What's your story?

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

Trains are my most cherished mode of transport. This is due to a variety of reasons including the freshness, companionship and speed of the mode. Last year, during my vacation in India, I happened to board a train to go to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It was a 6 hours journey and thus we had chosen the sleeping compartment. This is not the normal metro train you see in this modern age. I am talking about century old trains running on steam engines (like the Hogwarts express).

I occupied the top bunk which was reserved for me earlier. After all the lights went out, everything fell into silence and all I could hear were the rustling of the train engine and the white noise of the wheels turning on the rails. As I started twisting and turning to get some sleep, I noticed some light emission on the opposite bunk. Since I wasn't getting any sleep, I turned to gawk at the person. It was dark and staring in the dark is licit. The light suddenly went off and the person started talking.

Inside the train. 

"Urangiyo da?" (did you sleep, my dear?). By his sound, I assumed he was a man in around his 20s.

 "I'm sorry", he said again. I could hear notes of regret and sadness in his voice. This was followed with some murmurs and nods. 

I must have fallen asleep somewhere in between because the next time I looked, 4 hours had passed and the man was no longer in his bunk. He must have gotten off at some station. I cursed myself for falling asleep. I wanted to know what the man looked like. Did he have a beard? Was he tall? Did he have black eyes?

Unanswered questions kept popping in my mind. I felt uneasy and curious. I wondered who he was talking to. Maybe a lover? What is his story? Does he have a lot of friends?

For the next few days, these thoughts clouded my mind. Every person I looked at, I looked at differently. Every one has a story. Every one has their baggage. I don't know the story of the man that occupied the bunk next to mine. But I'm sure he has a novella of a story to say. 

Every train journey has a story to tell. For some time, we all are a part of the same journey to our final destination. Some may live while some may perish... and that's their story. 

Has there been an incident that has changed your perspective?

What's your story? Find it, tell it, share it and celebrate it.


  1. er, i dun think i can find a word in "urangiyo da" which can be assosiated to the english word "my dear" .. do you ? :P


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