Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Woman on platform 10

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 38; the thirty-eighth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "The Woman on Platform Number 10"
The sun had just risen from its overnight slumber and was sneaking his rays everywhere with a rejuvenated vigor.  "Hot News!East Pakistan becomes Bangladesh" a newspaper boy screamed at the hurrying passengers. 'Kaapi Kaapi Kaapi',  the coffee seller bellowed. The aroma and vapors arising from his can blended with the morning air drawing the crowd like ants to a sugar hill. Porters in bright red attire scurried their way through oncoming loads and people, eager to start a new day.
The Trichy express was expected only in another two hours on platform no 10. Due to the same and the fact that it was at the fag end of the railway station , it was relatively less bustling compared to the other sections of the railway station.
A few people were curled up on the platform on stretched out newspapers or blankets, some still asleep, some awake and aware of the surrounding activities yet reluctant to open their eyes. Hardly discernible among the stretched out men and bundles was an infant, seven months old. He was cradled between his parents, his mother's guarding hands resting around his diminutive physique. A year of trying their luck in the city had proven futile. They were now headed back to their native village. The child slightly moved his hand, whimpered and then broke into loud wails. Like a switch turned on, his mother rose with a jerk. Adjusting the folds of her sari, she gathered him in her arms, drew him to her bosom and gently brushed his soft hair with her slender fingers. His sobs now disappeared in the feeble sound of his suckling. A few minutes later, his hunger satisfied, he started staring at the lights above and giggling. When he broke into a wail again, she knew what was wrong. She gently removed the white cloth tied around his waist, now dripping wet. After wiping him with a damp cloth, she wrapped another cloth around his waist and made a neat knot. She woke up her sleeping husband, handed him the playing child and went to a tap nearby. After washing the cloth well, she spread it on her iron trunk suitcase to dry. 'Chella Kutti'(darling little one) she spoke in baby tones when her son looked at her.

Around four decades passed.

The sun rose once again repeating his act of thousands of years , yet with the same rejuvenated spirit. Two porters hurried along, one of them engaged in a serious discussion with someone on his cellphone. The snack stall at the corner of the platform had vada, samosa, burgers and pizza slices arranged neatly next to one another.
The child now in his forties, moved through the platform, slowly. The frail hand of a woman was hooked in his, that of his mother. Her skin was pale and she was dressed in a light blue robe, something that resembled a nighty. He made her sit on a bench and sat next to her. Her eyes were looking at the sights around her but without any life. She did not seem to be cognizant of where she was or, for that matter,of the fact that the man who brought her there was her son. She kept tilting her head from one side to another. He bought a bun from the stall and put it in her hands. She quickly unwrapped it and started gnawing at it. He released her hand from his own , started walking ; first slowly and then rapidly and made his exit without looking back even once. The woman finished the bun soon. She was not aware that the person who had come with her was now gone. Her bladder became full and started leaking.  The urine made his way down her legs and wet her clothing. She was unperturbed by it or rather unaware of it. Oblivious of her condition the woman on platform 10 continued to stare at the unknown.




The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: C.Suresh, Participation Count: 7

49 comments:

  1. Very well woven story. The narrative is superb. The last sentence is soulful. It made my eyes moist.

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    1. Thank you Usha :) . Glad that you liked it

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  2. Beautifully narrated. Very relevant theme.

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  3. Aah! A poignant tale. A very nice prompt on the theme, Jayashree. All the best for BAT :)

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    1. Thanks Shilpa . Btw Sunday should have been a welcome relief from the a to z challenge eh ?

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  4. what can I say...the paybacks aren't what it should be.

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    1. They are not ! Thanks for stepping in

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  5. Jaish, you weaved it so beautifully...very well connected..a sad ending, but realistic..

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  6. How the wheel of time turns so well depicted in this lovely narrative Jaishree! Best of luck:)

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    1. Thanks Rahul. Wheels of time yes and they can take cruel shapes!

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  7. Sad tale but it holds so true in our society today does it not? Well written!

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    1. It does indeed Danny. Thanks for stepping in

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  8. I had goosebumps while reading the second part! Such a poignant narration on an unfortunate practice, which is seeping in more and more into the society these days.

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  9. :( Beautifully done Jaish. But why did he leave? :( So sad.

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    1. He left because he no longer wanted to look after his mother and hence abandoned her. Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Awesome narration, Jaish! Such a poignant tale. Loved it.

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  11. Touched Jaish, my eyes are moist

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  12. Now that's a story that'll stay on in my mind.
    Great work, Jaish. :)

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  13. oh, you made me cry, jaish!Deeply moving...great job! ATB for BAT!

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  14. I liked the way you have juxtaposed two parts of the narration. similar and yet so different. heart touching.

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  15. Superb Jaish! And what a take on the prompt!

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  16. Oh my gosh. This is absolutely marvelous storytelling....loved it!

    First time blogatoner....shreyasi

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  17. Her son was abandoning her? If I got the gist right, then it is such a poignant tale.

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  18. Heart wrenching tale! But not an uncommon one in life!
    All the Best for BAT!

    Rumya - The Woman on Platform No. 10

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  19. Narration was good.. really heart wrenching second half.. poor woman after everything she did :(

    The woman on platform number 10

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    1. Boy , you are one Harry potter fanatic are you? Thanks for stepping in

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  20. Loved the narration, too good!!

    ATB for BAT!

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  21. nice story, beautifully narrated

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  22. very sad but unfortunately true. Nice take on the theme!

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  23. Awesome narration! And a very different take on the theme. Liked it :)

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  24. Harsh reality, but beautifully written.

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  25. Wow! I dont know how I missed this...Seems I am running very slow these days. Wonderful Jaish... Cant tell how much I loved it

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  26. "C/o Platform" we say jokingly when the lodging has not been decided yet. But for the lady in the story its her reality.

    Touching tale about a person whose life comes a full circle and gets derailed.

    Enjoyed reading it, Jayashree.
    -----------------------------
    Irrelevant Aside - This is the Physics graduate in me talking. The Sun never rises or sets. It only appears to be doing that because the Earth turns on its axis. But this scientific fact can't stop poets and authors from waxing lyrical about the perambulations of the Sun, Moon and Stars across the sky. :)

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  27. Hi JV,

    Wrote a comment earlier but can't find it now.

    I had said that the lady's life came a full circle and got derailed.

    While on a visit away from hometown we jokingly say "Care of Platform" when someone's asks where we would be put up. But, for your protagonist its become a reality.

    Nice write!

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  28. I wanted to write "beautiful". Thought this is, I am writing "this is sad". Anbu Keezh nokkithaan paayum. (Love flows only downstream.)

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