Since 30th March she started traveling from Deoghar to Chittaranjan and back everyday. Every morning she would board the Asansol Local at Deoghar station, worked the whole day till 5.30 p.m. and then got back home on board Sealdah-Balia Express. She usually slept during the morning journey. It was early. The train left Deoghar station at 6.20 a.m. and Anindita loved sleeping. She dozed off by the time the train had reached Jasidih Jn. But the evenings were different. Since she had nothing to do on board the train, and no companions to chat with, it was ideal for her to doze off. And she was famous for dozing off during journeys (even on rickshaws). But however hard she tried to sleep on board Balia Express, she couldn’t. She lay back on the seat, closed her eyes, but couldn’t sleep. She could hear people move to and fro, she could hear voices of chattering, children playing, babies whining, hawkers calling out. Sometimes she kept her eyes closed and listened to these sounds, and sometimes she would look at people around her. She didn’t know if she loved those sleepless evenings, but everyday she waited for that two and a half hour journey on board Balia Express.
Those were evenings when she saw people. She talked to some, and to some she did not. She simply watched. And though tired and sleepy from the days work (try getting up at five every morning), she loved those two hours every day. It took her to a world of unknown. Anindita never asked them their names. She knew she would never meet them again; still they were a part of her life. They taught her things that were insignificant. And who knows, may be in this insignificance, lay a little part of her character, her thoughts and personality.
(to be contd.)