I wrote this short-story 'round July 31,'07. Prob'ly my first serious attempt into making writing my profession. I think the story's a dud but nevertheless it deserves a spot in my blog for being my first-something ;). I'm no Archer or O. Henry to churn out marks of genius(though at that point of time I thought I was), but still...Here it goes...
And oi, before we proceed, I wanna tell you something about this story. Its sort of autobiographic or rather what I wanted my life to be. You can make it out easily though :D...And this is the same exact version of the story I wrote then, so there are bound to be spelling mistakes and the adolescent expectancy part attached to it. Have fun...
The train had already gathered momentum by the time Mohan had locked up his luggage and had made himself comfortable in his First class compartment. He was going back to Mumbai from
He never liked train journeys and knew this one was a particularly long one. He took out Erich Segal’s Love Story from his bag and began to read. He was so completely engrossed in it that he didn’t even realize that the train had stopped at the next station.
“Excuse me, could you move your legs a bit please”, said a woman, who was bent down trying to get her suitcase under Mohan’s seat.
Mohan had not realized that there had been another person in the compartment. So, he jumped a little in the seat. The woman laughed, a high-pitched tinkling laughter, which distinctly sounded like a musical instrument.
“I’m sorry if I scared you. Didn’t mean it”, said she still smiling.
Mohan looked at her and was awestruck. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She wore a cream coloured Salwar-Kameez, her beautiful long flowing hair was pulled back, she wore just a hint of make-up and oh!, that perfume was sufficient to make any man her slave.
“Hello, this is Priya”, she said taking her seat.
A beautiful name for a beautiful woman thought Mohan.
“Hi, I’m Mohan”, said he extending his hand.
She shook it and Mohan instantly felt shockwaves passing through his body.
“So, you heading to Mumbai?”, she asked him.
He nodded and asked whether she was going to Mumbai too.
“No, only upto Pune”, replied she.
Mohan was never actually mad about girls even when he was in his college. He had a strong belief in the notion of “Love at First site”. He always woke up in the mornings hoping that he would meet the woman who was destined to be his wife. According to Mohan, marriages were already made in heaven and it was just a matter of time before he knew who his girl was.
But he had a problem, a very simple one. Mohan felt he had found his life partner in every alternate girl he met. And his friends wasted no time in teasing him about it. Because, as he was usually certified, he was a weirdo.
No girl could put up with him for more than a couple of months and he usually had 4-6 breakups a year.
Well, he couldn’t help it. He was getting desperate. He was crossing 30 and there was already a bald patch on the rear side of his head. But, of late, he started taking more time in verifying whether this girl was actually his girl.
But there was no questioning about Priya. Mohan knew she was born for him. There was no denying it. He just knew that she was made for him.
“So, what do you do in Mumbai?”, Priya asked him.
“Well, I work for Infosys…Vice-President.”
“Ahan…surprisingly you don’t look so boring”, she smiled.
“So, what do you do?”
“I’m a Fashion Designer”.
“So, a beautiful woman designs beautiful clothes…I see.”, he said shrugging and trying to act innocent.
She laughed, her beautiful, clear laughter and again Mohan felt that it sounded like a musical instrument. Mohan was ready to let his life pass by him while he was looking at her laugh.
“What book is it that you are reading?”
He showed her the cover of the book and she looked quite amused.
“You seem to be quite romantic.”
He smiled at her, his typical boyish innocent smile, which disarmed so many women. And thus, continued their conversation. As the beautiful landscape passed outside their window, both of them were engrossed in their conversation. They seemed to be feeling at home right from the moment they set their eyes on each other. She laughed at his jokes and all Mohan wanted to do was look at her face till infinity.
They talked about everything under the sky and Mohan’s belief that she was destined to be his grew stronger. They had lunch together and as Pune approached, they exchanged their e-mail addresses.
Pune was just fifteen minutes away and she got up to pack her things and Mohan got up to help her. Just as he was about to bend down to retrieve her suitcase, their heads hit and their faces came very close. The sparks flew off the two pair of eyes and they moved away instantly.
“Sorry”, they muttered to each other.
The train halted at Pune and Priya got up to leave. Mohan didn’t want to part with her but he knew it was only a matter of time before they became together forever.
The train halted and she got up to leave. They bid goodbyes and promised that they would stay in contact with each other. Just before she was about to leave the compartment, she looked back at him and he could no longer contain himself.
“Priya, just a second…I want to tell you something. I think I’m in love with you and I want to marry you”, he said earnestly, looking into her eyes.
“You see Mohan, even I like you but I need to ask my husband’s permission before we get married”, she said smiling at him and holding her left hand from which gleamed a ring.
Mohan gaped at her and no words came out of his mouth.
How could this happen?
“And even if he permitted me to marry you, I would still have another problem…I love him more than anyone on Earth.”
And without another word, she left the compartment. Mohan couldn’t believe his ears. Tears were welling up in his eyes. He felt as if God had betrayed him. He ran up into the bathroom and cried. He felt let down by everyone. Just a few moments ago, he felt he couldn’t have been happier and now it was as if he was carrying the grief of everyone in the World. He didn’t know how long he cried. Then he washed his face and reflected with Shakespearen allegory that life was like a train and every woman he met were like railway stations. He had to continue his journey until he reached his destination. A ray of hope filled his heart and he felt better.
By the time he came out of the bathroom, the train was already moving at a very high speed. He got back to his compartment and saw a very beautiful girl sitting in the seat from which Priya had just vacated. He got back to his seat and looked at her. She indeed was very beautiful.
“Hi”, said she. ”I thought no one was here…anyway I’m Rani” and she held out her hand.
“Hi, Mohan”, and he shook her hand.
He glimpsed at her left hand and she was not wearing a ring. He looked upwards, to God, and smiled.
He never realized that his next station was so near.
Okay, now that you are done with the story, I have a few confessions. I don't know if you liked the story or not but when I was reading it today (prob'ly the first time after that day), I felt really nice about myself. I realised that the story's really stupid with all those Bollywood-y names and the VP of Infosys being so lame, but I like the innocence of it. I hate to admit it that I can no longer think in those terms anymore. Either consciously or not, I have started complicating things.
Life is not so straight for me anymore. I've started dividing people into different categories and there's in-built polymorphism in me :D. And thanks to one of my all-time favs, The Catcher in the
All I can do is connect the dots backwards.