Obscure and mystique always fascinate us. Here is something that happened to me that has a sheen of mystique.
This happened to me during my late teens. I was on a train journey after visiting my sister, and more importantly my cuddly nephew, who were at that time staying in Trichur. The train that I took was the one that was enroute to New Delhi and the coach I sat was quiet empty, bar a few passengers. I chose a bay which had just one lady passenger, who going by her garb and specs, was either a journalist or a writer and another man who sat bang opposite her – both occupying the window seats. The man was tall, and lanky, more on the lean muscular side. He had a lot of tattoos on his arms, visible since he was wearing a half-sleeved T-shirt. Bearded and with a bandana on his head, he looked like a rock-band musician and I wasn’t wrong .
I gathered, when the lady struck a conversation with him, that he was a guitarist.He belonged to a rock group, and was going for a gig in Delhi and his friends would be joining him enroute. As the train buzzed along, he took a newspaper and started reading it. I was reading the book, ‘how to read people like a book’ and thethought of reading the person sitting opposite me, appealed to me very much. He looked good with a sharp nose and broad forehead and shucks……he just lowered the paper and shot me a glance. I drew my eyes away to the rapidly passing scenes outside. The one good thing about the train journey in Kerala is that there is never a boring moment. The nature is at its lovely best that you can just watch the passing world of greenery, river, rivulets and lakes and pass the time. As the train was drawing to a halt in a station, I cautiously stole a glance at him and peering above the rim of the newspaper were his eyes, trying to read me like a book. This time it was his turn to take his eyes away.
The train sped and I must have dozed off. I got up with a start, when I heard the yelling vendors.
It was my stop. I gathered my stuff and got ready to get down. The rock-band dude shot a quizzical look at me. As the train ground to a halt and I got down, he thrust a piece of paper in my hand. It was a card with his name and contacts and on the other side of the card was a hastily scribbled ‘you fascinate me’. I looked at him and the train had started moving.
He waved good bye. By the time I responded with a clumsy wave, the train had gathered speed and moved away.
There were many train journeys after this but I never saw him again.