A Stranger

June 4th, 2020 by Jashodhara Purkayastha

A Stranger

My happiness engulfing me due to a strange incidence while writing this story.
This was a boy; I met in the train while travelling. We boarded the train and found our middle berth was empty. We were sitting in the train and waiting for the fellow passenger. Shortly after, the train left and no one came to occupy the middle seat. I thought its fine for us and told my husband,” it will be better for us if no one comes.”
After an hour the train stopped for the first stoppage. We noticed a boy about seventeen or eighteen years old was searching for his seat. I asked, “Is it your seat”? With a smile, he politely said, “yes”. He kept his small bag under the seat and comfortably sat beside me.
It was evening time and we felt like drinking coffee or tea. The tea vendor came and we ordered two cups of tea. I even asked the boy, “Are you going to drink tea”? “No, I don’t take tea”. Sipping lowly, I asked him, “Where do you live”?
He uttered the name but I could not hear it properly as the train had picked up speed. The description of his place was so interesting that I was completely immersed into it and could not notice anything around me. He was describing the place as a quickly developing industrial area. This is almost 125 Km from the main city. It is a sea port. This port is the deepest sea port. It is situated in Bay of Bengal and at the confluence of Mahanadi River. It is the first natural sea port in Odisha.
Telling this much, he was about to stop, in the mean time, I spoke so loudly,”Oh! I know, you are talking about Paradip (that surprised me)..
”Are you studying”? My husband asked him.
“Yes, Yes, I’m studying in IIT. Hearing this, my mind moved emotionally and thought that was why he was so sober.
I asked him, “What is your hobby”?
By an amused expression, he said,”My hobby is writing poems.
Oh! I eagerly asked, Can you recite any one of your poems.
“Do you love listening to poems”?
Oh! Of course!
He said, “Poetry is a form where your life can be expressed in two lines and everyone ought to know how to express through this art form”.

Then he started reciting his own poem,

God created us as greatest existence,
Bestowed with power and intelligence To know what role to play here
Different roles we can choose here.

Mother gives birth to a child
Feeds the baby with sleepless nights
Father takes care of the family
Ensuring whole-hearted support continuously.

Teacher plays a gardener’s role,
Sowing seeds into a proper symmetrical hole
Nurture values, setting parameters
Hoping for a juicy fruits with values & virtues.

Difficult to be a righteous human If thoughts are not like prudent man Everyone seeks to be a selfless person.
Only to be covered by our senses often.

Selfless human never work with expectation
Never bother for name or reputation
Delivers his work with diligence, determination His motto attires no caste, creed or religion.

“What is the name of the poem”? I asked
“Human Being”. I said, you’ll be a successful person in your life, in your job as well as in your hobby of writing.
“Great concept”. My husband said.

At about 11p.m we went to sleep. Early morning he got down at a station.
When he was getting ready for disembark, I asked his name. “Sudeep”. Smiled at us and climbed down from the train.

I had forgotten the train journey and even the boy. Sometimes we used to discuss about the boy and remembered him.
Our life was running as usual. Every six months we went to our son’s place and stayed for six months in USA.
Seven years later, I’m seventy years old. My husband is seventy-six years. This time when we were returning from USA, our ticket was from New York to Amsterdam then Mumbai.
Suddenly, I saw a gentleman sitting opposite to us. I was looking at him curiously. He was least bothered of anyone as he was reading a book. He did not have any inquisitiveness around him.
I asked my husband, “Did you notice the man opposite to us”? He did not answer anything. Then I told him to bring some coffee for us.


My husband went to bring coffee for us and I was busy with my tab reading an article how miracle happens.
All of a sudden I felt a man standing in front of me. I just looked up and smiled at him. He said, “Ma’am do you remember me? We met in the train few years back.”
“Yes! Yes! I inquisitively stared at him. I was searching you for many years on Facebook and Twitter but in vain. I remembered your name as Sudeep but no surname. Even you never asked my name but I recognised you when I saw you sitting opposite to us here in the airport.
Sudeep sat beside me and said, “Ma’am you should know that I have written a poem about you and was awarded a first prize. The name of the Poem is “A Woman I Met”.
“Where and when”, I asked with a chocked voice.
Tears rolled down my cheeks completely drenching me. I patted him and said with a trembling voice, “I knew Sudeep when we met in the train for the first time.
“Do you remember that I told you that you will become a successful man as well as a great poet and author.”?
“Ma’am GOD has willed us to meet again now but I don’t want to lose you anymore. I am going to Mumbai now for some official work travelling by Delta.”
“Oh! Same flight we are there as well. I am delighted to see you again. It is said that once we meet means we have already met in previous birth and will meet again in later life.”

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