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I ran to the station; clothes in disarray, my hair all tangled by the wind, my back pack hitting many a passenger who kept throwing me nasty glances. But there was no time to be polite now. What with the rains and the heavy traffic, I was already one hour late. I could only pray that the Indian railways, would be prompt to be late, as always.
But Lady luck seemed to be smirking at me from behind the clouds. I arrived at the platform only to find out that I was ten minutes late and I missed my train. If only I had ran a bit more quickly. If only.
The next train would not be another three more hours. Here I was, lugging a heavy backpack with nothing to do but wait for the damn train. I went to the tea stall and brought a steaming cup of tea. The tea seemed to clear my head. I was not alone. I had my book to keep me company. I took out the latest by Jeffrey Archer and started reading. This thriller was bound to keep me occupied for the good three hours.
A couple of minutes later I found a pair of eyes boring into me. I looked up and saw a guy, around my age, staring at me. He must have felt awkward, because he looked away sheepishly. I went back to my book. But there it was again. He was clearing his throat! Oh God, I don't want the night to turn any worse than it already was. Chatting up a stranger was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted was some time to myself and finish my book in peace.
'If you don't mind me asking, which book by Jeffrey Archer are you reading?' he asked.
I was taken aback. This one didn't seem to be dull. By some weird pact in my head I had made ages ago all book lovers unite, I found myself smiling back and talking about the book. This is the thing with me. I find people boring, their lives uninteresting unless they have anything to do with books. It's such a waste that very few people seemed to appreciate the joys of reading a book. Soon we were chatting nineteen to the dozen and I was surprised to learn that we shared a lot of common authors and favorite books.
Without realizing, the whole of three hours disappeared. He had brought me hot chilly bhajis which we shared over conversation. The sound of the train in the distance brought us back to reality. It was time to part ways. He was travelling to Bangalore and I was going to Chennai. We would never have met each other had it not been for the traffic, rains or the missed train. We exchanged phone numbers, promising each other to keep in touch.
Maybe we would never meet again. The phone calls and messages would soon be forgotten once we were back to the hectic lives that awaited us. Or maybe, just maybe, this was meant to be the beginning of a great friendship. Deep in my heart, I knew it would the latter as I bid him goodbye.