This train journey was one I would never forget. When I want something to be remembered, I often write it down in my diary so that I never forget it.
It all happened when I entered the train to Puri. I was going to Puri on vacation. I had sat down on my seat, thinking about how I would wake up at five a.m. the next morning. I usually woke up at seven, walked over to the kitchen, made breakfast and read the newspaper headlines. I had taken leave from office this particular week, since my doctor had advised me to go on a vacation. Work had recently stressed me out, and I would not at all be fit to continue working, unless I listened to my doctor. I had decided to go to Puri, because my cousins stayed there. As I was thinking of all this, my mind wandering from place to place, I saw that it was already five past nine. I decided to have the dinner I had packed for myself-boiled rice with an egg and a potato. I began eating, and the train began to move at last. I looked out of the window, at the trees and buildings that seemed to rush past. If only I had a friend to accompany me, I thought. I would have had someone to express my feelings to. Suddenly, I saw a little girl peeping at me from the corridor of the train. I smiled at her. "Hello, little one. What is your name?"
"Mary," the girl replied, sitting down on the bunk adjacent to mine. "Who are you?"
"I'm just a regular office-goer. How old are you?"
With these questions, I discovered that the girl, Mary,was a child of eight years and that she was also going toPuri to visit her cousins.
"Well, do want to play a game with me" I asked, seeing that the conversation had stopped. "Maybe a Memory Game?"
"Not really," she answered. "I 'm acutally here because I want to thank you for donating blood. I had been suffering from thalassemia."
"What?" I asked, surprised. This sweet little child had been suffering from thalassemia???
"But Mary, I didn't donate blood, I never have," I confessed.
Mary smiled at me anyway. "It doesn't matter," she replied cheerfully. "I still want to thank you. I've already thanked everybody else on the train" Then she skipped back into the corridor.
I was, well, astonished. I could not find any other word to describe my feelings. Even though I had never donated blood, this innocent little child had thanked me for nothing. After she left, tears came to my eyes. I was not worthy of her thanks. I hadn't helped her, or any other person.
As I write, I currently back in Kolkata, and m health has improved greatly, After Mary went that day, I got off the train the next morning and I resolved that from that day onwards,I would donate blood to help those who needed it. And I have never forgotten little Mary.
© Copyright 2016 Chandreyee Basu. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Literary Fiction
Essay / Young Adult
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