I could now breath. I looked around and scanned all the people around me. There were people from variant walks of life; Bihari families, two middle aged men from Assam, a beautiful old Marwari couple going to visit their hometown in rural Bengal, an army man going to be posted at a new place across Brahmaputra again after 9 years and a lot of North-eastern young friendly faces and the most interesting one – this intriguing Bengali woman (who seemed to be an eunuch in first look). She caught my attention mainly because of that beautiful red bright sindoor tika on her forehead, stunning kaajal clad eyes and thick dark long hair tied into a braid which instantly gave me an impression of her being a Bengali woman, which I later discovered she was. I was almost bewitched by her charm. There was something about her aura that was quite intriguing and enticing. The train was moving now. I was a little low-spirited because there was no empty seat on the lower berth and no window on my upper berth. That made me feel a little caged, as I had day-dreamt about constant doses of visual delight throughout my train-journey to Guwahati. I decided to take my diary out and write something. I had brought this dairy with me, so that I could write whenever and whatever I felt all through my trip. I took a look around and caught a few pairs of eyes trying to have a peak into what I was doing. I discarded the idea of writing and simply sat there – people watching. There was this group of cute North-eastern college students, who were perhaps going to visit their homes. They were gossiping about life in Delhi and sharing jokes about their Delhite counterparts. Their tone was soft and puns hard-hitting.
I noticed a lot of curious eyes trying to figure out where I was heading to (alone). It was only later that I thought to myself that these people must have conspired to get friendly and eventually ask me about my whereabouts so as to satiate their curiosity. As time passed by, the fellow passengers became more friendly with each other and I for the first time in my life I felt that strangers can open up while commuting without really knowing each other or having certain pre-defined motives to fulfill. There was this hyperactive kid on the train, who continuously kept jumping around, laughing & asking cute silly questions. He made me think that kids are the only creatures who have the courage to honestly be themselves anywhere without fail. There were no curtains in the train. I felt privacy-deprived. Urgh! I thought to myself how can an express train not have curtains in 3rd AC. My fellow passengers, the ones who were like me, travelling for the first time in that train shared same thoughts. The food was bearable. In fact, for the first time in my life I traveled without falling sick because of food.
There were gorgeous views outside, especially the moment we entered Bengal. I had never in my life imagined Bengal the way I saw it from that train window. I thought to myself, how beautiful these unseen places in India are. The greenery was unmatched. The views were like those straight out of photographs of professional photographers. It was like being a part of a perfectly captured photographic view of dreamy gorgeous rustic India. It was drizzling in-betweens and the weather was changing every 5 minutes. I had never seen clouds floating so nearby that it felt like I could touch them easily if I could just get on the roof of the train and put up a ladder stand on. I giggled like an excited kid who had experienced something for the first time. The sky was super deep sky-blue in colour. I had never in my life seen sky so gorgeously sky-blue. The colours of anything and everything I saw were so happily bright that it was not funny. I could see each and every object in precise colours and shapes, as if there were no impurities or disguises anywhere. The houses, the structures, the mountains, the plains, the clouds, the rains, the rustic Bengali people, the railway tracks, everything was picturesque beyond imagination. My spirit was almost jumping with joy while I kept sitting calmly amongst the constant chatter of my fellow passengers, trying not to be too conspicuous and shady. I did it intentionally so as to not let anyone around me get free access to strike a conversation with me at their convenience. At the same time I was doing my best to remain calm and approachable in appearance. And I must say, I was quite successful in keeping everybody around me confused.