Delayed Train

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Eyes droop, while shoulders slide down mimicking every passing second. 

Three people left the seat next to him as they waited for their train, his head resting on their shoulders even after being pushed away after every 30 seconds.  Irritated, they finally decided to let go.

The short man, with a big moustache, hung his legs on the cold metal bench of the revamped brightly lit railway station. The little eyes open up every time the PA system gets to life.

Gathering himself together, he listened attentively about his train getting further delayed, trying not to sleep, his eyes closed themselves down on their own again.

Another stranger not aware of why the seat was lying vacant, sat beside him, only to support the short man’s half-awake head, his small body curled up on the bench now.

He pushed him once, hoping this would be the end of it, before realizing his head resting on him again.

The stranger waiting for his delayed train was hoping to rest for some time after a tiring strolling of the entire platform couldn’t offer him a single vacant seat. 

The extreme tiredness of standing and walking of the past 2 hours encouraged him to continue sitting even after repeated encroachment of his privacy by the short man, now sleeping beside him, his head resting comfortably on his shoulders again.

The stranger pushed him, the short man suddenly conscious, began looking around, while checking if the train has finally arrived.

‘Chai, Chai, Chai’ suddenly a tea seller went past them, waft of warm tea, hit them like a refreshing breeze.  The short man though remained lazily cocooned within himself again, his body now curled up like an embryo, the sleepy mind ignoring every active stimulus.

The stranger couldn’t resist, asking for tea as the short man continued sleeping.  The announcement repeated itself, the short man, tried opening his eyes but couldn’t, his eyes refusing to listen to his own mind now.

The stranger finished his tea and found his shoulders become a pillow for the short man again.

This was the third time; he pushed his head aside only to see him put it back again in a few minutes.

By next announcement, even the stranger had begun to yawn, his shoulders still occupied by the head of the short man, as he too slid his head towards him.

Within no time, both slipped in a deep slumber.

‘Chai, Chai, Chai’ the loud plea to have tea suddenly woke up the stranger who pushed the short man’s head again, as he too opened his eyes, finally.

The platform suddenly turned darker; the crowd thinned out while a train stood before them.

Keeping his ears focused on the PA, the stranger tried finding out how long will it take for the train to arrive. 

With no announcement heard in the next 10 minutes, the stranger began feeling uneasy, and so did the short man.

The stranger finally asked one of the porters of the status of his train.

Weirdly, it was the same train, the short man also has to take.

‘You are only an hour late’ replied the porter cooly, his hands folded on his chest as he walked away, looking for the tea seller.

The two men looked at each other.

Sadness filled the sleepy eyes of the short man, while the stranger’s seethed with anger.

They started walking towards the enquiry counter.

The next train was due in 6 hours.

They returned and sat on the same bench, deciding not to sleep this time. After an hour, their eyes began drooping again!!!

Also do check out – 21 Short and Inspiring Stories – 21 Reviews – 4.7 Stars on Amazon



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