Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Story Tree - Their Journey

He thought it would be an ordinary journey. Standing behind the pillar he watched the train snort arrogantly into the station. With each snort he was reminded of his grandfather's words "You will fail in the city and return penniless"; with every heavenward whistle, he heard his cousin, "Don't worry. Come here and I will get you a job at the construction site." Now he had a 34-hour journey to prove one of them wrong, and he expected the excitement at the end of the journey. He looked at his ticket once again: compartment S9 berth 23.

Pushing his luggage under the seat, he sat close to the window. "Papa, when will you be back?" - his four year old daughter Munni asked innocently. He stared into those soft brown eyes of the motherless kid. He held her frail palms in his, through the window. "Munni, Papa will get you a nice gudiya from the city..Say tata," his sister spoke to the kid, to avoid an emotional outburst. In a minute, the train pulled forward, and Munni's little fingers parted from between his. "I need to go..", he thought, "I have to, at least for Munni's sake.."

The humid summer breeze and the rattling train coaxed him into an uncomfortable state of drowsy consciousness. He dreamt that Munni ran away, the closer he ran to her, the farther she was, like a mirage. He woke up with a start and squinted at his watch."What is the time please?"A smallish woman, a meek voice as if she was scared that her existence would annoy someone. Her only noticeable feature was her rather large, expressive eyes."4.30"Something made him look at the woman again. He had stopped noticing women long back. Ever since Meenakshi passed away...

But this woman was different. She reminded him of someone he knew. In an instant he realized who and the painful memories came flooding back. She looked exactly like his childhood sweetheart Madhu. As teenage lovers in a conservative society, they had often met secretly and had declared undying love for each other.
Then someone had found out and all hell had broken loose. The elders in the village Panchayat had ostracized Madhu's family as she was from a lower caste. Unable to bear the humiliation, she had committed suicide by drowning. That was twelve years back...

Could it be? Could it really be him? He seems different, weary and downcast. Oh no will he recognise me? No, I am dead to the world. Still she cautiously wrapped her saree end around her head and across her face. Behind the cotton screen, her mind drifted to happier times, languid strolls in the corn fields, games at the riverbed, his gentle caress, whispered sweet nothings, stolen glances at the temple fair.
Tempted to take one last look, she consoled herself that he wouldn't notice. Slowly
she lifted her eyes only to find Rupak staring back at her.

She quickly glanced the other way.

‘No, this girl looks too close to be any other person. She is infact Madhu!! “Hey, Madhu!” he called.

She struggled hard not to respond to that call. And successfully managed it too.

"Hey Madhu, you forgot me?” he inquired her and came closer.

The old lady sitting opposite to him was looking at this unapprovingly.

“No, you are mistaken, My name is not Madhu.. I am Supriya” she lied.

“Hey Ram!, a young girl cannot travel safely in this country without being stalked!” the old lady muttered angrily.

The girl walked briskly away from him, trying to escape his glances, as though she was hiding something, not wanting to be discovered. He stood confused, she had said her name wasn’t Madhu, and should he run after her? Or should he let it pass, after all he still had a train to catch.

His heart told him it was Madhu, followed her, all thoughts about going to the city vanished; he was on delighted to have met Madhu after such a long time. He was filled with memories of their time together. He finally caught up with her. Looking into her eyes he said
' Why Madhu? Why this to me?'

"Please dont lie to me anymore"; sounding more like the Mani he used to be ten years back when he had first met her at the Village temple, rather than the arrogant side that seemed to rule his life now. "I know it is you, nobody else but you Madhu". Tears roll down her cheecks as she tries to remember why they ended up this way. Was it destiny or fate that they had to meet now?

As she speaks up, the train which for a while had be at a halt, slowly starts to move.

She couldn’t speak out even a word. All that was seen , tears rolling down her cheeks out of happiness.

Now,he was not in a state to loose her again .Though they didn’t speak any word ,everything was clear .

Now also ,they were able to read what was running in each others mind.

He slowly held her palms into his. She couldn’t stop him though she wanted too.

For a moment ,they forgot everything.All that was felt,they want to live a new life together.

He later discovered that both were going to the same construction site for the job..

Same job at the same construction site?!! Same destination?!! He was too shocked to react.
"How could this be possible?" he wondered. His mind went reeling to the past. The hidden past. The past of which he wanted no more.
"Remember? Remember Mani??? 5 years ago…" his mind talking. He does not like to be called Mani but his mind was not listening. His mind, which always was within his control, was rolling back to the past.
"5 years ago in the train. Both you & Madhu to the same destination unknown to eachother just like today. That's when it happened…"

He was lost in thoughts about their first meeting.
Then, he had just finished his 12th and was going to the city to pursue his graduation there. He had to board the 9pm train to Mumbai and was just in time to catch the train and confirming his ticket in the final confirmation list pasted outside the S6 compartment.

Seat Name Age Sex Berth
29 ------------ -- - ---
20 ------------ -- - ---
31 Rupak Mani 18 M SU
32 Madhushree 18 F SL
33 ------------ -- - ---

And he glanced at the next name in the sheet which happened to be a girl of his same age.
"Rupak, it might be the girl of your dreams!!!" his mind excited as he entered the compartment.


Everything below the dashed line above should be copied and pasted with every accepted tag)

This is a Story Tree and is best nurtured as follows:
1. A blogger can add only 90-100 words (not more or less) at a time
2. All previous snippets of 90-100 words need to be copied before the new set of 90-100 words are appended.
3. Each entire snippet should be linked to the respective author (and not just the first sentence or so)
4. Characters, scenes, etc. can be introduced by an author5. Bizarre twists, sci-fi, fantasy sequences are best avoided.
6. A tag must be accepted within 7 days else the branch is a dead branch
7. After appending 90-100, the Story Tree can be passed on to at most 3 bloggers.
8. If more than 1 branch leads to a blogger, s/he is free to choose any one of them but cannot mix the snippets of the individual branches.
9. The Story Tree is best left to grow than concluded
10. Please attach the image of the Story Tree below with each accepted tag (the link address can be copied and used).

And regarding the tagging part, its required for me to tag to 3 persons.... and those 3 should grow their respective branches and let the story develop. Pls don't let it die with my branch :)
When it comes to short stories, the first name tht comes to my mind is Divya, but she is already busy with her studies. So, not willing to disturb her... Most others are also busy with their studies and personal works...
So, the responsibility goes to....
Chandu (sorry yaar, u have to take it.. no other go... I won't spare u :D)
Ricky (Atlast, I got a chance to tag u back :P and I hope u'll take it... jus 100 words yaar.. )
PV (I know u'd take it for sure.. :D)

Waiting to read how the story takes its turns...


  1. Interesting concept...
    still to read the story !

  2. love where the story has gone with ur addition ;)

  3. Ok, haven't read the story yet. I am very busy till Friday but it seems I have 7 days to complete this tag...right? So, will do it sometime next week. Won't let your branch die...;)

  4. Prasad
    Such a sport! Nice one dude. u r leading my list.
    But, dude, was not able to stop laughin.. :-)) The protoganist Mani has a 4yr old daughter but 5 yrs ago he just finished his 12th??? Wow! Lucky guy I guess. :D

    Rp. :D

  5. @nkur, yes.. pretty interesting to see how ppl take up the story and develop.. the plots would take new turns and old plots left unnoticed.. yet, very novel idea :)

  6. visithra, thanks.. lets see how it goes further.. :)
    btb, thanks for dropping by my blog..

    Ricky, no problem yaar.. take ur time and do it when u've got some free time.. :)

  7. RP, thanks.. :)
    ya, he is quite lucky isn't he.. ;)
    But,even in ur part u've written as 5yrs before they met in a train, but somewhere above it was written they met 10yrs back at a village temple, so.. the story takes its twists and turns and old plots are always forgotten.. thts how these kinds of stories are developed.. and its always funny to see how ppl mix n match everything... like what i did in my part :))
    but, its certainly a novel idea and ppl would surely have their share of laughters too.... reading the developments :)

  8. Hmmm,so the story tree which a friend started right in front of me and which i refused to be a part of reached till here:)
    Good one da prasad.

  9. story tree still!! hope this branch bears fruit....;-)

  10. Prasad,
    Nice point about this 10yr & 5yr mistake I made. I did not realize. But, I agree with u on how these stories are developed.

    And, yeah, I am kind waiting for ur branch to grow.


  11. oh this is nice.......
    "When it comes to short stories, the first name tht comes to my mind is Divya" grining!!:-D
    n that was so considerate
    well will follow ur branch from here......n hope to add my 100 words at some pt.:-)
    btw next game in ur city...

  12. thanks Akruti... :)
    lets see how this one develops from here..

    div, yayaa.. its very much alive.. and this one is definitely going to bear its fruits.. wait n see ;)
    btb, thanks for dropping by my blog... keep visiting.. :)

  13. RP, hmm.. its not a mistake yaar.. generally we have a tendency to develop the story from the last writers point of view and thts when things take a big turn :)

    And don't worry.. i'll make this branch grow as much as possible :D

  14. Divya, hmmm.. stop grinning now and get back to ur studies :P
    wish I could pass on this tree to u too but yeah.. u'll surely get this one very soon..
    yeah.. the next game is here in b'lore and am not able to go thr to watch it :( cos of the heavy rush of the tickets.. yet.. lets see if the Indians can bounce back..

  15. yes Redji.. quite intersting isn't it? lets see how it develops into finally.. :)