Emotional Express — 2

The floods affected our home. My books, toys, TV and everything was taken by water. We were taken to a tent in Kollam for one day. Our home is in Varkala.

That chechi asked me who I was and why I came to this train. She was sitting in the last seat. I was in first section.

She gave me some snacks and I remembered my mother — “Mone! We lost our home. I cannot cook for you. This packet was given by that uncle. Keep eating while I go search your father. He did not eat also.”

I said, ‘Thank you Aunty.’ For which she playfully gave a knock on my head and said, “Call me Chechi. Not aunty.”

The snack was so good and she said it was a regional food from her town. She asked me how we were struggling during the time of floods.

“So Eshwara! Tell me what you really want to do when you grow up?”

I looked outside and then at her face. ‘Chechi! I want to become well enough and become a big person to help people who are affected by floods like our town. What you want to become?’

“I’m already doing a work of honor kid! It is very touching and ambitious for you to become such a brave person. I know a boy just like you. He loves to play chess. What game do you like?”

‘I like cricket. I also want to be like Dhoni.’ And I asked her where she was going.

“I’m going to a place that changed me a lot as a person. You may not understand what I say. But always remember that if life throws you out of the window, don’t cry. Dreams are scary. Hold on tight to the ones you trust and the ones that trust you. I do, kid!”

‘My father says the same thing chechi. And he also said that if someone says like this I should say — Thank You.’

“CUTLET…sooda SAMOSA…CUTLET…sooda CUTLET…SAMOSA”, the selling uncle came again.

Chechi stopped him once I was looking at him very desperately. I cannot say No. Probably don’t know how to say.

One Hour Later the train stopped

Sometimes friendship in a Train might teach you something valuable

‘Chechi! What station is this?’ and she began searching for a yellowboard. “And the yellow board says — Tiruppur”

‘Chechi! Chechi! From here only one lorry came and gave us lot of dresses in Kollam.’ She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I wish this did not happen. I wish I could do something in my power”

The train started and she started a story of how her life changed by traveling.

Logu uncle was walking towards the bathroom and I called him out. He saw me with a broad smile, “Enda Eshwara! You are sitting here only. When are you coming there? I’m feeling bored,’ he winked. Chechi replied, “He seems to be enjoying quite a bit. I’ll come and leave him myself.”

“Mone! Eshwara!”, my mom called me for dinner.

‘Ammae! achchan evde?’, and began looking at my 7-year old sister. She was eating by herself for first time.

“Your father is at Nandhan uncle’s home to give the rent. He’ll eat there itself.”

‘He promised me that he’ll take me to their home. I hate him!’ She caressed my hair and said, “You eat today. We all can go by tomorrow. It is raining very big now. ok?’

After my mom ate her dinner, we suddenly heard many people screaming and my sister began to cry. Mom grabbed her and looked outside the window. I ran to other window and saw that the river water was flowing through the roads.

Suddenly the water was coming inside through our front door and mom asked me to take a bag in the corner and come with her. She took my hand and we ran to a place which was higher than our street. That big house was looking very small with the amount of people inside. Many were crying, many with tears in their eyes. One old person was crying desperately that his cows and farm were destroyed.

I searched across the big hall and my father was there. “DADDY!”, I screamed.

Woke up in chechi’s lap by screaming. She asked me if I was okay.

I hugged her very tight and began to cry. “It’s okay Eshwara. Everything will be okay. I’m here. Nothing happened. Don’t cry”

With a dull voice I called her, ‘Chechi!’

“Tell me!”

‘What is your name?’ for which she smiled and replied,

“My dear confused child. My name is Katherine. J”

I hugged her and began to cry again.

~to be continued

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