Friends, once I had decided to go to a hilly region just for a change. So, on a Sunday morning, I reached the station to catch the train. Soon the train arrived. But it was very crowded. Everyone was in a great hustle. I was unable to get a seat and it was expected. The journey was about 8 hours. There were many like me stood still balancing. Everyone was hoping for a seat. Those who had got seats, were looking like the owners of the train.
The train started with a huge bang. Some of the passengers began to make them busy in reading newspapers. Majority of them took out their cell phones. It was making me a little boring for I like talking. At the same time, I observed that a person besides me, near about 50, was watching a girl in the window without falling his eyes. I tried to divert his attention and asked him, “…When will we reach the station?” The man didn’t lose his attention. Instead, he gave me only a quiver look.
The girl was looking young of about 20. She was busy in her cell phone but most of the time, she was spending it watching outside the window, sometimes, smiling at the lady besides her.
At the first station, after 2 hours, some of the passengers alighted and I got a seat next to the girl. Again many passengers were boarding with rush and hastily occupied the available seats. Still some seats were empty. The man moved forward towards the girl but did not sit. Still he was watching at the girl. Now, I saw him thinking something.
I again asked him to have a seat. But the man ignored me. He was looking suspicious. I couldn’t understand him but thought to make the girl alert. Suddenly, the man came forward and sat in front of me. I sighed a little. The girl looked at the man and the lady who had sat before her and again turned her head to the window. Nobody was talking. The compartment was near about empty. There were only 20 of us.
After an hour, I saw the lady taking out her luggage, but the girl was not moving. The lady put her hand on the girl’s head and gestured something. I couldn’t listen the lady’s words, but the girl pushed herself more close to the window.The lady took out a bag kept under the seat. I was relaxed expecting that the lady with the girl would be alighted at the next station. But,I was surprised to to see the man and the lady alighting. I thought, the girl was travelling alone.
Now, there were only 7 passengers including me. The journey was still about 2 hours. I thought to go out for a while. But what was that….? The man was again coming in. He came and sat near the girl. He was looking angry. But for what? I wondered.
I prepared my mind and asked the girl with a little smile, “Where are you going? Do you go to college…?” Before the girl could reply, the man interrupted me, unexpectedly, “She is deaf and handicap…!”
I was deeply shocked hearing this. The man continued, “She is 20 and has a diploma in teaching special category students. She is born handicap. Her mother died at her birth,since then I am her mother also. I am a labour worker but I give her everything what other girls have. Now, we had gone to arrange her marriage. One of the relative had informed about a boy. The boy is also deaf but earning satisfactory. He and his father liked her but his mother is demanding. And…. I am unable to collect such a huge amount..This has made me unstable and angry. And sorry, Sir, I misbehaved with you…..” The last words, he could not talk looking at me…
The last station was arrived. The man put the girl on his shoulders, smiled at me and moved. I found myself rooted deeply. I was dumb with a lot of thoughts.Though we had our different ways, I was looking at them till their disappearing…
Friends, The man was a real hero. He was a Superman for his daughter and a Gladiator of her life.