I was at Vashi station this Monday. It was 1.15 in the Morning. I was very late for the Office. I looked around to see that the platform was practically deserted.
“Khaali train milegii.!” I said to myself. I’ll board an empty train.
Out of nowhere, A Kid walked upto me and asked “Bhaiyya, Kurla ko train kahaan aayegi?” Where do I board a train to Kurla?
Atif Aslam was blaring into my ears. The kid spoke the same moment as Atif peaked... “Tum hi ho.. Beshubaa ..tum hi ho..!” He went unheard.
“Kyaa chahiye?” I asked, as I paused Atif Aslam.What do you want?
Maybe I said that too loudly. I don’t know, the song was playing at full volume.
The kid repeated the question. I merely pointed towards Platform 3.
A little while later, I glanced at the indicator. My train was scheduled to arrive at 1.35 AM. While the kid had missed his last train.
I looked around and I spotted the Kid who was looking suspiciously at a train stalled on Platform # 3 . The train had completed it’s last run of the day. One could say that the kid was surreptitiously contemplating boarding the train, but what was stopping him was the fact that the train was devoid of passengers.
I suddenly felt sorry for him as he would have to wait till 4.00 AM for the first train. I was not sure if he even understood that his train was at 4.00 AM. He was a poor kid, but not an urchin. A decently dressed poor kid, I would say.
He looked at the indicator, perhaps understood that the train was at 4.00 AM. His face was inscrutable, but I could say that he was scared. He walked across the platform to a bench and sat there. Two men were already seated there.
On the other end of the platform, I saw two policemen patrolling the station. I knew what would happen next. The policemen checked the kid’s tickets and simply asked the kid to leave railway station. The other two were mere spectators.
My heart reached out to the kid, who would have to spend a night on the roads. I was not happy with myself.
My train arrived.
I realized I forgot to turn Atif Aslam back on.