Continued from here.
“Are you from Mumbai?” she asked.
“No, I am from Ahmedabad. I came here for an interview.”
“So how was it?”
“I don’t think I’ll get selected” he sighed.
She shook her head expressing sympathy. He didn’t say anything. After a while she said “So that’s why you were upset?”
Sensing what she meant, he said “Sorry if I reacted rudely when you asked for the seat number. But, it was not just because of the interview.”
“Then?” she asked curiously.
“Ah, it is not an interesting story. You want to hear it?”
“I wouldn’t mind.”
“Well, like I said. I came here for an interview and I was hoping I’d convert it. I was looking forward to it for some time. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the company. But, frankly speaking, I don’t think I’ll make it. The interview wasn’t bad and I was feeling confident afterwards. But, I guess I made some minor mistakes in technical test. They said they’ll call me in case a need for another technical round or interview arises. I guess that’s a clear indication that I didn’t make it.”
“How can you be so sure? Who knows you might get a call.”
“That’s optimistic thinking.”
“What’s wrong with that? You said it was not just the interview. You didn’t mention anything else.”
“Oh yes. It was raining cats and dogs when I was on my way to Bandra Terminus and I got completely drenched. The truth is I don’t like rains much. Also, my phone was totally discharged and I lost my charger somewhere and I don’t remember it. I can’t live without my phone.”
“Ya, even me too. I get bored and I feel lost. So these things made you upset, right?”
“Actually…” he paused.
“So there’s more to it” she thought. Her facial expression indicated she wanted to know.
He took a long breath and said “I mean, yes it is true these things played a huge part. No doubt about it. But, there is something else. I was planning a trip to Goa with my best friends. We’ve been pals since high school. We planned everything; we booked the tickets and made the reservations. Now we’ll have to cancel the trip because one of us is moving out of India. It was completely unexpected and it is not the trip I am worried about. I am gonna miss my buddy. He is not just my best friend; he is more than a brother to me.”
Neither of them said anything for a moment. He couldn’t believe how he opened up to a total stranger. He hadn’t expressed himself since he came to know about his friend’s departure from India. He felt relieved to talk about it to someone.
Then she said “I see. I can just imagine how painful it would be and your reaction is completely obvious. But, I will say this. Your friend would be feeling the same even though he may not have told you. I remember when my sister moved to abroad. I cried my eyes out; I thought my sister ditched me and for that I hated her a bit. The truth is she was equally sad. Later she told me that it was painful for her too. I guess we just have to move on.”
“Hmmm” he was thinking about what she said.
“I guess you’re right. I will have to move on. May be not now, but after some time.” Rahul said with a slight smile. She nodded. For some time they didn’t exchange any word. Rahul was enjoying talking to her.
“So are you from Mumbai?” he asked after a couple of minutes.
“Yes, I am.”
“And you’re going on a trip to Gujarat?”
“No, actually I have an exam tomorrow and my test center is in Ahmedabad. And I have some distant relatives there so my mom told me to pay them a visit.”
“I see. So were you reading for the exam?” he asked curiously.
She laughed and said “No, I just needed some break from preparations so I was reading my favorite novel.”
Both of them smiled. The conversation was going in a smooth manner and both of them were enjoying it. They kept chatting. They talked about a lot of things. Things to do in Ahmedabad, famous places, their jobs, favorite novels, Rahul’s trips to Mumbai and their mutual liking for the city. Within a span of couple hours they came to know a lot about each other. They had developed liking for each other and it kept growing with their conversation.
They wished good night to each other and went to sleep. Rahul was feeling a lot better. Ahana found him interesting. The train reached Ahmedabad in the morning. They were about to leave the train. She thought “I hope he says something. I don’t want to leave it here.” Rahul thought “Should I ask her number? Would it be ok? Heck, I am just gonna ask it.”
“Hey, it was nice chatting to you last night.” he said.
“Let me know if you need any help getting around in Ahmedabad. I could help you out.”
“That would be great. Thanks. How can I reach you?”
“Well, you can write me a letter and wait for my reply.”
She smiled and said “You’ve got a sense of humor. Give me a miss call and I’ll save your number.”
“I would but I can’t.”
“Why? Is there something wrong?” curiously, she said.
“Yes, my phone is dead. Remember?”
“Oh yes. I remember. Well, maybe you could note down my number.”
He took out a piece of paper, wrote her number and put it in his pocket.
“Ok then. See ya.”
“Good luck for the test.”
“Thanks. Don’t worry about the interview. They’ll call you again.”
He smiled. They both went their ways.
He glanced at the paper, smiled and thought “What a journey!”