It was a tiring day for me. Still, I ran down the station stairs because I did not want to miss the local train. If I miss this, then I will have to wait for another hour. And, with tiredness taking over my body inch by inch, I could not afford that. I ran and jumped onto one of the compartments.
I sat near the window, and I might have dozed off with the nice breeze touching my face. I knew I had a good half an hour for a power nap before my stop would arrive. I have been doing it every day, so I knew when to wake up. It was like a natural instinct.
But, today, I was awaken by a sudden jolt of the train. It was running, the breeze was flowing, but it gave a sudden brake. I got so irritated with the driver, that I almost cursed him. When I woke up, I was taken by surprise, when I saw that the compartment was EMPTY. How could it be? There are supposed to be other people too, who travel beyond my stop- that old man, who keeps scribbling in his diary, that middle-aged lady, who keeps talking on the phone, the beggar boy, who silently sits near the door- where are THEY?
Did I miss my stop? I got up and looked thoroughly, but no one was there. I was feeling scared NOW. Soon, the train stopped at a station. I leaned out of the door and saw people getting up and down from the other coaches. Then, I saw the name of the station. I was relieved. I did not miss my stop. It was yet to come, two more stops after this.
I prayed that no one boards, this compartment, as thieves and other dangerous people are quite common in this part of the town, especially when it’s late in the night. The trains whistled and the engine started to move. I was relieved. I sat down and grabbed my bag, close to my chest.
Suddenly, I heard the rattling of the handles above and saw someone jump on the train. I was TRULY scared and cautious now. It was a man in late thirties and had weird attire. His face was almost covered with a black scarf. He looked suspicious. He gave me a look and came towards me. I clenched my bag tighter and thinking about ways to defend myself if required.
But, luckily, he took the seat in front of me, but didn’t do anything. However, he kept looking at me, and it freaked me out. I prayed when will my stop come and I will get down. With every passing minute, both my fear and anxiety were accelerating. But, nothing happened.
Then, the man took out a cigarette and lighted it, and started enjoying the smoke. I wanted a drag too, nothing like a warm touch of smoke on my chilling lips. I wanted to ask him for a smoke, BUT I COULDN’T.
How could I? How can a spirit ask for a smoke from a human? The man didn’t even know that I was THERE.
I am Ravi. Two years back, I had slept off while returning home in this very compartment. But, it was my last, I never got a chance to wake up. A bomb blast took my life. So, I stayed back in this compartment. And, I am still scared of things like you are.
Every day, so many people come and go, but for me, the TRAIN is ALWAYS EMPTY. I see the living souls moving around, but spirits like me are still waiting for THEIR LAST STOP.
Image Courtesy: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8491/8281842256_220e9d8651.jpg