It had been raining and there were very few people at the station. I had been waiting for some time now but I was at wrong platform. When the announcement was made, I ran to the platform from where my train was actually supposed to leave.
I managed to board the train just in time. As the train started to move an old woman got in. She almost lost her balance and could have fallen had I not grabbed her. In my effort to support her, my hair which was arranged in a bun got lose and tumbled on her face.
The old woman started grumbling about the fact that how trains move these days. She also started to complained about her old age.
I stammered an apology. I was embarrassed that my hair fell all over her face.
I gathered her luggage and helped her to a seat. Then I started to look for my hair pin which had fallen off and I needed that back to keep my bun in place. She then thanked me for helping her. For a moment she was absorbed in contemplating me, she appreciated my height, my long flowing hair and she was curious where a young girl like me, was going alone. I felt a bit conscious when I found her gaze were fixed at my breasts. She must have noticed I was not wearing a bra.
“What are you looking for, girl?” she asked.
“My hair pin”, I replied.
“Did you get it?”, she asked me after some time as I kept on searching for it. Then she said, “Your hair looks wet. Why don’t you keep it open for some time... When it is all dry, I will comb it and braid it for you”
I knew it will be difficult to find the hair pin and perhaps it was her idea to show some gratitude to me by combing my long hair and then offering to braid it. That was so nice of her but I was feeling a bit uneasy because normally I am not comfortable with unknown people touching my hair.
But somehow I felt it would be OK to let her do my hair.
I sat beside her and she looked at me closely, there was a profound tenderness in her eyes and voice. She asked me “Did you get wet and that rain?”
I said, “No, I just had a shower before I was leaving for the station. I really hate hair dryers as they make hair brittle, but I thought I would have to this time. By the time I got out of the washroom there was no electricity. I did not have time to wait. So I left the house, boarded a taxi and reached the station. All this while I kept my hair down... It was when I reached the station I had the chance to tie my hair in a bun because all men were staring at me.”
“You should not be doing that my child, especially during the early hours of the morning when not many people are around. A young woman like you with her hair down can attract unwanted attention; just like honey attracts bees... When I was young, I remember that we were never allowed to step out of the house with our hair down. By the way, I’d rarerly see girls who have hair like yours. I’m sure that you belong to an upper class family.”
I realized that I must have reminded her of a past. She was trying to recollect the times when she was young, beautiful and attractive as me.
I was blushing all this while. The train picked up speed. I can figure out what to say, but I finally asked, “How far will you be travelling?”
“I’m going to Topia, what about you?”
“I will be travelling till Rongpur...”, I replied. Topia was two stops after Rongpur.
“You are travelling quite far”, she was surprised, “but why are travelling alone? Where is your husband?”
I blushed again and said, “I am not married yet...”
“How old are you?”
“I am 23 years old”
“I wish that one day you get married to a suitable young man who would love you and care for you... And I’m sure you will get him cute little children.”, she started to run her fingers down my hair and she was saying this. There was something in her touch that made me feel accepted and appreciated.
Suddenly I was startled when I realized she was tracing the curves of my left breast. She said, “I see you’re not wearing a bra... Why is that? Your breasts are quite developed and big.”
I could not help but giggle out loud and had old of the truth, “Frankly speaking, I attended a party yesterday night. I was drunk... Even though I had to wake up early today... I had a little too much to drink. So when I woke up, I only had the time to take a shower and get dressed and I still had a hangover. As a result is was only after I had my blouse on I realized I had forgotten to put my bra on...”.
With that I plunged into a glory of mischievous laughter.
“You bad girl.. I hope you have your panties on”, she laughed too.
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