Sign-up for FREE Updates.

Hari Om!

‘Hari Om…. Hari Om!’ chanted the sadhu seated in the opposite berth of the train. Rimi was a little apprehensive of their overnight journey, when she saw that they were supposed to share the train compartment with two sadhus and an attendant of theirs. Although they were supposed to be men of God, Rimi has always been scared and apprehensive of them. This was, by far, the closest she had gotten to them. It was not a feeling shared by Rimi alone, fear is the first reaction we are taught from our childhood for anything uncertain. She was getting scared of her thoughts, from being burgled in the middle of the night by them till being God-knows-what, she had thought about all the possibilities and exactly how she would tackle it.

Rimi and Neel had been allotted the side lower berth and the lower berth of the same coupe. From the time she saw the sadhus sitting opposite to them, she could think of nothing else but them. ‘We will finish our dinner soon and retire for the night early, ok?’ she asked Neel. Neel was a little surprised to see Rimi’s eagerness to go to sleep so soon. Originally, it had been planned that since they had not got much time before the trip they would plan their itinerary in the train itself. But suddenly, Rimi was behaving strangely. As if she wanted the night to get over as soon as possible. It was, in fact, true. She did want that to happen. Neel finally agreed and said, ‘Okay… As you wish…. You were only eager to plan things in the train itself.’ Rimi shot him big eyes and gestured him to keep quiet.

Mentally she started making the sleeping arrangements; she would certainly take the side lower berth because she was certain that the sadhus were looking for any opportunity to pounce on her. Neel can take the lower berth by their side. She confided her arrangement to Neel, who agreed without argument. It seemed well enough. For some time the compartment felt silent, punctuated only by swallowing and munching noises emanated from people taking in their packed dinners, supplied either by the train-pantry or bought in a hurry from the station. The sadhus sat with an elaborate spread in front of them with Puris, sabji, sweets and some lassi-type liquid. Rimi was certain the latter was bhang, a heady concoction of toxic leaves along with sweetened milk. In their intoxicated state they would certainly hatch a dangerous plan, she was certain of that. She kept staring at them with panic written all over her face!

She had no appetite left after seeing the sadhus slurping down all of the fare and finishing it off with the lassi-type liquid. She suddenly wanted to finish her dinner as soon as possible and lie down in her berth. In the meanwhile the sadhus and their attendant started doing huge calculations regarding the last Jyogya that they had attended and how much money was received in donation and how much got wasted. Their talks moved in the circle of lakhs of rupees. ‘Oh my God…. They would kill us for money and disappear from the train…’ Rimi whispered to Neel on the brink of paranoia.

‘What? Are you crazy? Rimi, stop reading those cheap crime thrillers I’m telling you, look at your thought process…. How can you think of such a thing?’ ‘Fine…. Give me my bed-sheet and I will go to my berth’ fumed Rimi while fumbling to take her bed-sheet and towel, supplied by the Railways in a brown paper packet.

Lying down quietly in her berth, she could still hear the sadhus calculate money expenses; she clutched on to her purse under her pillow for the millionth time and tried to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, she could hear voices, male voices….. Neel was saying something…. She woke up with a start to find the sadhus still awake. She peeped through the curtains to see Neel fast asleep on his berth and the sadhus discussing something. A new fear gripped her….. maybe they were not after her…. they were men-of-the-other-type and were after Neel. She had heard many stories regarding perverted sadhus…..What if they did some harm to him? The thought was paralyzing…..suddenly she got up and went towards Neel’s berth. The sadhus were a bit startled to see her awake still. The older one asked her: ‘Beti…. Not feeling sleepy?’ In her fear, she did not think it important to answer him and started shaking Neel out of his sleep.

Neel was full of sleep and felt disoriented to have been woken suddenly. Once awake, she literally pulled him out of the compartment towards the door and voiced her fears to him. Neel was furious. It was the middle of the night and Rimi was talking absolute nonsense. ‘Stop It!’ he said sternly, then turned and left towards his berth. Having no way left, even Rimi slowly returned to her berth and lay down. Sleep, however, was nowhere near. Sometime near dawn, she fell asleep.

In her sleep she heard mumbled voices and saw some faces too. She tried to get up and open her eyes when she heard the sadhus were calling out loud ‘Station is coming!’ she got up and saw Neel also getting up slowly in his berth. She breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, the night was over and they were safe!

After they freshened up and sat on their berths waiting for the train to stop at their station, the older sadhu looked directly at Rimi and held out his hand with something in it. He was holding her purse….. ‘While sleeping you must have dropped it sometime in the night …. I found it in the morning and kept it with myself, lest it got lost!’

‘What? I dropped it? Oh…Thank you’ she added sheepishly at a loss of words, taking the purse from his extended hand. From beside her she could feel Neel’s glaring sight in her direction, she avoided looking at him altogether!

Suvanjana Ghosh
About the Author :
I am usually interested in writing short stories that highlight some intricate aspect of human relationships. Being married for some years now, my intrigue about the institution of marriage seems to increase each day. I love weaving stories around everyday characters and incidents.Get a glimpse of my writing on my blog at " Riding The Rainbow Of Life".

8 comments so far..What are your thoughts?

  1. Read and shared Suvanjana...another interesting story.

  2. Nice story Suvanjana :)

  3. quite an interesting one.
    Travelling is an experience....

    1. yeah true....while traveling u do face so many incidents and of course meet so many different kinds of people... :)

  4. Nice usual..:)


Copyright Notice

This site, the articles and the graphics on this website are © by We Have A Story and are protected by DMCA.Reproduction in whole or in part,whether on paper,on the internet,on CD-ROM or any other medium,including utilization in machines capable of reproduction without our permission is illegal and strictly prohibited.

Some photos used by our authors in their articles are from Google image search or some other sources which they like.If you think they used any copyrighted photograph,drop us an e-mail with the details and we will remove it immediately.
Recommend us!

Join We Have A Story

Recent Stories

Add to Technorati Favorites
Powered by Blogger.

Grab Our Badge

Badge Partners

When The Heart Speaks