Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Small Halt

The bus stopped with a sudden jerk, as my eyes opened. It was almost dawn and we reached the transit point between Assam and Tripura – Churaibari, the place where every bus has to stop for clearance, before they can enter Tripura or go out of the state. The place was almost barren. There was nothing except the small Police Post, a tiny puncture shop and a still smaller tea stall where everyone went for washing their tired faces and probably, for a cup of tea and some cookies. Well, that’s all you would get there. A few hawkers were walking around with their goods – cucumber, masala muri or chanachur, boiled eggs and jackfruits. Nobody had the urge to eat those things at this early hour in the day. Even the hawkers knew that, I felt, for they were not shouting as much. Maybe they were saving the energy for the long day to come. The busses will come and leave, but they have to stay awake as late till midnight and get up again this time tomorrow. Most of the passengers were sluggish to get down from their seats. It was not light as yet. It was hot, but the dawn brought along a cool breeze that somehow made its way through the broken glass window panes of the bus. A few commuters went down and stretched themselves, after the night long slumber. On the way down, one of them came to me and asked if I have a matchbox. I realized that I can do well with a smoke too. I went down, lit the cigarette and looked up, as I smoked out. There was a ray of twilight coming from behind the bus, standing next to us. I showed the same to the man in his mid thirties, who looked at it but did not show any interest whatsoever. I wanted to see the sky more closely. And I walked down the road and tried to see through the windows of that bus, when I saw her for the first time. She was also travelling the same route, just behind me for almost 15 hours now and I am seeing her for the first time. What a shame! I came close to the window as the cigarette smoked itself, to have a closer look. She was asleep, wrapped up in that green blanket. I could see only her gorgeous face, with the same glow which felt like a bud, about to bloom. She did not move; her nostrils were still; the locks of hair on her face were brushing the lips, but she did not move. I threw the cigarette butt – it was useless to hold it when you are not smoking. I just wanted to call her, but my jaws were stuck. Suddenly my bus woke up and gave a nasty call – I had to go now, but can’t I talk to her for a moment? Can I just ask how she is and go? Nope. There was no time and it was too late. My mate in the bus popped out his head from the window and waved at me; my bus was about to leave. I looked at her for one last time – she was calm, relaxed and silent, unaware of any movement around her. The eyes would not open to see me, not even once. The helper swung himself out of the door and waved at me for the last time. The final call! I had to go and I left. I jumped in as the bus crossed the boundary slowly. It is going to run like hell once it crosses the border area. It would not wait for me. It would not wait for her, to come close to us. Her bus might have come here 15 minutes later and this distance in time will be maintained till we reach Agartala. I am not sure where she will get down. I could not think who will be waiting for her there. All I was able to think was her flawless face – I wish she would open her eyes for once. My mate asked in that grave voice of his, “Was there anybody in there, you know?” I was taken aback by this question. Never felt he would talk to me, after this long speechless journey. I don’t know if he heard my answer. I murmured within, “Yes, my wife - my ex wife!” and closed my eyes.


  1. A good Picture...
    I always love to here something about those beautiful, green valleys of North East..
    Rusking Bond has similar kind of description in his stories....
    Good Work!!!

  2. Another great story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice one buddy though too short.


  4. you saw her for the first time and she was ur first wife.....
    the story was beautiful.. :)
    loved it

  5. Thanks Guys ...
    @ Jason

    Buddy, there was a constraint of words for the last two stories I posted. In this one, I thought of increasing the word limit to 750. Short story - let it be short!

    @ Alisha

    Author saw his ex-wife for the first time - in that journey. They were travelling for 15 hours, virtually together - but saw her (for the first time) only at that moment ...

  6. Nice story buddy!!Nice pix also.. Axomia logpai bhal lagil..

  7. Small but lovely and memorable halt....liked it.



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Tan :)

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