Reads: 63

 

RAHUL'S TRAIN REACHED Delhi at about 8 AM. He went there for a job interview. To save time and money, he finished his morning ablutions in the washroom of his train compartment and got ready for the interview. The interview was for the posi-tion of an officer trainee in a petroleum company. Its office was located in Connaught Place. He did well in the interview, but he understood that his chances of selection were few as he was just a graduate. There were many candidates, who were having a post-graduate degree plus an MBA. Above all that, he was not fluent in speaking English as he had studied in the vernacular medium. This proved an Achilles heel of him. He had this impression that to get a good job either you ought to be exceptionally talented or you had to be fluent in English. He passed many written exami-nations for higher jobs but failed in interviews for this weakness or, at least, he believed so.

 

After the interview, he came to a nearby bus stand and stood there waiting for a bus to go to R. K. Puram, a place in New Del-hi to see one, of his cousins, who lived there.

 

After visiting his cousin in R. K. Puram in New Delhi, Rahul reached the New Delhi railway station in the evening just a few minutes before the scheduled departure time of the train, in which he was supposed to travel to Jhansi. He went straight to the cloakroom, where he had deposited his briefcase in the morning. He took back his briefcase and rushed to platform

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST CHAPTERS

3

 

number one. It was being announced, "Attention please, the train number... Traveling from New Delhi to Bhopal via Jhansi is standing at plate form number 1" He rushed to his compart-ment and as soon as boarding the train, it started.

This time, his reserved berth had been a side upper berth just next to the AC coach's corridor entry. He anticipated a disturb-ing journey by the frequent movements of passengers in the cor-ridor and by the frequent opening and closing of the door next to his berth. Whenever he traveled by train on a wide berth, par-ticularly in an AC compartment, he always had this feeling that the Railway department should charge a lesser fare for these side berths as they are shorter in length and passengers have a less comfortable journey because of the movements of the people in the gallery.

After some time, a train ticket examiner came wearing a black coat and a tie over a white shirt and pants. He checked his ticket and moved ahead to check other persons' tickets.

Rahul felt like resting so, he climbed the berth and lay there folding his legs and using his briefcase as a pillow. He was very tired. So soon he fell asleep. A few times his sleep was disturbed by the noise of the entering and leaving of passengers on the sta-tions, where the train stopped.

He wakened up a few minutes earlier the train reached Jhan si, his home. The train reached there at about midnight. He got down from the train and came out of the railway station.

Had it been during the daytime he would have been sur-rounded by tens of auto and tempo drivers asking me where he had to go and some of them would have been virtually dragging him to their vehicles. At that hour of the night, their number was less comparatively.

He hired an auto from the railway station to Manik Chowk for rupees 50 and reached his home near this main market of the city in about twenty minutes.

He did not want to disturb all members of his family so in-stead of ringing the doorbell he softly knocked at the door. He knew that the mother would be waiting for him. As he had antic-ipated it was t mother only, who opened the door. All the others were sleeping. He went straight to the bathroom and washed his face, hands, and feet. He also changed his dress and put on paja-mas and Kurta for comfort.

Amma served him food. After having food, he went to bed.


Submitted: February 05, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Ravi Ranjan Goswami. All rights reserved.

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