Standing at the crowded Tambaram station, she shifted the umbrella to the other hand, and wiped the grime and sweat from her brow. After waiting for him for the past one hour, her patience was beginning to wear thin. She made her way through the crowd and sat on a bench overlooking the station entrance which admitted a fresh stream of passengers every minute. Dipak had promised to meet her there after his classes got over. The station was a half an hour ride away from his college. The signal near his college was notorious for its hour long traffic jams. There was a very good chance that he got caught in one of them. Or maybe there was the extra class which the head of the department had been planning for long time. She tried to pacify herself by trying to reason out the delay in his presence, but was running out of both time and excuses.
The group of girls who had taken seat next to her were discussing the latest Surya movie. She found the topic of discussion excessively juvenile and was annoyed at the effect their presence had on her already disturbed mind. Thankfully, their talks came to an end and they dispersed.
All her previous calls made to Dipak had gone unanswered. Fidgeting with the mobile she debated if she should just walk away and board the train. As if on a cue, the unmistakable automated female voice announced loudly, “Passengers please pay attention! The next train to Chennai Beach will be arriving shortly on platform number 1” and then the voice continued to relay the message in Tamil and Hindi. Her eyes looked furtively at the group of people, scanning them for Dipak’s familiar face. Her irresolute state of mind was proving to be of no help. Next moment, the train pulled in sounding loud notes; women made their way to the ladies compartment, others moved towards the closest coach with an empty seat.
Dipak was nowhere in sight. Reluctant, she took slow steps and climbed into a coach. As she settled into a seat in the farthest corner of the coach, with a heavy heart, eyes brimming with tears, she silently made a vow not to wait for him. It was all empty promises, with heart break written all over it. As the train chugged out, her mobile notified a message from D. He wrote: Mamta came back with the kids. She is not agreeing to the divorce, and we fought a little. I am sorry, it got late and I missed my train. I have boarded the next train; will meet you in Tambaram shortly.
Without a second thought she typed back: Do not wait for me. Its time you make a choice. Goodbye.