I rushed towards the platform to catch the train. I was covered all in sweat. It was the last train for the evening. The next train was scheduled to depart next morning. I wanted to go home early and spend some time with my family as I hadn’t visited them in months. Everyone was eagerly waiting for my arrival. Mom had planned to greet me by serving my favourite dish. Wow, I am going home… This feeling gave me happiness…The happiness I’ve been searching in small and big things since sometime.
I was running towards the platform with a small bag that had enough clothes for the next few days. After I reached the platform, I realized that the train had departed a few minutes ago. I felt like cursing the city traffic, which was highly disorganized due to increase in the number of cars. Oh dear, now what was I supposed to do? That was my last train home and that was where I wanted to be. Though my home was only a few hundred kms away, I felt sad and helpless. What was I to do? Dejected, I sat on a bench of the deserted platform. A vibe of melancholy went through my body. I was angry and I could feel hot boiling tears rolling down my cheeks.
I slowly got up, took my bag and started walking towards the counter to book another ticket for the morning. After booking the next ticket, I made my way to the waiting hall, as it was the question of a few hours. I got inside the waiting hall, which was in a shabby condition. I took a deep breath and said to myself, hey, it’s fine. Just a question of a few hours. I really did not like the feeling of being there. I wanted to go home, and yes, that is where I wanted to be.
I moved my eyeball around the room. In one of the corners, behind an old tattered bag, I saw a girl, who probably had just entered into adolescence. Wow, I said to myself, it must be such a wonderful time for her, as she was going through the time, which was a narrow passage between her childhood and her youth. I looked at her and I remembered how I was when I was in that phase of life. The girl was holding a small child in her arms. It might probably be her sister or probably, she was holding one of her relative’s child. One could easily make out how much love she had for the small child. I couldn’t resist and hold myself any longer. I decided to walk up to that girl and talk to her. Again, I decided not to, as she might not like it. Without giving it much thought, I walked towards her and sat down on the ground beside her. It was cold there. I wondered how she was sitting there since that long. I smiled, and I could see that she was scared and had a sight of panic and worry across her face. I said a warm hello and she was so scared and numb. I reached out to my bag and found a small packet of potato chips and I offered it to her. She accepted it, but was still not sure if I was a friend or an enemy. Finally she broke her silence when she asked me if I was carrying water or not as her 6 months old daughter was thirsty. To those words of hers, I was dazed and couldn’t utter a word. I had some water left, which i I gave it to the little child.
After I gained my voice back, i I conversed with her, and I found that, she was just another victim of girl trafficking who was sold by her father as he was in need of some money. That girl went through so much in life and at the age of 14, when everyone else of her age is was enjoying the experience of making friends and gaining knowledge, she was carrying a baby in her arms and was a subject of harassment by some shameless creatures who probably never realized what they were up to. She had no home and took shelter in different platforms and waiting rooms. She begged people for money to sustain herself and her daughter’s life. I wish there was an end to it.
I asked her, if she wanted to read and write. Yes, her face was exclaimed with glory. I told her that I would teach her to learn to read and write. She was very happy and thrilled and started weeping. I held her daughter, kissed her on her forehead and made her sleep on my lap. She told me, her daughter will be protected from all the evil of the world. She was determined to give her daughter a better life.
That was when i I realized, life is not about how many trains you miss. Trouble is not when you miss a train, as life has a hot lot of pain and hardships and we need to learn to live with it.
Yes, it was the last train for the evening and i I missed the last train home, but iI don’t regret it…. Because I had a home and a family…