It was 5 pm, I arrived at Pune Railway station only to find that my train to Nagpur is delayed by 3 hours. Railway station seemed busier than usual, I wondered! What do I do now? I had three hours on my hand.
I decided to go to platform no.6, where Nagpur Express was supposed to arrive. Twisting and turning I climbed stairs and finally reached my destination. I looked around and found an empty bench little far away, it was dark there. Lots of packed goods were lying around that bench to be loaded. That is why that bench was unoccupied. I took few steps went near the bench and finally sat down. I was about to keep my sack on the bench next to me on my right side, I saw a piece of paper roughly of the size of my palm, on which it was scribbled “Don’t Leave”.
Ignoring the scribbled piece of paper and I kept my sack on it. I decided to take a nap. Next, I remember waking up to human noises, realizing its 7.45 pm and my train is arriving at 8pm. I was startled by the voice which I heard from behind – “Don’t leave”. Sir please don’t leave, the voice now said in soft tone. I asked why? And who are you? While saying so I turned and
saw a boy in his teens roughly 20 yrs. hiding behind the bench. I asked are you the one who had kept the note. He replied Yes Sir! I will explain everything. It was just 10 mins to 8 pm.
The boy: Sir my name is Abhishek! I am from Nagpur. I do not have money to travel back. I fled from the TC at the entrance, I am sure they are looking for me. He went on, Sir! I need to reach Nagpur tomorrow. I am participating in Police enrollment programme. I will be rushing to exam center directly from Nagpur railway station. I smirked! Turned back, caught his arm and told him to come out in open. The kid was tall, lean but muscular. I heard hooting of train, my train had arrived. I still had hold of his hand. I calmly said to him don’t worry, we walked towards my boggie. I showed TC my tickets. I told TC this kid is with me and his name is Mr. Abhishek. He does not have ticket and he wants to travel to Nagpur urgently. Please do help I requested! TC took out a book wrote train fare plus penalty on it and handed over the slip to me. TC said he will assign berth number later in the train.
I gave Abhishek the travel slip and Rs. 1000.00, consider this as a loan. I want it back once you succeed. Abhishek with watery eyes looked at me and gleamed, he must have noticed hope in my eyes when I saw confidence in his eyes.
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- Don’t Leave - 15 Sep 2022
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