It was around midnight when a blinding light pierced through my eyelids. I squirmed and squinted and shielded my eyes with my palms, but I couldn’t stop seeing the light. I knew I was only conjuring it up, because my palms were perched like a crab upon my clenched eyes, but you know I have this condition that when I think something it just gets into my head. The beam of light broke through my skin, and my veins glowed like neon and my bones smoldered like coal, and the light kept seeping; it burned the tissues, it lit up the blood and it stabbed through the skin, searing each layer of me until it hit my pupils. It made me dizzy. What’s worse was that it wasn’t even real light.
Unable to find solace, I pried open my eyes. There was a white woman with a silver pony, arranging the middle berth on the opposite side. That’s all I could make out apart from her skin tone. I let my eyes dart around for a while. On the other side, I saw another girl. Black hair that sparkled in the light of a distant source, almond eyes that seemed lost in a distant memory – she seemed like a piece of art with deeper hidden meanings. She just sat there, unaware of my existence while I watched her from a shadowed bower that was lit up like a forest fire a few seconds ago. She was making me poetic. Oh my heavens! This compartment was choking full of hot women!
Only that there were slight issues which I discovered the next morning. The white woman actually turned out to be a guy. And the other girl went into hibernation once she got under her blanket. Hmm..so I was sharing a journey with a married woman, a zonked out woman who might as well have been dead, and a woman who was actually a guy with a silver pony – which is not exactly the kinds I picture my voyages with.
I checked the status of the train – it was 9 hours late. I stepped down and took up a seat on the lower berth, by the white guy. He had a rudraksh mala in his hand which struck me as weird. Then I studied him with the precision of a lab attendant. Saffron Kurta, white dhoti, a red tika on his forehead, malas around his neck – the only thing that was odd was his face, white as Sheamus. I wondered if he was an Indian guy with some skin disease. I didn’t ask him anything. I just observed.
“Iskon Temple. “He said as he showed me in his phone. The notifications dropped in a foreign language.
“Where are you from? “I quizzed.
“On vacation? ”
“I’m here to learn Bhaktashashtra. “He said.
Oh my…doesn’t Putin love you anymore? I didn’t even know there was a thing called Bhaktashashtra. They don’t offer it at DU, so anyway.
“How much time has it been…”I almost faltered.
“5 years. “He said as he smiled with great satisfaction, the one you get when your daughter finally gets married to a nice guy.
5 years? I mean is that even legal? 😑
Then he showed me his Bhagwad Geeta, and I began to realise he was completely brainwashed.
“You know about this? ”
Yeah. That’s what they made Amrish Puri pledge upon in a Bollywood courtroom. And it’s full of moral preachings and there are no hot scenes in its entirety.
“It’s a part of Mahabharata. “I said.
Then he started explaining stuffs and Krishna’s messages and I felt like a pagan.
“I guess I am an atheist. “I said. The married woman chuckled at my tragedy.
Then came the Russian guy’s girl, from the other compartment, and I froze, my eyes stuck on her like I was an esthete and she was a Michelangelo masterpiece. You remember the fairies they tell you about in pre-school? That was she. Dressed in a saree, with nose stud and all. I felt weak at my knees even though I was sitting. This is unfair, isn’t it? You can’t learn Bhaktashashtra for 5 years and have an ethereal wife at the same time. Such is life, my dear friends, such is life.
They stayed for a while and then the girl went back. The guy tried to show me some more videos of his Keertan but I said I was sleepy and so I climbed up to my berth and checked if the sleeping beauty had woken up but she had not, and so I slept, wondering why foreigners are so queer.
to be continued…