With shaky hands Mr. Bhide lifted his briefcase and walked into the train. There was not much difficulty in finding his coupe. His son-in-law Ajit came inside to ensure that he has got his seat.
Train whistled and came to life. The vibration in seat eventually increase and train began to move. Ajit bid goodbye and left. Mr. Bhide turned back see him leaving.
As the train gathered pace, Mr. Bhide thoughts to gather pace. Train left Panvel station and the barren land began to show outside. Last two day wee very happening for him. One a year he visited his daughter in Mumbai.
After his wifes untimely death Mr. Bhide had no one left in this world except his daughter Pranjali. He lived alone in his ancestral home in the small village of Aldona. He worked in bank for several years. His daughter was an engineer and got married 6 years ago. She had a daughter Aditi.
With th trains rhythmic noise, Bhide felt a pain deep down his heart. As if some important part of his life is gone missing. He knew very well that his life was now barren. His daughter received him well and paid good attention to him while he was at her place. She was loving as caring as usual. Aditi was even better. Aditi’s smile reminded him of Pranjali’s childhood. There was a strong resemblance between Pranjali and Aditi.
Mr. Bhide liked to visit his daughter. Sometimes secretly he wished if he could stay with her all the time but his ego would never allow that feeling to surface up. As he left he tried to observe Pranjali’s face. He knew that the family has plans to visit McDonalds soon after he leaves. Rather than bidding farewell to him Pranjali is more occupied with Aditi who is trying to get too close to the platform etc. But he never saw the feeling he wanted to see in her eyes.
Pranjali had her own new world. And in that world did not have much of important place. Bhide remembered his wife. Whenever he left a new place in train he received a detailed set of instructions from her.
Train stopped with a jerk on Nilaje station. With a hiss it left out some air in the compressor and Mr. Bhide’s thoughts too came at halt. With memories of his wife he had opened a pandoras box.
He wished that she should have been there with him in these two days. She would have been so very happy to cuddle Aditi. Mr. Bhide tried to imagine her happy face and he realized that with every happy moment that came across he wished that she should have been there and with that thought the happiness of the moment would get diluted, and whenever he found himself in difficult situation, whenever he could not locate his medicines or socks or whenever he felt like having a cup of tea at night, he wished so strongly that she should have been there. And in the moments of agony, even though such moments were rare now, not because such events did not happen but his sensitiveness towards such events had weakened, in such moments he simply missed her so very hard.
All that Mr. Bhide had now was left with were her memories. Memories that lived through innumerable things. His watch, his wallet, his handkerchief and almost everything in house was her choice. He knew that most of those things were now out of fashion, but his mind simply did not allow to get rid of them.
He recalled his struggles throughout his life, everything that he had earnt was through his own efforts but it was simply impossible without his wife’s support. The thing that hurt him the most till today though it might sound very immature was that, he had never thanked her even once for all that he had done and he knew that wherever her soul was now, she never ever expected it.
Matsyagandha express had now entered a tunnel and with Mr. Bhide’s thoughts too were getting blurred. He removed his glassed and touched his shirt pocket to reach the pouch only to remember that he had most probably left it at his daughter’s place. He smiled and wished again “she should have been there”.