Nishnat was waiting for the train to come. He checked his watch for the final time – just one more minute. He could see the faint ray of light of the head lights of the train. The final minute of life was fast approaching. His brain dizzied: should he jump now or not? He was so much determined in his decision that he did not let the mental duel settle anymore in his frantic mind. He knew he was going to jump off the platform and no force in this world was going to stop him. Nishnat stepped forward and leaned to see the train – it was just a few meters away. He sensed his long yearned freedom standing within some arms distance and raised his other leg to move closer to his ultimatum.
Just at that very moment, Nishnat found some fingers gripping his right shoulder tightly. He looked back. It was Mandira, the dark charcoal of his class. Yeah, Nishnat ridiculed Mandira for her tremendously dark complexion as a black charcoal. Meanwhile, the train was already in the station and people rushed to board it. Some frenzied passengers pushed Nishnat so much that he nearly fell on Mandira. But Mandira was quick enough to hold him before he fell on her.
“Sorry, Nishnat. I just forgot to return you the money for the photocopy of Optics’ notes during the college. So, just thought to return it now.”
“Money for photocopying notes?”
“Yeah, one of your friends told me that you had given money… ”
Nishnat understood all. It was Rishabh, his best friend who always pulled his leg by saying that Mandira had a secret crush on Nishnat. And such foolish jokes and pranks gradually gave rise to Nishnat’s hidden hatred for Mandira. It was all of these idiotic kinds of stuff that led him to comment “Ms. Charcoal” behind Mandira’s back.
“It’s okay, Mandira. You don’t need to return me the money.”
“No Nishnat, I don’t want debts. Here take it.”, she handed him a hundred rupee note.
“Thanks and goodbye.”
Saying these few words, Mandira walked towards the other side of the platform. Nishnat couldn’t say anything; he opened his wallet to keep the money.
As he kept the note, Nishnat saw the untidy photograph of his parents in his wallet. Seeing their pictures, he could not control his emotions.
The platform was nearly empty and he knew no one in that platform cared for him. So, he let his emotions go out of his control. His pent up anger and sorrow were finally getting catharsis. He asked himself what he was doing. Was committing suicide worth everything – the efforts of his parents and his sister’s love? What would have happened to them if he would have died in such a horrible way? Wasn’t he becoming selfish? Wasn’t he becoming a self-obsessed maniac who knew nothing but be possessive about his girlfriend? All he could not digest the fact that his girlfriend was cheating on him and he, instead of moving on and letting her go, decided to jump off the platform in front of a moving train. Wasn’t he an exclusive example of a perfect coward?
Nishnat’s guilt conscience dawned him and his pains drained from his bleeding heart slowly. He sat on the lonely platform alone and his eyes searched for someone. It was not his girlfriend but Mandira, for he owed his life to her. He knew he had been seriously unfair to Mandira and he wanted to confess all in front of her. He couldn’t find her but he was happy that he became a better human being now.
Another train entered the station, blowing the whistle. This time Nishnat boarded the train and embarked on the journey of his new life, alone and possibly with Mandira in his mind.