Cold Day in Sydney - By Sudesh Krishnamoorthy

It’s very windy and cold. We are in the beginning of summer. I am surprised even though I have seen temperatures dropped suddenly in this part of world.

I can see from my 16th floor office window that it’s getting little bit dark and it’s almost time for me to leave for the day. My watch which is 10 minutes fast shows 6.40 pm.

After a few minutes of walk I would be able to catch the 7.OO pm train. The usual air-conditioned ‘Tangara’ train. I particularly don’t like Tangara’s as it becomes very cold inside the train.

I begin walking towards the station, thinking today it will be worse considering that I am just wearing a shirt without a jacket or a jumper. After reaching the station, I moved to the other end of the platform where the first compartment would come and I would get most comfortable seat.

Finally the train enters and stops. Few people, board the train .I can recognize most of them. I decide to climb to the upper compartment of the Train and take up the Aisle seat of a three joint seater. I see a women sitting, in her mid forties on the Window seat leaving the middle seat vacant.

I am glad to be sitting away from the Window. It gets very cold near the window seat. Even though you can rest your head against the window and sleep for the rest of your journey for more than an hour in my case, I decide against it. I remember last time when I was not wearing my jacket it became so cold that it even made sitting difficult.

I can feel the train moving. I take my 1465 page of unfinished novel “The Suitable Boy”, and start to read. I am feeling very cold and too tired to read the small letters. I just close it put it back in my bag and stare at the Train Map on the compartment wall. After some time the train has stopped at next station, I am not following the stops but I guess its one of those bigger stops where many people get in. I look at my watch, its just 10 minutes after I boarded the train.

A lot of people enter the compartment. All the seats are occupied. I am sure at next stop many people will have to stand. The train finally arrives at the next stop. Many people get in; this station is less crowded than the previous one.

A white women in her mid thirties comes and stands near me, she is holding a polythene bag apart from the hand bag which every women I see in the train carry. I look at her and she looks at me but says nothing. I am sure she is expecting me to go inside and sit. Feeling standing women besides me, I am beginning to feel uncomfortable but my thoughts are disturbed when the train begins to move. Finally in less than a minute, I stand up and ask her to occupy the middle seat saying that I am feeling very cold and I would prefer the Aisle seat.

She looked pleased and sat besides me in the middle seat. In a fraction of second she asked, “Are you alright”? If you are feeling cold you can wear my jumper, she showed the polythene bag, which had a blue jumper.

I could not speak. I never thought some one in the Train could be so kind. I was completely moved. I politely refused her offer.

I could say much. I was lost in thoughts. The train suddenly seemed to be moving fast. She did not look at me. I looked at her, now and then.All the time she was reading and busy with the colorful magazine. I wish she could look at me once again but she did not.

Before getting down I looked at her. She was busy in her colorful world. She never thought she did anything to me. In fact she did not. She was wrong. I felt happy and grateful.

I walked towards my house, lost in thought. I was not feeling cold.

 
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