“We do not need to carry our baggage around!” Her mother said curtly. Her language gave him the impression that she was someone who studied not in any school he knew of.
They are standing on platform 1, while the predawn cold air buzzed.
“But you insisted on getting this trunk along, it’s so heavy.” the daughter complained as her father winked her to silence.
Three people standing on the platform 10 minutes after the train left isn’t something the ticket checker who is accustomed to people hurrying by him sees often.
As he verified their tickets, he could see all three were wearing what are visibly fine pieces of clothing with sweaters on top but his attention is little inclined into figuring out the brand the girl was wearing.
As he dropped back into his seat; he noticed the couple wondering about the platform. He wondered if they are here to buy the station noticing their keenness in looking at each nook and corner.
Their daughter is however busy doing whatever she is doing with her fruit flavoured phone. He thought of striking a conversation but decided against it, ‘Rich people mate, not worth the time, must be arrogant’
He deduced they are NRIs’ coming home after many years, he has seen their kind earlier. He has been stationed here for past two years, a town with hardly any long-distance trains making a halt there.
As the next train still had an hour yet, he wanted to nap off. There are a couple of duty constables waiting for that train on the platform and a railway guard, apart from the NRIs, it is safe for them here than at the bus stand.
A Few blissful napping moments later, he had enough of the girl giggling to herself and disturbing his nap. He decided to talk a walk out of the station to the ‘Famous Tea Stall’ that stands to the corner across the newly laid road.
The NRI couple were there already, must have passed him as he napped. He could see the excitement on the man’s face while the women kept an eye on the station entrance.
“Kaka, chai.” he said as he sat down rubbing his hands for warmth.
The man, tall frame, slumped forward holding the chai with both hands.“You think it is safe for us to leave her alone?” she shared her concern to her husband.
“There are policemen on the platform madam, you need not worry.” he said to the women.
She nodded, thanking him for the information she said to her husband “Can you believe it, it’s been two decades since we left from this very station?” not noticing his moist eyes.
Wiping corners of his eyes, he replied “ And it took me so much time to set my ego aside so that we can return. I am sorry, I should have learnt it long back” adding “We do not need to carry our baggage around”
Photo By: Waldemar Erbrich
This is an entry for Five00-7, a writing event hosted by ArtoonsInn. Check out the event prompt and guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/five00-7/