A local train journey was not new to him. It was an integral part of his growing up years in college. Relishing the extra sweet tea served in mud cups, savoring the local sweets and namkeen, singing in train were part of those journeys back then. However, the most memorable part were those short lived relationships which used to get build with strangers during the journey. The conversation, the laughter and the occasional remorse which used to foster through the journey was remarkable.
It was 20 years since he had stepped into a local train to meet his revered professor in college. He was keenly looking forward to meet his favorite professor with whom he had lost touch completely. A deep sense of guilt infused inside him.
In all these years he had earned all the good things life could have possibly offered him including a splendid car. But he chose the train to relive a few old moments.
The crowd seemed busy and occupied. Some occupied with reading the newspaper, some busy with the cell phone, some with their music gadgets and quite a few in their thoughts.
A lot had changed since then.
But the beggars were still at large. He found a rare innocence in them. They were still comfortable forsaking their ego and asking for a few pennies as they used to many years back.
He wondered " It's the desire to get more that evolves a person".
A lot had evolved since those early years. Most of it was undesirable according to him. However, what remained static did make him feel nostalgic but saddened him equally.
He was not complaining. He was simply awed by the obvious revelation.
He was missing the companionship of his friends as the crowd appeared indifferent.
Ticket collector had appeared by then and he realized that he did not buy the ticket. He was worried about the possible embarassment of shelling out a fine in the midst of a crowd. Wearing an expensive suit and yet not buying a train ticket would be very embarrassing.
Collector said " Dada ticket please".
He struggled to find an appropriate response. A perplexed look was evident on his face. The ticket collector repeated his words. Now in a more stern voice. Indeed a lot had not changed he thought.
The blind passenger next to him took out a ticket and offered it to the ticket collector.
The ticket collector left the compartment.
He was now inquisitive about the generosity showed by the blind person next to him. He told him "Dada thanks a lot". The blind man replied " Pleasure is entirely mine. My daughter could not accompany me in the last minute and I had a spare ticket for the entire route."
He further inquired " What do you do Sir?" The blind man replied " I am a professor in the city college".
The station had arrived and the professor left in a hurry from the train.