The train at platform number 21.

Posted: November 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Let me clear something for all of you. Everyday goes normal as expected. But, then, something happened that day, which was not supposed to happen. Something which, was not usual, but not unusual…well, for people like me.

I normally get down at Santragachi, which is three to four stations away from Howrah station.And that too, early because, being in the eastern part of the country, it happens that, the sunset happens too early. So, I always come to Santragachi around 6 to 7pm. So,that day what happened is, I was stuck due to some work in college and, due to that, I left too late from the college and caught the 9:39pm Howrah bound local. It was usual for me because, it was night already and there were a very few passengers on the local train. And,I saw a man selling jhalmuri, a local spicy foodstuff. It was too late and I didn’t have my lunch, so I thought of taking some jhalmuri and gossip with the seller. Amidst the various topics we discussed, ranging from Politics to democracy and other social issues, he warned me, that not to loiter around the platform number 21 at Howrah station, from the time 10.55pm to 11.05pm. I replied him that why shouldn’t I? He said that, you will learn it after you experience it all by yourself. I laughed it off and, the jhalmuri seller got down at the next station. I started wondering and, as it was late, I knew that, there won’t be any bus services left from Santragachi to the main Kolkata city, so I decided to get down at the Howrah station because I knew I would get the last bus towards Behala. Who, would even think that, the decision would be one of the most, what can I say, wrong decisions of my life.

So, there was this beautiful young girl with her baggage,in my compartment who boarded the local from Santragachi station. I was all alone and then I kinda felt good that atleast there was someone who boarded my compartment. She sat in the front of my bench and then, I striked a conversation with her.Her name was, ummm, let’s say Miss X.She seemed to be in a hurry,but I tried to calm her saying she will catch the train. She said that she shouldn’t have caught the train.I felt awkward at first but, I thought she might be talking random things due to panic and fear of missing the train. We started talking and she revealed that she was travelling to Mumbai. We exchanged numbers and, then we were talking various stuff. She seemed to be weird, because when we talked of recent movies,she was talking about the movies which were already released in 2010. She did ask me whether Don 2 was released or not. I was like, it’s since three years it was released. She opposed and said that she had only seen the trailer of the movie. I was taken aback, but I changed the course of the topic and forgot about it.

image

Screenshot from a YouTube video - The disaster site. Till date it is the same. No changes have been made.

As the train was standing as standby near the Tikiapara Carshed, I saw, the 12102 Jnaneshwari Express was passing slowly besides our local. I exclaimed “see see your train is passing dude!”. She calmly affirmed,”this is not my train dear”. I got a bit scared, so I didn’t dare to question her again.And, then we together got down at the Howrah Station.

And, to my horror I could see, the Mumbai bound 12102 standing at platform number 21.The girl asked me to help her a bit and, I reluctantly helped her with her bags. I found something fishy with the train because, when I went into the train, I saw some stains of blood near the washroom and the window pane. After I saw that, she was well settled, she asked me to join her and accompany her till Mumbai. I replied “oh no no no, I cannot. I don’t have a ticket and I have my graduation to complete as well.” She smiled and bid me goodbye. Before getting off, she gave me a piece of paper which read, “Goodbye. You are nice. I’ll miss you and wait for you.”I felt good and then I got off the train and,the train went away, like any other normal train.Before getting off the train, I collided with a person, and accidentally I saw the time on his watch. It read as, 01.31.44am 28th May 2010. I felt it might be because I didn’t have food since long and I might be dizzy as well. I ignored it and, got down the train.

As the train was leaving, I kinda stared at it and, memories of home began to flash. Suddenly out of nowhere a TTE came and asked for my ticket. I showed him and asked him, whether he saw the 12102 departing platform number 21. He laughed at me and exclaimed whether I was mad. I was taken aback and then I asked him,I can see and I did even board the stationary train for a few minutes.He said, “Come I’ll take you to someone who could answer your questions”. He took me to another TTE who was, checking tickets. He said me,that the train which I saw was a ghost train of the 12102 Jnaneswari express which was derailed on 28th May 2010.

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A Ghost train. via - mrjam.org

I got scared, and I shared all the events with him which actually happened with me. He said, the girl I met was Miss X who was a patient at the Midnapur General hospital and she passed away the next morning. In fear I tried to call the number, which I got a reply from the other side as the number does not exist.

I got so much scared that I started running away from platform number 21. After stumbling upon various people,I reached outside the Yatri Niwas and, tried to search for the piece of paper. Of course it was found to be nowhere. I went inside the KFC and, ordered some foodstuff.

Till date, I remember the beautiful face of the girl, and I close my eyes whenever I pass the stations Sardiha and Khemasuli. Because whenever I see the ruins, of the derailed Jnaneshwari Express, I feel, the beautiful and intelligent soul is trapped. At moments I even felt that I could go into the past and persuade everyone not to board the disastrous train, but, it isn’t possible.

I still wonder, where will she wait for me.I wish, she hadn’t boarded the train.Now I realize why I should have got down at Santragachi. I still get goosebumps,whenever I pass through platform number 21.

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