Warning- Long Post ahead. This post has been written for Tell a tale contest posted by Divya. This is my first ever participation in a contest!! The idea is to complete the story after the first half (marked in brown in the text below) has been provided by the organizer. Thanks Ramesh for tagging me. It was fun to write something out of the blue!
The vendor called out as he passed the coupe.
The baby fell on its knee trying to walk across to his mother.
The mother ran to pick up the child and is busy placating him.
Ravishing young lady sat across him checking her flock of hair in the mirror of her mini clutch bag.
The chatter from the group of young boys engrossed in a card game relayed from above.
The train had halted at Varnasi for 15 mins. He hadn’t moved or uttered a word from the time he got on.
The newspaper covered Sanjay’s face; his eyes peered through his bi-focal spectacles and his hair rested neatly combed sideways.
A pencil in his hand was losing his grip
Vijayanthi sat across Sanjay and tried to loose herself in a book by her favorite author. She was travelling with Sanjay to attend a wedding at Mughal Sarai near Varanasi. It was her first visit to this part of the country and though excited she found it hard to concentrate. As she watched Sanjay her mind was filled with thoughts about him and their relationship.
They had met in college at Bangalore and stuck an unlikely friendship. She, the reserved book-worm that guys found boring and he, the gregarious one girls chased after. They had become study buddies and then best friends. She was his rock through college, nursing him through bad relationships and helping him cruise his exams. For his part, he always protected her from the college baddies, never missed a birthday and was always there when she needed a helping hand. It was odd if a day went by without them meeting.
Sanjay joined his dads business after college while Vijayanthi joined a bank in the same city. They managed to stay in touch and were regular visitors to the others house owing to their close friendship. It was that time in her life – She had just turned 25 and like all Indian parents, hers wanted her to get married and settle down. Many proposals came her way but she always found it hard to settle as she couldn’t feel comfortable with anyone.
It was at this time that Rekha, their classmate from college announced her wedding. Initially hesitant to send her by train to Varanasi, her parents relented based on Sanjay’s request as he was also attending.
A few hours into the journey, Sanjay fell asleep with a news paper on his face, his crossword puzzle half done and his pencil loosing its grip. A flier had fallen out of the newspaper under his feet. As she moved forward to take the pencil, realization dawned. Sanjay was the one! He was the one that she would always be comfortable with. But did he feel the same way about her? What would happen to their friendship if she were to confess her feelings? Would their friendship be compromised?
Confused about the sudden rush of thoughts, she took the flier beneath his feet and started writing on the other side explaining her feelings in Kannada. Sanjay woke up just as she was finishing and she hurriedly slipped the flier into her book. She meant to give it to him when the situation was right.
Just then the ravishing young woman sitting across Sanjay, rose to get something out of her luggage. Her pretty face elicited many looks from the young boys on the train and Sanjay was no exception. His eyes flashed with a temporary curiosity and interest about the young woman. He recovered quickly and offered to help the girl with her luggage. Vijayanthi did not miss the look in his eyes – he had never looked at her this way. He had never seemed romantically interested in her. What was she thinking? Filled with emotions, her eyes were beginning to brim with tears as she tried to compose herself.
Just then the baby started crying again and refused to stop. Vijayanthi envied the kid for being able to cry out so loud without a care in the world. For a moment she wanted to be a small kid and cry out her feelings. Smiling sadly at her own thoughts she removed the flier from the book and made a small paper boat to entertain the baby. The baby gradually stopped crying and grabbed the boat and started playing with it as his mom looked relived while Sanjay smiled at her gently for a job well done. For a moment her heart skipped a beat but she returned to normal as she realized that she had transferred her feelings into a paper boat which would gradually find its way into the trash.
The next stop was Mughal Sarai; Vijayanthi and Sanjay disembarked with their luggage along with the child and his mom. Just as they were leaving the station, Sanjay halted informing her that he needed to run back to the train as he had forgotten something and requested her to wait for him. 15 minutes later she spotted him returning with empty hands – there was no forgotten luggage. Seeing the surprised look on her face, he fished into his pockets and brought out the little paper boat – the one with her letter to him. He had a sheepish grin on his face as he explained how he had run back to the child and his mom who were still waiting outside the train for the child’s father. He had bribed the child with chocolates in return for the precious paper boat….
They looked at each other and laughed, tears of happiness streaming down Vijayanthi’s face. Sanjay locked his hands in hers. But what about the pretty girls she wondered. His eyes explained it all – They had been a distraction, but she had always been the one. They walked out of the station, hand in hand with a spring in their steps and an infectious enthusiasm about them.
Two talented bloggers I would like to tag for this contest with sincere apologies about the short notice: