Its 9.30 P.M.
and we are all packed
To catch Rajdhani
to Delhi on track
Our usual destination
with summer sack
With both my teenagers
in their seats.
I close my eyes as train moves
I heave a sigh of relief
To wake up in the morning
In the city where I grew up
as a child as a teenager.
The TTE arrives
I searched my Pandora's bag
Handed him the ticket
Gave me look as if I was wicked
"Traveling unconfirmed" he said
To my dismay'it dawned!
But rather late
My friend who was traveling too
Quickly handed him 100 rupees
An age old transaction' she said...
Friendly Indian railways!
Pleading him for
a comfortable journey...
Without much hesitation
Confirming my ticket for the way
Gave a vacant berth in the bay
His partner seemed disgusted
At this capitulation by the green horn
Leaving for a smoke in the pantry
My eyes closed in tranquility
And soon was snoring peacefully'
Half an hour later
I was roused from my deep slumber
With a man with a yellow teeth grin
"Mam, are you fine?"
Rubbing my eyes,
I shot him a glare. Yes, of course!
Pulled the sheet over.
Slumber prevailed once again on me
The third time I was woken'..
This time yellow smile -invisible
I was so mad... clenching my teeth
I could have delivered a couple of epithets
On disturbing my sweet sleep once all over again
I realized may be he wants more...
So he is bothering me again & again
He extended his hand
Depositing 100 Rs on my berth
I stared dumb folded
As currency lied there
Wet Crumbled note
As if in the fist all the while
I looked up to him
He was almost in tears
"I have never done this before"
My consciousness doesn't allow me'
I was touched
'I felt guilty for wronging the right!!
Before I could react
The train screeched a halt
He soon disappeared in the crowd
My eyes kept searching him
He left me guilty
Grossly making systems ill.