There were a thousand thoughts that came to my mind as I ran towards my train at dadar station. It was ten past eight and I was late. I had to get into that train. But I had to get into the last ladies compartment only. It was a ritual. A reasonless one.
Rohan who had come to drop me till the station because its general tendency for my friends to think I am too hyper to handle myself was lost somewhere in the mayhem you never miss at the dadar station. “I’m late” I told myself again. I had promised my brother who had his school farewell in two days that I would take him shopping. But I was late. I had too much to do. I tend to take more than what I can handle. The week was going to be tiring. I was making a mental note of all that I had to finish by the end of the week. It was exhausting was still running. Where had I reached? I couldn’t really figure anything out in the crowd. I was just pushing and moving ahead.
Pheww... I could have just missed it I thought as I got into the train.oh I had almost forgotten about rohan.i peeped out to look for him. I saw him. Pushing his way through. I told him I have got in and waved him bye. The train thankfully was not that crowded.. Or maybe it was just this specific compartment which was always so much better than the others.
I sipped water from my bottle as I pulled out the ear phones from my bag. “Is the train moving?”I asked myself. I was so drained. I felt silly as I looked at the platform indicator. The train wouldn’t leave for another 7 minutes. There was really no need for me to run.
I didn’t find a place to sit so I just stood at the foot board. It’s always quieter on this side of the platform. And a little cleaner too. Maybe that’s why I liked walking (running most of the time) to get into this particular compartment.i looked down at the platform. There were people waiting for the train to leave. Talking on the phone. Buying things to eat. It was that time of the night when the mumbaikars return back to their far from the city homes or atleast those were the kind of people you saw on platform number 1 of dadar station where trains take you to the extremes of the city. It’s a long journey for most of them.i am just two stations away from home. But I was clearly panicking.
Nothing really caught my attention for a long time. And then I saw him. I wouldn’t say he was the handsomest guy I had ever seen. Or that he was wearing the perfect clothes. Or that he had the perfect smile and hair. Or that he was six feet tall. Because he was not. He was just a little kid. A two year old. Or maybe even smaller.
Now I am not one of those who are very good with kids. I don’t have the very cuddly feeling about them.
So I don’t know what made me so inquisitive about this one. Initially I just noticed him and looked away but something made me look at him again. He wore a midnight blue t-shirt that fitted him well and a little underwear. It was chilly. I wondered how he was feeling. Could he even talk? I could see his parents sitting a little away from him down on the platoform.i couldn’t judge what they were discussing. But they were clearly ignoring the kid. What if he ran towards the train when it started I thought? Weren’t they bothered? What if he hurts himself? He was so tiny. Just as I kept looking at him his mother came ahead and lifted him up. Not in a very desirable way though. But he was still smiling, laughing maybe. I think he liked the attention he was getting. She gave him a biscuit and started talking to the father again. And the little one started one of his new operations. He was an inquisitive kid and that was evident. Or maybe all kids are and I just don’t notice. The train had 3 minutes to leave. I wondered if they were going to get in at all. The parents were having some really intense talk. They were fighting maybe. I thought it was really silly of me to look like that but something kept making me look. The tiny thing was having the time of his life. He looked around. Smiled at anything and everything and anyone. Chewed on to some part of the biscuit and went all around the little area he could cover with his tiny feet. He kept tripping every now and then. He fell everytime he tried to take big steps. Everytime he fell he looked back at his mother. She would give him a look that I am sure only he understood because he got up everytime and started walking and looking for something again. He was definitely looking for something.i wish I could read his mind at this point of time.
I could guess that he particularly found the bhel puri woman very interesting. He kept looking at her and then his mother. Maybe he was trying to tell her that he wants to eat it. The mother and father were really not paying attention.
The train would leave any minute. I wanted to see him do some more “work”. Looking at him made me happy for some reason. I was smiling. The train had started moving slowly. I hadn’t even noticed.i was busy looking at him. And just as the train started moving he looked at me. Like he had known what I was thinking. Like he knew how I had been observing him for the last six minutes. He looked at me and first I thought he was not really happy. Like I had seen him do something he dint want me to.
But just before I was about to lose sight of him he burst out with a smile on his face. The reason of which I could not decipher. The train had started moving faster. I kept looking out. Till I dint completely lose sight.
I dint know what the last seven minutes meant. But it left me with something to smile about.i plugged in my ear phones that I had got out from my bag seven minutes ago and got lost into my own thoughts as my favorite bettles number played in the background.