One day it was raining like cats and dogs. Well Mumbai is famous for that. The local trains were overdozened to such an extent that even air molecules were not able to make their way from one door to the opposite one. It was a real horrible day, just one small push from behind was enough for making a person fall off the train. I got really scared due to this as people falling off the local train is very common in Mumbai. I boarded the train at Thane station for Mumbai CST.
Even before the train stopped everyone on the platform was ready to jump inside it and even i was one of them. Well the train was stopping at its usual speed and everyone was adjusting their locations so as to catch the correct coach. I saw many frustrated faces on the platform and i am pretty sure they may be the passengers who had purchased first class tickets in order to get a seat but all in vain because even those who were not having a second class ticket had already occupied the seats as you would not expect a ticket checker that day.
Well the train finally made a stop and all the people at the back were shouting and abusing the other people to come out of the train and were pushing all those who were in front of them so that they could reserve a seat for themselves, but soon this competition ended out for another one to start and that was to grab a place to stand next to the people who were about to get up, well apart from a little smartness you also needed a little more luck for it. I was soon pushed inside with the mob and dragged myself inside because I did not want to risk my life by standing at the edge of the train as i had seen many people falling of the train.
The floor was all wet and slippery at that time as it was covered with water and dirt. My shirt was torn out and slippers broken in that extreme surge of crowd. Well i thank god that i got a favourable place to stand which was far away from both the doors.
For the first time i had ever got into a 1st class compartment but was unfortunate to even look out for its surroundings and to know what else did it have that differentiated it from the 2nd class. Once again the league of bad luck continued. Well what else do you think a poor boy like me who’s birth is in itself a slip of fate would think to get out of his life. I could see nothing instead of me being surrounded by people on all possible directions. We were like glued together. My face reached other people’s chest and I could do nothing except gulping in the foul smell which came from their armpits. Again I started cursing my bad luck for this. We reached the next station and then again a wave of many more helpless people who wanted to reach their home safely came rushing in.
It continued until the next station Bhandup where the train was so densely packed that our bones had a chit chat with each other. We were standing like statues installed on a place and nobody could have moved even a nanometer further. I couldn’t even turn my head. I was rotating my eyes in order to search a place where i could just stretch out my legs and body a little as i was standing in the same position from at least half an hour, but all in vain. Well i again congratulated my bad luck for it.
I saw that everyone was holding the metal rods at the ceiling for support and took out there cell phones to inform their families there exact location and how much time would it take for them to reach home.
I always wanted that device, it was so stylish that it gleamed in my eyes. I thought I could flaunt that device in front of my friends as none of my friends would have even seen that in their life. Then suddenly a thought flashed across my mind, would that be right, would that not be termed as “STEALING”, but my greed made me forget every bit of human nature and sensibility that i had. My eyes were glued on that and my brain was busy creating a step by step procedure to steal it from that man’s pocket.
I did not want to do that but it was like my body had completely surrendered against the orders of my brain. I felt like I had completely lost my willpower and was hypnotized by someone and doing whatever he said. It may sound ridiculous to some of you but it’s true.
I looked for every chance when that thin and sleek man was not looking at me. Each and every second my right hand went near his left pocket where that beautiful device was waiting for me. I reached the rim of his pocket and would have silently taken out his phone without letting him even noticing that all, but all credit to my bad luck, the train made a sudden stop and we all fell forward. My hand too went inside his pocket in one go. He suddenly slapped his left pocket to see what was there. Then suddenly he saw me and knew that it was my hand. Our interaction was like a lion seeing a small and helpless puppy. He saw me the same way for a minute or so and I was in utter shame and was whispered “please forgive me”.
I think so he understood me because he lost the “LEO” look on his face and i am sure he must have seen my condition, my torn clothes, my broken slippers which would have created a feeling of sympathy in him for me. For another 10 mins he kept his hand over mine and then dragged me out with him at Dadar station.
I thought he would hand me over to the police. Really bad thoughts made their way to my mind and i walked with him wherever he took me with my head down. There was a complete mist in front of my eyes and it disappeared in the form of tears. I thought, so this is how my life was to end, this is what i was born for. Wow! I thought nobody in this whole world would have got such a gigantic store of bad luck as me. Then he made me to sit on a concrete chair at the railway compound.
I noticed him go towards the railway police station. I observed him carefully as he walked towards the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch.
I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”I could have run from there but I thought that it was of no use as my bad luck would have chased me down no matter wherever I go.
So i kept sitting there and waited for the police to throw me inside the prison. But do you know what happened next?
The man offered me tea and a packet of chips along with many chocolates for home. I went completely blank for a moment as to know whether I was day-dreaming or what. I pinched myself extremely hard and found out that yes it was all real!!!
He sat down beside’s me on the same concrete chair and just asked me “why did you do it? Don’t your parents give you whatever you ask for?” I started crying and held his feet as tightly i could saying that please forgive me, i will never do this again. He gently held me up and said me to sit down.
Then he told me his own story. He said that “I was born in a poor family in Dharavi and we didn’t even have two time meals in the whole day, but I never let the odd circumstances rule me out. Those all things gave me more courage and made me more concentrated towards my goals and today I am the general manager at Glaxosmithkline pharmaceuticals.”
He told me that everyone has the power to see dreams and the power to get it done. He told me to work hard and one day I could even buy a shop full of phones. He was like “BUDDHA” to me. He opened my eyes and and instilled in me the courage to fight all odds, how so ever strong they may be in the future.
At last he wished me best of luck for my future and always said me to always remember what he had told me. He hovered his hand over my hair and with a faint smile, he finally departed.
I looked at him with my eyes wide open till I could differentiate between him and the other people on the station. Before taking a right turn and disappearing for ever, he turned back for the last time and waved his hand at me. I remember, I jumped over my seat and waved him back with my face held high and shining like the Sun.
After that i sat down on the chair for another half an hour thinking deeply on whatever he said me and then i returned home with a zeal in me to do something and fight whatever may come my way.
At last I thanked god that he blessed me with such a person who changed my definition and perspective of seeing life and also offered my apologies for saying that i was the most unlucky guy in the world.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THE FOLLOWING SHORT STORIES:
- ME AND PRANAY https://nishantmumbai.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/me-and-pranay/
- INNER CONSCIENCE https://nishantmumbai.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/inner-conscience/