...contd from S M I T H A
He thought it would be an ordinary journey. Standing behind the pillar he watched the train snort arrogantly into the station. With each snort he was reminded of his grandfather's words "You will fail in the city and return penniless"; with every heavenward whistle, he heard his cousin, "Don't worry. Come here and I will get you a job at the construction site." Now he had a 34-hour journey to prove one of them wrong, and he expected the excitement at the end of the journey. He looked at his ticket once again: compartment S9 berth 23.
He would preserve this ticket. When he would succeed, he would frame and hang it for all to see, as a reminder of the fact that greatness had humble origins, of the day when he set out to seize his destiny. His lips quivered with emotion as he carefully counted the money in his wallet, yet again. Four crisp hundreds and two crumpled fifties. At seventeen, it seemed like a fortune to him. He would carefully plan his expenses. He felt as energetic as the strong breeze that hit his face. He stumbled backward, as the wallet slipped from his hands.
Turag watched it fall, with the fingers of both his hands curled—one gripping the steel bar and the other gripping nothing but air. The wallet settled, the second time it touched the greased stones. It was diminishing in size and moving away from him like an open-mouthed balloon propelled by the gushing air. He knew, well enough, the events that would follow if he pulls the stop-chain. In fact it was a stop-chain that brought a wind of change in his life. Getting off from the thought-train that the stop-chain had evoked, he rushed towards it, with uncurled fingers.
"Don't do that." said a voice from behind him. The command in the voice, more than his curiosity, made him stop and turn around. The first thing he noticed was her eyes which also held the finality her voice seemed to convey. He was still staring deep into the depths of her beautiful eyes when he realized that he had been stopped. He closed his eyes for a second, shook his head to clear out the image -as if wiping the slate clean- and reopened them.
"I drop my wallet.", he said.
"I saw" Radha replied. Turag stared at her confused.
Before he could turn, ignoring Radha to pull the bar, Radha said "Please bhaisaab, my daughter is very ill. This train will reach Aurangabad in 2 hours. If you pull that chain, I might get really very late". Turang thought of anu, his niece, how worried they were when she fell ill last month.
Turang stood there feeling totally devastated and lost for life. He was being kind but at what cost he wondered.
Radha thrusted few crisp notes into his hands after thanking him profusely before alighting the train.
And I pass the baton to Risha, Soumya and Kapil.
(Everything below the dashed line above should be copied and pasted with every accepted tag)
This is a Story Tree and is best nurtured as follows:
1. A blogger can add only 90-100 words (not more or less) at a time.
2. All previous snippets of 90-100 words need to be copied before the new set of 90-100 words are appended.
3. Each entire snippet should be linked to the respective author (and not just the first sentence or so)
4. Characters, scenes, etc. can be introduced by an author
5. Bizarre twists, sci-fi, fantasy sequences are best avoided.
6. A tag must be accepted within 7 days else the branch is a dead branch
7. After appending 90-100, the Story Tree can be passed on to at most 3 bloggers.
8. If more than 1 branch leads to a blogger, s/he is free to choose any one of them but cannot mix the snippets of the individual branches.
9. The Story Tree is best left to grow than concluded
10. Please attach the image of the Story Tree below with each accepted tag (the link address can be copied and used).