Saturday, September 22, 2007

The 10th Platform...

That was an evening and I entered one of the electric railway stations of Chennai. After getting the ticket for Guindy station, I asked the man in the ticket counter, “Which is the platform?”. He stared at me for some time and spelled out the answer with a great frustration, “It is 9th platform”. I thanked him and moved from the counter.

There was an over-bridge in the railway station to move between different platforms. When I was walking on it a man neared me and asked, “Hello, which is the platform to go to Guindy?”. It was the same place where I need to go. I just told him, “It’s 9th platform”.

There came a sign board soon after I answered him, ‘Way to platform 8 & 9’. I viewed the 9th platform from the top of the bridge. There was nobody. I was a little confused as there were persons in 10th platform who seem to travel in my route. Again that was on the other side of the track. When I got ready to go to the 10th I saw the same person who asked me about the platform, trying to get down into 9th platform. I then said to him, “I am doubtful about 9th, though the person in the counter said it so. Look there is no one in 9th. There might be changes. Do please clarify with someone else”. He seemed not to be convinced of my words (or my expression was not strong enough to convince him). He just got down and entered 9th platform. I thought that he would come back when he sees no one there.

I moved towards the 10th and got down from the bridge. Started waiting in the 10th as it was the right platform. I was just looking at the girls over there. I then suddenly saw that man on the other side of the track, waiting alone in the 9th platform. I was puzzled. ‘Why is this man standing alone there? Why doesn’t he come this side?’.

I tried a lot to ignore him from my sight. But I was constantly getting into a kind of guiltiness as I was the person who directed him to go there. I finally decided to go to him and tell that he should wait in 10. I again climbed the stairs of the same over-bridge, crossed the track and entered 9th platform.

He was on the other end of the same platform. Thus I started walking towards the other end. On the half of the way I suddenly realized that he has already left the platform. I saw him crossing the tracks and climbing on to the 10th platform. Of course he took a short-cut route, jumped into the tracks and crossed.

I had no other way than returning to the 10th. Yes, you are correct. The very same over-bridge. When I was walking over it I saw a train leaving from the 10th platform. Almost all of the passengers have left by that train. I also could not see my FRIEND there. He might have left by the same train.

I was not worried of missing a train then. Instead, there was some kind of relief that I could feel while waiting for the next train.

The over-bridge was silently looking at the 10th platform as life goes on…

1 comment:

Imagination said...

This is amazing, I had read it long back but thought of writing this comment when I re-read it today. Yes life goes on like that only. Excellent narration.