Monday, August 11, 2008

Most memorable train ride of my life

I was waiting at the Thane railway station, for my train to Mangalore. It was the start of a 1 week break from my work, and i was eagerly waiting to meet my friends in Mangalore and kickstart the vacation. Only one thing was in between - the boring train ride.

What??? Boring train ride does not match with the title of this post? That's cos even before I could settle down in the train I heard a voice call out ''Hi, are you Gary?". I saw this pretty bespectacled face look up to me with a kind of unsure but friendly smile. The face was partially hidden under a fat book (I am not quite sure- I guess it was a non faction book on Ratan Tata) she was holding unto her face. I was quite unsure how she knew my name , and asked if we had met before. She smiled back at my seemingly ignorant question, saying that she and her sister (who had come to leave her on the train on the earlier station ) had read the reservation charts. I later came to know that they had imagined my as a 80 year old man ! (c'mon, girls - I am sure that an age column would be around somewhere :)

Anyways, I introduced myself back and then settled down on my seat. The next 5-10 minutes were spent in knowing each other's backgrounds and instantly I knew that there was some kind of 'Kismat Konnection' between us. There was definitely some chemistry between us (she had done her Grads in chemistry). We were both kind of very happy to have found just the right kind of company in that train. She soon put her book down and got lost in our conversations.

It seemed we knew each other from kinder garden and not from a few hours. She shared with me many stories from her college days, about her family, her hobbies. She was quite different in the sense that she wasn't a TV or movie freak, she spent her time developing other skills like cooking, driving , teaching ...the list is amazing.

I was amazed by her personality and various instances she narrated about her life. The journey I wanted to get done with earlier - now seemed like i wanted it to last a little longer. Her love for food, her phobias of public restrooms, her limited knowledge of the Indian railways, her anxiousness about getting a return ticket back to Mumbai ...everything was so cute.

We exchanged numbers and mail ids promising to get in touch later. We are to let each other know if the return journey was as exiting (both of us are travelling alone by train ..again...but from different locations on different days) I am sure there would be more meetings . talks and interactions with her, but am sure it will be difficult to beat this experience of the first meeting.