The Band and NJP

I had a train to catch to Dimapur, train no. 15904, Chandigarh Dibrugarh Express. It was 1:40 pm and the train was 2:40 minutes late. I had plenty of time to kill until the train's arrival. I was seated on the round concrete black tiled seat made around a platform pillar at NJP. I was at platform number 1 listening to all those announcements made in different languages one after another. It's December 27th and the weather was warm and no scorching sun to hide from unlike any other days here in siliguri. I wanted to plug in my earphones but again I didn't wanted to miss the announcements for my train so I sat there and just watched the busy station. I had my phone and Jio but I need to be stingy with my battery so I put it inside my pocket and do what I do best, observe around me.
The lady seated right to me was a mother of a small child who had just started to walk. I can see her husband trying to make her walk. They spoke in Nepali and some other language which I didn't understand. To my left was a Nepali girl and a boy. The boy seemed to be in late 30s and was holing iPhone 7plus and both of them were busy taking selfies. People were all over the floor sitting and many sleeping on thin plastic sheet printed with all sorts of ads. As the train got more delayed more people were disintegrating on the floor.
Above all there I can see a girl in front of me leaning against the station wall. I didn't notice her until she was right in the font. She was wearing a pink jumper, a black skinny pant with adidas printed along the side. She was wearing a black cap, a pair of round glasses, she had a mask covering most of her face. She had long brown hair which was tied at the back behind her cap. She was with a women whom I guessed was her mother. She had iPhone 4 and they too where busy posing and clicking photos.
All that time I watched her, because her eyes behind those glasses looked so pretty, it was something different then most regular pairs. Her hair looked so clean and wavy. Her skin was so fair and clean. I couldn't take my eyes off her. There was no way I could have talked to her or even eyed and smile cos she looked to pretty and I was already nervous. So all I did was watched her smile and talk with her mom. In about few minutes they came near and posed before the train that just passed by in the platform. As she posed she sets her hair free and tucked in the hair band in her jumper's pocket. With her hair set free she seemed even more pretty. I really wished I could go and talk to her but like a fool I was just dreaming. But as if luck was on my side something happened. She accidentally dropped her hair band while she was tucking in her pocket and it lay right in front of me on the platform tiles and she didn't even realise. So I smile and waited for a while that maybe she would realise the drop. But she seemed to be too busy taking to her Mom and gazing into her phone. So I took this as a sign as to talk to her. I went near the band and I took few clicks from my phone ( cos I knew I will need it later when I write about the event) before I picked it up and she didn't even see it. I picked up the black hair band and rose up. I smiled, closed my eyes for a short while, turned towards her and went to her, "excuse me, you dropped this". She turned to me and looked at the band in my hand and checked her pockets. She smiled and said, "oh, thank you". But both her smile and thank you were not visible and audible under her mouth mask, all I could see was her eyebrows stretching as she smiled and the mask move a little when she said thank you. With a disappointed spirit I replied, "welcome", and turned back and went to my seat. As I sat there looking at her she looked back at me too. I can see she was smiling back at me and I smiled back. As we exchanged few more looks I realised that I had my mask on too, I had completely forgotten about it cos now that I am used to wearing mask. It was 4:30 PM now and finally I could hear the announcement for my train and within no time the train whistled and crawled in the platform and everyone started to grab their bags and stood up. I too stood up, I looked at her she looked at me, I was breathing heavy like my heart was on a race, she held her bags, there was something communicated between us, but before I could understand what it was and and moved to my coach I looked at her one final time and slowly pulled down my mask towards my chin showing my smile to her, and she looked back right to me, eye to eye and slowly pulled her mask down revealing her sweet wide smile. We smiled to each other one last time and moved for our coaches and as the train pulled out of the station I felt a joy in my heart that was full of her smile that kept me captivated for the rest of my solo journey.

By Ccir Cyrus Gurung


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