A Journey to Bhopal


Excitement and emotion of a 12 year old boy Nityam, who is doing the train journey alone first time in his life.

father-and-son

“Papa, please hurry otherwise we will miss the train”, Nityam says to his father, while his father is parking bike at parking stand of Ujjain railway station. Nityam is a 12 year old boy and class 7th student. He is going to Bhopal for National Talent Search exam. It’s not the thing that Nityam is going to Bhopal first time, but today he will do the train journey alone, first time in his life. He did the train journey with his parents earlier but, this time his parents are busy with their work and Nityam has to do the train journey alone.

“What’s the cost of general ticket from Ujjain to Bhopal” Nityam asks while they enter at platform after purchasing ticket. “Sixty rupees”, his father replies. ”What is the coach number” Nityam’s curiosity and excitement is clearly visible from his questions. “There are two general coaches in Malwa Express, one is just after the engine and other one is at last.” Nityam and his father entered at the left corner of the platform and walk towards the right corner. ”So we have to catch the general coach at the start”, it seems that Nityam is trying to confirm his understanding. “No, it will be last”, his father says. “Why, if train comes from left direction than the compartment after the engine will stand on the right most corner” Nityam thinks logically. “Train from Indore to Bhopal comes from left direction at Ujjain railway stataion and goes to same direction but on different track; its engine get shifted from right to left corner at Ujjain” his father explained him. “Oh I see” Nityam is satisfied now. Nityam never bothered about ticket cost, coach number and other details of train in his earlier journey. But this time several queries raised in his mind.

“When will be I reached to Bhopal by this train”, Nityam’s curiosity is creating series of questions. “Around seven in evening, I have called to Shyam uncle; he will receive you at Bhopal station.” Nityam and his father are waiting for the train at right most corner of platform. “Don’t be naughty in the train and don’t talk much with other passengers; don’t buy and eat anything in the train” his father advised him. “Papa, Mummy is already told me about these things” Nityam said carelessly.

Soon the train arrived. Nityam and his father entered in the train and they manage to get a window seat.

“I love the window seat” Nityam told to his father happily. Nityam put his bag below the seat and tell to his father “I will manage now, you may leave”. His father doesn’t say anything and go outside the train. Nityam adjust himself at the seat and look on other passengers. A lady is sitting in front of him with a baby; her baby is crying loudly. A young man sits near him and listening old Hindi songs on radio. Nityam doesn’t like old Hindi songs. He just irritate by the noise of baby’s cry and radio.

“Meet Shyam uncle when you will reach at Bhopal station.” Nityam’s father said from outside the window of the train. “Find out the exam center one day before the exam” Nityam move his head in OK mode. “Read the instructions carefully before solving the paper”, it seems that his father’s advises are endless. “Papa, I know these; you should go home now otherwise you will be late at work”. Nityam thinks that his father is treating him as a child but now he is mature.

Usually Malwa express has stoppage of fifteen minutes at Ujjain station, but today it seems more than that because it does not left the station after the twenty minutes of arriving. Soon there is an announcement that train is delayed by 50 minutes and left the station after 30 minutes.

“Attempt the easy questions first and take care about time while solving the paper”, it seems that his father’s advises will not be finished till train departures. Nityam is hearing his father’s advice mixed with baby’s cry and old Hindi songs but, he doesn’t like any one from it.  “Be aware in journey and don’t sleep when Bhopal is just to arrive”, series of advises from his father. Nityam get irritated by his father’s advice, old Hindi songs and baby’s cry. “Sure papa, I will take care about these. You may leave now, mummy is waiting for you and you have to go at work also.” Nityam said to his father so that he can leave now. His father maintains a distance from train after this sentence. He finds a relative at platform and start talking with him.

“Papa thinks that i am still a child…well…i can care my self now…and its just a journey of three hours…i can easily manage it alone now…” Nityam talks to himself for a moment; and start looking to the people at his compartment. “Are you going first time alone” an old man sit at the corner of seat asked him. “No” Nityam clearly lies to that old man. “Why this man is asking such question to me” Nityam thinks while looking at the old man suspiciously. “Is he your father”  old man asked next question. Nityam don’t want to talk with old man but still he moved his head in yes mode. “He will not go untill train departures” Old man said. Nityam shows no interest in talking with old man and start looking outside the window.

For next 5 minutes Niyam’s father was engaged with relatives. Nityam was irritated by listening baby’s cry, old songs and old man’s conversation in these 5 minutes. Nityam thinks that he is mature enough to manage from here; his father should go otherwise he will be late at work, and also this old man got the things that i am doing train journey alone first time. He goes outside the train and says to his father “Papa, train is delayed by 50 minutes and it will leave the station after 15-20 minutes; you may go now; I will manage from here “Nityam is very serious this time. His maturates and seriousness is clearly visible in his voice. “Yeah, I am going; now go inside the train and take your seat “his father replied. “Ok beta, bye-bye take care and all the best” his father said from window while Nityam sit at his seat.

Next 20 minutes are very painful for Nityam. It’s very hot in the train and he get irritated by listening old songs and baby’s cry. “Why people come with babies and radio in train…these things create inconvenience for everyone…people should show some matureness.” Nityam thought.

Finally train start moving at delayed time and Nityam says “thank God!” to himself. He just looked at the platform turmoil while train started moving from there. Train start moving slowly from left to right direction and Nityam see some passengers catch the train by running. He also see some relatives and friends who come to see off their loved ones finally saying “bye’’ to them.

When train is just about to leave platform, he sees his father is present at the right corner of the platform. When their eyes meet with each other, his father waves his hand in TATA mode. Nityam also responds with TATA and a beautiful smile. Train leaves the platform in just three to four seconds; Nityam and his father waves their hand toward each other without blinking their eyes in those moments. A self satisfactory, very natural, lovely and hearty smile is present on both the faces. Nityam feels that lots of blessing, complements and love showered on him by this moment… and suddenly he realized that the baby cried earlier playing happily in the lap of her father… old man goes into peaceful sleep… and a sweat song played on the radio “कितना प्यार हमें करते हैं, आज हमें मालूम हुआ !…………………………………………………………………”

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2 thoughts on “A Journey to Bhopal

  1. Luvly story..
    Sumtimes we really dont understand the deepest of feelings that lie behind the smallest of actions..
    the expressions of luv, care and well wishing often go unnoticed..
    next time onwards, i’ll do remember this thing while parting frm my parents at railway platform, or while my mom n frnds will keep instructing me about every new venture of life, of when my big brother will giv me 100 warnings b4 goin 4 an excursion..
    touching one 🙂

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