The Guardian

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She looked at me and I looked at her. All we wanted that moment was Aladdin's magic carpet, which would help us reach home in a flash! We were aboard the Udyan express that started from Bengaluru and its destination was Mumbai. My pal, Saaylee, and me had been to a week-long training there in Bengaluru. The entire journey we had to cover was 24 hours and we had barely done with a few miles when we felt insecure and unsafe.

We were in the general sleeper compartments and to our dismay pur co-passengers were not as friendly and if i can be frank, a bit intimidating. The berths were occupied by a middle-aged uncle with a *i-am-in-my-own-little-world* look, a bald slim and fair guy who was so flexible that we could fold him like a carpet. It later turned out he was a foreigner. There were other two young adults, one who had a RAC ticket, and kept staring at us like a wild animal stares its prey, a mother-daughter duo who had RAC tickets and hence couldnot occupy the births. Now my friend's seat was unfortunately along with the lady and me in the adjacent section. The mother was so adamant on getting my friend to adjust just because "we were girls" and who sees if you have the valid tickets or not, all that matters is our i mean her comfort.

Now i was on one-side in this not so conducive environment whereas Saaylee had to be seated on her upper berth and not the seat for good 20 hours otherwise the lady would have made her daughter sleep there and it would have been World War III to reclaim wats ours.

So she was perched on the upper berth and i was seated downstairs in the opposite section. After an hour, everyone slept but us. Yeah an intimidating veteran to your left, a team of men none who came even close to the term gentleman on the right, we could definitely sleep in peace!

She called me to accompany her and then we plugged in our ears with her headphones and started listening songs. What more could we do. I told her, "This will go down in history. Two girls at midnight, in a totally alienated surrounding, with no one to reach out for are listening to foot-tapping music!" "We are the only ones who would do this." Saaylee said," Leave it re, a few more hours. What can they do? they'll eat us alive? Dare they. Chill, this is an experience. Come, lets take a picture for memories of such kinds and we took a picture from my cellphone." We took a couple of shots since we were not satisfied by the initial ones.

 A few more hours passed. We took our respective berths and slept. We hardly bothered what would happen. When we woke up the next morning , the lady was back in action. My seat, my daughter will sit. Who are you to say anything. It would have gone totally wrong when we saw a familiar face in the adjacent compartment. I told lee,"Is that sir?" She took a look and said , "oh yes! its indeed him." Suresh gupta, bioinformatics  department. We might have never spoken to him in college but that day we were great conversationalists! He greeted us and even recognized that we were students of the same college, we belonged to his fraternity! And our miracle had occured - A support in times of despair and that too in the most unexpected way.We would have had a tough time dealing with the lady had we not seen Sir. If this was not enough, the seats in his section just emptied when we went , he asked us to shift and we occupied them instantly. So it was our territory now. Even if we nothing major happened but we were safe and comfy in a known place and could atleast finish the journey in peace and subsequently, reached Mumbai.

So simultaneous miracles were seen in that compartment,
1. Gupta sir for us, a blessing in disguise, who had to be in the same bogie and adjacent compartment as our Guardian angel. Trust me nothing could beat his presence there.
2. The lady thanked her stars for getting rid of us from her possessed RAC seat and our berth.
3. Last, but not the least, the scary staring men who now had the empty seats in the section to themselves as their miracle but lost out on their the subjects in their field of vision.

The night to remember with Saaylee Danait


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