I was excited!!! My tickets were not confirmed. I got RAC-2. Anyways, there were not many options left for me. I had to reach back home that weekend. So, I hopped into my coach.
The AC was too cool and I was literally shivering. A man came distributing a pillow, a blanket and two other white sheets for everyone. I let out a sigh of relief. I was eagerly awaiting my turn to grab my share of luxuries. But, he did not give any.
I asked, “Excuse me, wont you give for RAC passengers?” He said, “No. only for confirmed ones” and left.
I was already hit by cold, cough and throat pain. I could not imagine a night’s journey in that chill.
My co-passengers included two rather old ladies. One was wearing a crisp green colored cotton sari. The other one was wearing a night gown. She looked terribly sick and much older than she actually was. She talked stylish English. She was even operating a Samsung smart phone with a touch screen. They were accompanied with a twenty-so guy. I assumed that he was sick lady’s son. They even discussed about English books and authors.
They extended conversations with me. I came to know that the sick old lady was actually being diagnosed for cancer. But, she was not complaining. She had a smile in her face and her eyes were twinkling in spite of the wrinkles. The way she spoke ensured that she was celebrating her life.
She said to me, “I cannot climb and reach to the upper berth. You sleep there and I will sit in your place.”
I was reluctant to accept the offer. I could not envision myself sitting all through the night, though I was as healthy ox. So, I did not want her to go through that; more so because she was unwell.
The other lady also insisted. So, I had to accept the offer. By then, the other lady laid blankets and placed pillows. I could not stop admiring them. They were so old. But, they were so energetic and enthusiastic. I was in no way related to them. But, they took care of me. I was able to feel their warmth. I wondered if somebody can be so helping and caring. I also wondered if my energy level would match theirs when I reach their age.
I cursed God for giving so much pain to the lady in the form of cancer. I prayed that she gets enough strength to endure the pain that chemotherapy would give.
I wanted to touch her hands and assure that everything would be alright. But, I was too shy to do that. I wanted to hug her and say that the pain would not last long. But, I just could not do that. May be that is the difference. We are so introverted. Even now, as I am typing this post, I feel bad that I was bad enough not to say anything that would pep up her spirits. After all, they did so much to me without expecting almost anything in return.
Next morning, I thanked them for being so amicable. Humanitarian qualities are not yet extinct, I thought. Thus I raced towards my home. Yes, but only after ensuring that my mobile phone was with me!!!