I am not happy because again I have to travel in this freeze December month. I am going back to Delhi because I came in Lucknow to attend marriage of my cousin. It was nice experience to be with family and relatives, I had good time with them how those 3 days disappeared I do not know! Even no one knows. But finally happy days are over now I have to go back to Delhi to attend my office.
My God …what a pain..!!! My boss called me 5 times in 3 days just to confirm my next week meeting schedules. Why these bosses are always ridicules, why they can’t see mails, are so busy in planning..? They do not read few emails..!! I mail everything in advance and he says that he scan every minor details. What details only God knows.
Leaving to family was a pain and these bosses are catalyst in that pain. This alone freezing journey is mother of all pains. Only I know; how I manage tickets .from Delhi it was Rajdhani Express that was pretty good but from Lucknow its Sadhbhavna Express , This is one of the worse train ;it is also a long distance train, might be late and dirty too. Any how I reached Lucknow railways station; either God knows or I know.
I do not realized why these railway stations are so crowded and dirty. Round-o-clock you can find people on railway stations; I surprise some times Is everyone in India travels everyday..? May be true or may be not. Lucknow is capital of Uttar Pradesh most populated state in India; population of this state is equal to population of Brazil. Might be being capital of such big state; this railway station is crowded, if this station is jam pack then it might not be surprising, I have to catch my train in next 20 mints.
Just notice board flashed “Sadhbhavna Express on platform no. 9, train is 15 mints late”.
15 mints late…wow !!!
Such delay we do not consider late in Indian railways; even trains are 30-40 mint that late is fine, we are mentally prepared for train late. But this train is arriving on platform no. 9. This thing is unfair because I am with one back pack, one suitcase and carrying myself; it is going to be big task for me, But I cannot do anything; I have spare time so I am walking. And looking around, My God…. yes really it’s cold here….!!!!!!
All around I can see people are in thick sweaters and caps, very colorful surrounding, too many tea vendors, snakes and fried items. I am the full stomach so I am not in mood to eat anything; I am looking all around and feeling fog over my head.
Just heard announcement “Sadhbhavna Express arriving on platform number 9”
This is good for me; “Why not see my seat number” this thing flashing in my mind.
“Coach AS-2, seat number 26”
Seat number 26 means middle seat; this is odd, very odd; come on I have to take permission from fellow passenger to allow me to use my seat. Till my fellow passengers want to set on lower seat I have to allow them to set. This is miserable. I can sleep till 10: 30 or somewhat near to that time but right now its 7:25 PM only!!! Oh God help me… I am tired.
“Side please”…Hello bhi aage jane do…side…side. Bhai dekh ke… Ye saman kiska hai”
These types of sounds are coming from all around me, but any how I reached to my seat, seat number 26. And I am looking around on seat number 25 there was as old man may be in 65 to 70 in traditional dress Kurta and Dhoti, with him there was a lady she was also in 60’s may be his wife and another man may be with him because he was also in same type of dress, both men are looking alike .mix color hair, rudrakch-mala in neck. This group is in normal dress like simple middle class family. There was another young boy may be in his late 20’s he was busy with his smart phone and listening to music. There was a seat vacant in this compartment. May be someone will come later. Its long distance journey and I will take 8-9 Hrs. to reach Delhi.
Faaa…Bad luck again not a single girl around me. My god it’s my long pending wish from you that I should have the journey with a beautiful girl. But you never listen to me..!!.
I always have to journey with old aunties. Never ever a beautiful girl was next to me…why God…why??
Please listen to me once in life. God you know it very well when there is a beautiful girl around then times goes zoom… zoom. This never happen to me, always with my friends. I am poor champ.
“Please sit “what this sound … … That old man said again “This is my seat 25, you can sit son” .
I said “Thanks mine is seat number. 26, Let me arrange my luggage “.
“Fine take your time” he said
It is just chaos around me. People all around, too much noise… Bad. oh.. Why so many people come to see off just to a single person?
Now I feel push …train started, thanks God now I feel good. People around me settling down. Now it is good around me. I am feeling relax; I started recalling memories of last day celebration. How good it was…! So much fun I had there with family. Nice food, nice people nice bonding.
“So are you also going to Delhi…?” A voice touched my ears. It is same old man.
I said “yes I am going to Delhi, I lives there”
He said ‘My son also lives there; he is working there in an IT company’. I am going to meet him.
I said “This is Good, I also work in Delhi, I work for IT Company, and it is in Noida”.
He said “Good Son. It is nice, you are looking tired..?”
I said “ya… may be because of busy schedule; I came to Lucknow to attend my cousin marriage”. Maybe this is effect of that.
He laughs and said, “This is Nice, we should talk. You know its long journey”.
I replied “Thanks, I am glad, but I am a bit tired, I would like to rest early”.
“OK, I can understand but still its 8 PM,” he said
“I am from Sasaram ,Bihar, my name is Rajender Sharma, I retired as school teacher, she is my wife and the another one is my brother Surender .As you know that after being retire people have a lot of time to spend so I am going to spend winters with my son there in Delhi”
“Your son must be happy to see you” I said with added smile.
“Yes he is coming to receive us at station” Sharma ji told
“This is good” I said, “whenever my parent also arrives I also come to receive them… “
“This is good help for senior citizen like us. We are not habitual of such big cities like Delhi” Sharma ji told “Usually senior people like relax and easy life, not fast like you youngsters” with smile.
I laugh… “hahaha .. Who wants fast life…. I wish I could live slow life, running madly is an obligation in big cities.”
“This is true… people like me from small cities are habitual of slow and relax life. “ , with a pause…
“But now a day also in small cities life is fast.” Being nostalgic Sharma ji said …”I wish I could live my life as I was a kid”.
I said “how was life when you where kid, Sir… I think there is no changes happen in small cities till now..? Also my village is same as it was 10 years ago.”I continued.
“At my childhood life was relax and easy. It was so much big areas to plan. These areas were so big that there were haunted places and ghost live nearby us…” said in voice. “Now a day you young people do not encounter with such incidents”. Sharma ji said in grave voice and in high pitch.
“Haunted place…eeeh , haunted people , ghost these are just myth” I said with smile.. “I know old people said such things; even my grandfather also told me. But these are just stories; people hear such stories and keep telling to other”.
“I never encountered such thing, even not meet anyone who has encountered it “I smile and jumping my shoulders up…while leaning towards back I whispered…“I wish I could face such ghostly encounter… I wish I can…!!!” I was mumbling.
“Thanks to God, son you never faced any such thing, it is one of most horrible experience of life; which you could not forget in your entire life”.
“How do you know this… How you could utter with such legitimacy ..?”
“I faced It.; I have my personal experience” Sharma ji spoken with courage and proud
“No way…. How this happened “words broken out automatically from my mouth.
“Are you serious..? Is it a mischief?, please tell me” I said suddenly
“Tea…..Coffee, tea … chai…..chai “suddenly this sound came to me.. There were tea vendors,
Tea vendor asked “Do you want tea or coffee sir ji..?”
“Two Tea please…” Sharma ji said…”It is long winter night” with smile
I said “Thanks uncle ji”. By the time I check my watch it is two hours since we started our journey, it is a bit warm inside may be temperature outside less than 10 degree. Sipping hot tea was soothing; I am enjoying it slowly… slowly.
I am curious to know about his ghostly encounter and asked him “Sharma ji, please could you tell me a bit more about your experience”.
“Yes sure why not … ahhh.. I am enjoying my tea” he said
“Me too…” I said and we laugh profoundly.
He said, “It was my experience around 40-45 years ago when I was a school kid”
My village was a small village it consist of 20-25 families. On east side of my village there was a big pond. My school was also east side. We use that pond for all things, for washing our cattle, for swimming, for pooja, for all things. Way to my school was also goes through nearby pond; even our nearest market was also on my school side. So for all activities we have to go nearby pond.
“What was on remaining side of your village..? Nothing I guess”, I said while little laughing.
He said,” no there was fields on remaining side, mostly, west and south side, on north side there was a temple too.”
Sharma ji said, “I use to go to my school like any other kids, and market too, I was like any other kid of my age group, but my elders told me that avoid going towards pond in evening, and also do not go alone on that way. That side is haunted, specially that area nearby Neem tree.”
Like any young boy I do not believe in such things, what you are thinking right now… I thought these things might me hoax, or some pranks what people do usually to make fool others. Or might be those people are right, because some time I also feel something bad around that neem tree area, I usually thought that might be superstition because my friend told me about that.” Sharma je said after long breath.
“Sharma ji, again you are going to start Mangla’s story..!!” a soft female voice vibrated by ears..
I turned around and is saw it was wife of shama ji…. A bit, depress looking.
She said “You know I do not like to recall this Mangla’s story. I feel horrified.. You know it ..!!”
Who is this Managla and what this story is all about… I am feeling excitement. I want to know more about it. And her fear was making me excited more and more… I want to know about Mangla… but how to convince Sharma ji to start his story telling..?
“Haha it is just a fine story … It was my experience. You know it” Sharma ji told to his wife
“Listen son it is not a story. It is my experience.. I want to share it with you” he told me
My ears tuned around his voice; and not I was trying to listen carefully. I sit close to him and placed white pillow my back; wrapped myself it blanket. I am excited to listen.
Suddenly piercing sound of steel grinding came… I am surprise what happen. It is like someone kicked me out from my dream…. I look out to find source.
To be continued….
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