Life to me, doesn’t exist beyond a certain set of people. Beyond them, life is farce. I don’t mean to be rude to this world but yes, till I haven’t seen you, heard you and sensed you, you don’t exist for me.
And so, my best and my worst has only been with and to the people who are around me.
I was travelling from Durg, Chhattisgarh – place where I studied and completed my graduation to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh – My Home Town. This evening, to say the least, had been frantic. And then there was this train Amarkantak Express that usually left Durg at 4:20 pm sharp. But it left 45 minutes late and in India, there’s a saying – if a train leaves late, it reaches even later.
A calm night later in the morning, I got up and found myself scratching my head on the small side lower berth of the bogie. As I watched the scenes go by rapidly, I found after passing an intermediate station that we were late by an hour. By accident though, a prick pointing out from the damaged plywood berth pierced and got stuck inside the nail of my right index finger. It was really thick and I now had to bear that pain for next 6 hours.
My mother was to pick me up at the station. We were in touch over the phone and she told me she was on her way to the station. I reached but didn’t find her in the parking. I called her and she gave me a news flash – “I’ve met with an accident. Please come home by yourself”.
“Are you OK?”.
“Yes, I’m fine (sobbing)”.
I reached home 45 minutes later worried sick. I looked at our car – the drivers door on the right was badly damaged. I could only imagine what may have raged. Mom took me in, we sat on the sofa. I was so angry. How could someone do this her? She started explaining out of guilt – “A biker came from the right and banged into the car. He went through the window across my face and banged into the left door from the inside”.
“A lot of people came running in. I was very scared and couldn’t talk. I took him to the hospital. And by the time you came, I had come home. I was very scared. Someone stole my purse too”.
She was crying her heart out now and for a moment, I totally forgot the pain in my finger. I took her in my arms and covered her ,for I don’t know how many minutes.
When she finally stopped crying, I explained to her that it was not her fault and she did very well to take the guy to the hospital.
The brave woman that she is, she started getting better.
That’s when I found the pain throbbing in my finger again. I showed it to her and she ran for the cupboard. She brought a pin and started scraping my finger for a sight of that prick wound which had already healed.
She scraped and scraped and finally when reached the prick, she pulled out nose pliers and dug them into my finger. Only I know the pain that seared through my finger that noon and when she finally dug it out and pulled it, blood finally started running out and the pain relieved considerably.
Since then, she has told me a countless times, how my hug showed her that I had grown up and will take care of her. That she was really relieved when I did that and she remembered it too because I did that for the first time.
Both of us will never forget that day.