It is still dark when the train stops. I stretch my hands as far as I can in the upper berth and yawn
I hate it when I have to disembark at a station that is not the last stop. So much hurrying.
I gather my belongings and dump them into my handbag. I realise that my bag had remained open throughout the night. I zip it up and scramble down. I have two suitcases, one big and one small. Both blue. I hate blue but always end up with blue suitcases. Maybe because they are the cheapest.
I can’t find anything to tie my hair with, so I put my hair up in a bun. How do women look so effortlessly chic in messy buns when I always end up looking like I just lost a fight at the water lorry.
I pull out the suitcases from under the seat. The big blue one needs an angry yank to come out. Most of the passengers have already disembarked, so I am able to roll both my suitcases without bumping into impatient people. I roll them down the platform and go towards the exit. There is a ticket checker at the exit gate. Strange.
I stand in the line waiting for him to check the tickets and a wave of horror sweeps over me. I don’t have the ticket with me. It was a physical ticket, the one printed on the small piece of cardboard. Do they even make those these days? A family in front of me say that the TTR already checked theirs on the train and this checker lets them pass. It is now my turn. I tell him the same, but he is not convinced. He tells me to show it anyway. I open my handbag and fumble with the stuff inside. There is so. much. junk. Something tells me to slip a finger into the tiniest compartment of the bag and miraculously the ticket appears. First Class. Rupees 30. The ticket checker nods and lets me go. I pass the gates and place my bags on a bench to organise myself. A wave of panic sweeps over me! I do not have my phone or Kindle! Damn. I must have left them on the berth!
I grab my stuff and run back into the platform. The train has slowly started to move. I don’t remember my coach, so I leave my suitcases on the platform and rush into the one nearest to me. The upper berths have been folded down. This is the train where the berths are allowed to be folded out only after 9pm. I hate this new Railway Ministry’s rules. Someone would have found my things and stolen them. There is no way it is going to end up in the lost and found.
I hop off the train as it picks up speed. I see some guards standing at the door of a compartment. As a last ditch attempt, I run along with the train and tell them that I have lost my phone and Kindle on the train and ask them if they can do anything about it. They look at each other and say something. Suddenly my phone rings. Damn! I reach into my pocket and there it is! I breathe a huge sigh of relief. I must have put it in my pocket when I was fumbling for the ticket in my handbag.
The guards laugh too. Then one of them shouts to me, ‘ You said Kindle. What is that?’
‘It is a book’, I shout back.
‘Yes. It has a brown cover and looks like a big cellphone’
The train is picking up speed and I run faster to keep talking to the guards.
I lift my left hand and show them what I am holding. ‘Kindle’, I shout louder and wave it at them. ‘It looks like this.’
The train thunders off on its tracks.
How do I interpret this dream? Something as obvious as ‘what you so desperately search for has been with you all the time’?