middle age. He asked me: Son, is the lower side berth your seat. I was like yes it is. He then asked me if i can shift over to the middle berth as he had muscular strain and he can take the lower side berth. Usually this had become a natural phenomenon whenever i traveled by train, i had to exchange the seats with someone if i had got a lower berth. Actually its not the concept of giving my seat that annoyed me, but the fact that once you feel that you have settled comfortably when someone comes and asks you to move which didnt go with me. And in this case, not only was i disturbed from my reverie but also was asked to give up my seat.
Just when i was about to say no, without giving it a thought, when my super conscious mind began to work. It dawned on me that if i exchanged seats with the person, i will be sitting on seat opposite to that of the Orange Girl and that i had a good chance at having a conversation with the girl. I had heard of the adage "Give something to win something" Now i was seeing it working in reality ;) So i in all my best manners pro-offered the man,my seat , which the man accepted happily and i was a much happier than him. I always took precaution to book upper berth so that i needn't have to exchange the seat.. but in this case, i got lower seat against all my expectations which ended up with me getting a chance to sit opposite to the girl. (Another proof of divine premeditation). Just when i went and took my place opposite to the girl, a boy came and sat near her. This was some thing completely unexpected.
You had all the necessary ingredients for a movie. A hero, a heroine and a villain. Though masquerading as a hero was pretty easy and romantic, the concept of villain entering the picture was a sore thought. As long a villain appears in a movie , it is fine as our Super heroes are bestowed with unimaginable luck and power and they thwart the villain easily. Where as in real life, its a different ground altogether. I dont have supernatural powers,(though luck seemed to be in my side, divine premeditation ;) ) and i was wondering how to face this new challenge. .The girl had become just one of the other girls. Not any more a Dream Girl, the status reserved only for my soul mate.The girl and boy were talking happily obvious to their surroundings and to a smoke burning opposite to them. [me ;( ]. You see, life has a funny way of throwing up surprises. When you feel that you have scaled the world, it comes behind you with a lead pipe and know what leave you wondering what the hell went wrong. And sometimes, when you feel too lost, you have the lady luck smiling on you.
Fortunately this time, i was on the kinder end of the life. A lady(The Orange Girl Mother, i came to know this later) came and said to the boy, "Arun, enough of pestering your sister. Now come out. The Train will start shortly.". The words couldnt have been any more sweeter. My lousing spirit became lively again and the back ground music of "Mere Sapno Ki Rani" song started off again with renewed enthusiasm. The boy went outside, the girl also went outside with her
BROTHER, and said Good bye's to her parents and relatives. I didnt mean to eaves drop on their conversation, yet it was like the Orange Girl's parent had escorted her to the station where they had met one of their other close relatives. So they were in the next compartment having a talk, wherein the Orange Girl had come to her seat.The Boy(her brother) who got bored with the elders talk had come along to talk with his sister. So All is well that ends well. The train took off slowly and the journey started. It was like only 3 of us were in the compartment, (I, the orange girl & the Old man who was in the opposite side seat). I wanted to have a conversation with the girl but being not exactly a REMO, i preferred her to start the conversation.
As her parents had left, the Orange Girl took out a book and began to browse through that. I had heard that Like minded people tend to go well together. So not wanting to stay behind, i also took out my book, and began flipping the pages, emphasising more on making sound turning the pages rather on on reading them. Sometime went by. I wanted to ask her name. For that starting a conversation was imperative.But then my tongue seemed to had made a decision to play tongue twister. Even if you tried to speaking, no sound came out. Yet, since it was lucky predestined day for me, i had another chance. The Orange Girl searched for something in her bag and let out a sigh of desperation. And then she looked at the Old Man's bag.Being a born Sherlock holmes, my intuitive detective skills suggested that she had missed something. But what, i think, my intuitive detective skills weren't sufficient to fathom. But then i followed up her direction of eye vision and found that she was looking at the water bottle in the Old Man's bag. Putting together the jumble
pieces, i figured out that she would have missed her water bottle and that she was thirsty now.I thought i will ask her if she needs water, and hence bringing together my best manners, i said "Water". Actually i wanted to ask her "Do you want Water", yet due to the tongue twisting game, my tongue was indulged in, just the last word "Water" came out. On hearing water, she got a bit surprised and presented a blank look.
Reprimanding myself , i repeated again "Water"( Ooof,Not Again !! ), but this time, i shook the water bottle which i had for emphasis. She smiled a bit and took the bottle and drank water. Then She returned the bottle with a sweet Thanks. Words couldnt have been anymore sweeter. The word 'Thanks' kept on echoing in my ears for sometime.I tugged the water bottle to the safe interiors of the bag as i didnt want any more people to come asking for water. Its not like i didnt wanted to give water to other, yet this water bottle had achieved a significant value. Then only it occured to me that i hadnt yet asked her name. Now that her thirst was over, she went back to her book reading. I had a pretty uphill task at hand.
Starting a conversation would not only be hard but very tough. You see, when you get smitten , not only your tongue refuses to abide with you, you have heavy gushes of air going up and down your wind pipe, making it look like as if you are inhaling huge gushes of air. Not to say about the heart beat. It skyrockets to around 120 beats/minute as if you had just finished a mega marathon race. Yet my brain with divine intervention, recalled a learning attrributed to my reading habits.I had read somewhere that when you feel highly tensed up and unable to concentrate, follow the steps to become calm again. 1) Close your eyes. 2) Take a deep breath. 3) Count from 1 to 10. 4) Then, how many times should one do that ... Hmmm.. Ya, got it. 3 times. Ya. Repeat the steps 3 times. . So applying Zen methodology to effect, i did the required steps. By the count of 10 at the 3rd time, i had returned back to my normal state.(Amazing Isnt !!). For those of you Agreeing, Thats a stupendous 'No; for you. Its like this, i had returned back to normal state because i had concentrated on my breathing. By focussing on something else rather than the one which caused the anxiety, i was able to calm myself.
Now i felt confident to start conversing with the Orange Girl. But again the very thought of her threatened to raise my anxietiness again. Immediately launching into action, i asked her "What is your Name" ? 'TICKET' ,came the reply. Whatever the answer i was expecting, 'TICKET" was way beyond what i expected. It might be true that along with globalisation, Indians had taken a liking to foreign culture, adopting various practices of the foreigners in our life. Assuming that people had taken a liking to English Names like Briddget, Matilda, by all standards "TICKET" seemed an unusual name... Again the sound "TICKET" came. I looked to my left and found the Ticket Collector checking the Orange Girl's ticked. I realised only then that i was lost in my own world, and had not seen the TC and mistook TICKET for the Girl's name. I took out my ticket and waited. Meanwhile the Old man furnished his tickets and was explaining to the TC that his friend will be getting on to the train. He was pointing the name, Arun in the list saying that he has his ticket who will be joining him in the next station. Sometimes, one experiences a stroke of brilliance. Similar one happened then. I was planning to ask the girl her name, why not look it outright in the TC list.Congratulating myself for coming up with a clever strategy, i went near him and gave the TC my ticket , all the while scanning the page to find my name and a girl name neaby.
Aha, i found the name easily and brimming with excitement as if i had been awarded the Nobel Prize, i came back to my seat, her name already imprinted in my grey cells.It was quite late by now, and it was time to sleep.The girl started making arrangements to sleep. I too realised that having a conversation was not possible now and that i will do that in morning once i get up. I too went to sleep. It seemed that i had slept for a while, because when i woke up , and checked out the Girls seat, she was not there. Which meant i had slept late, i checked if it wasnt too late. I saw that in the corner of the seat, she had left her handkerchief. I took her kerchief and went out the train. The train was still standing at the platform, meaning that i still had time to find the Orange Girl.. I went outside and saw in a distant distance, she was walking at a slow pace. I raced fast and called out her name. I reached her fast and offered her the kerchief.
She smiled and then took the kerchief and said Thanks. Since i had run, my heart was beating fast, i somehow managed to say- Anything for you. The next answer was like a slap in the face.."Naiye"(translates to Dog). I was like what.. After all the romantic thoughts, ending up like this. Though i didnt want to utter obscenities to a girl, i thought i will get the kerchief back from her. I pulled the kerchief from her hand for which she pulled it back. I wasnt going to let it go like this and if she persisted i will show who Iam. I heaved the kerchief with all my might, for which not only the kerchief got pulled from my hand, i felt a hard hand on my back. "Ravi naiye, get up from bed". Its 9 now, only 3 more hours for the exam to start. It was my friend Mohan who was pulling my bedsheet away from me and was trying to wake me up. Meaning, Orange Girl, Ticket, Kerchief all was a part of the dream. ;-( Today was the last day of the exam after which our semester hols were supposed to start. Seemed like, i started imagining about my holiday schedule even before it started.
Mohan said that he was trying to wake me up from 8 and i was uttering words like "Tickets", "Water" etc. Thanking him profusely and cursing myself for sleeping over time that too on a day of final exam, i rushed up to refresh myself and do a final round of revision. The fact that the Orange Girl had come only in dream making my point stronger that my dream girl was somewhere waiting for me. You never know When you dream materializes, yet will cherish the memories of the Orange Girl till then. :)
Note: I hope you liked the narration and if you have any comments on that i would like to hear from you. I also thank my roomie Laxman for his help in framing some parts of the story and for patiently listening to my countless narrations at weird timings.
Dedicated to all the singles looking for their soul mates. :)