The Woman Who Got Down at King’s Circle
by Saranyan BV
The first day, I hadn’t noticed her, nor on the second, or the third and for sometime. Then I notice her, she sits opposite me by the dirty window, snoozes keeping her head on the bag she carries, our journey is one hour long. It’s a nice feeling when familiar face travels along.
She’s fair like fish-fillet, her brown tresses falls over the head on her knees, she sleeps in fetal upright position. Her jeans and cotton suggest she’s a student, has fine set of teeth, which is why my eyes follow her. She struggles not to see me, her eyes dart on all objects in the train, the canopy, the luggage-rack, the graffiti and the bill which assures better sexual performance. Her eyes turn gray, it chills me in the spine, she sits opposite me. I learn her name is Sula Maitre from the label on her bag and feel good to know.
Last Wednesday a matronly-looking woman gets in our compartment at Bandra and she sits adjacent to the girl, they readjust their sitting position in a manner meaning to give more space to the other, but they occupy more space eventually. The woman too has fine set of teeth and I begin to notice her. The girl notices that I notice.
The woman pants and sweats, drops of sweat above her upper lips are string of pearls. She bends over the girls’ lap and talks love things to the young man who’s come to see her off. They hold hands as the train moves, the woman frets and whimpers and the young man fade. For sometime, the woman closes her forlorn eyes, she’s about to cry. The girl and me watch this and acknowledge we are watching.
In a fit of fury, the woman wakes and dials and speaks into her mobile. She tells the listener she wants to elope, and she says can’t wait anymore and to hell with her husband and says she will jump off the train. The girl and me are disturbed about this, the girl gives scornful look and I am expressionless.
This goes on and the girl shutting her eyes, overhears the conversation in which neither of us have stake. We judge the woman from our viewpoint.
The woman disconnects, the bead of sweat’s evaporated. I look around how many passengers heard her and fear I am protective about the woman. During the silence which follows, girl is back to the game of averting my eyes.
At King’s Circle, the woman gets down, the girl traces her movement in Platform No1.
The girl and me, travel the next day and the next to next and for sometime, she occupies the same seat opposite me, we feel the warmth of camaraderie in our hearts, but we don’t speak. By end of May, my Sula stops coming by this local. Her curriculum over, the girl is unlikely to take this train again.
I feel terribly lonely.