There I was a newly wedded bride, fresh as a new born rose on her way to her honeymoon. After all the rituals, greetings of long lost relatives and friends including the little irritations that often accompany the arrangements of any wedding, I was happy to leave all behind me so to say and spend some real ‘quality time’ with my husband who yes, like me was newly married too! Now, I thought that was funny! Our friends from Belgium were accompanying us too as they had come all the way from Belgium just to attend our wedding and we seemed obliged to take them around the country where they had studied for a while with their foreign origins quite obvious in their appearance and accent. We were happy to have them with us since we had seen them last a very long time ago.

Getting into a new relationship, especially that of a marriage can be quite mystifying, alluring and intoxicating all at once when one is just married. With all those emotions stashed within me we boarded the train. We made ourselves comfortable in our respective seats and began chatting, waiting for the train to begin its journey. Suddenly, my husband asked me whether I wanted some biscuits. I said, ‘Why not?’ Nothing like munching some good ol’ biscuits as we chugged along! The train showed its green signal and began its journey. I felt good as the train left behind people, stalls, luggage, etc as it signified a change in all that was mundane and ordinary for me. I was embarking on a new journey – the journey of marriage and it felt awesome to leave everything behind as I traveled on this new adventurous journey of love, passion, affection and joy.

Lost as I was in my thoughts, I did not hear my Belgium friend, Christine ask me, “Shail, where ez  hee? I cain’t see heim enywhear.”

I realized that she was enquiring about my husband who if you remember had gone to get me a packet of biscuits. It was then that I realized, ‘Oh! Hubby dear wasn’t here!’ Surprisingly, I did not panic.

“Don’t worry Christine. You know he travels in our Indian trains every other day. He must have boarded some compartment. He’ll come soon. The train is quite a long one too.”

That convinced her but when some minutes had passed by and hubby did not seem to show any signs of appearing before us, Christine and her husband Peter couldn’t bear it anymore.

“Oh! Shail. I think saumetheeng haaz heipenned to heem. Whaiy ezn’t heee heeere aaz yeit?”

Remember, I was the newly married bride, not them.

Remember, I was the one going on the honeymoon. Not them.

“Oh! C’mon Christine. Peter, why don’t you tell her to stop worrying? Nothing’s wrong. This happens in India all the time. Nobody gets lost. He will be here soon.

But they didn’t seem convinced. Instead, the looks that they gave me when interpreted meant, ‘Silly girl. He is your husband. You’ve just married him. How can you not worry about him? Don’t you love him? What kind of stupid Indian girl are you?’

The train chugged along. Late evening was turning into night. And no dear newly married husband of mine in sight! With two friends with anxiety writ on their sparkling white faces and little blue eyes imagining god only knows what hidden dangers I had no other respite but to presume momentarily that Yes, maybe, something had gone wrong somewhere! By then the train had stopped at one local station and was proceeding towards another. Slowly, it chugged into another station. With two glum faced friends staring at me, I decided I would rather look out of the window and send out some invisible prayers to the Lord who had united us in holy matrimony.  Maybe, that would help I thought or else, I could possibly try some telepathy. Wherever my husband was he would get my message and like Superman or Spiderman just barge into the compartment and holding me in his arms lovingly say, “How can I ever leave you Shail? How could you even think of such a thing?”

So, the train chugged into this station and suddenly I find a Ticket Collector or T.T. knock on my window.

“Madam, you….are….Mrs. Shaahel Raghu vamsi?

Knocked out of my momentary stupor I looked at him stupidly and said, “Yes?”

“Madam, pleeease come down with your friends also.”

A porter appeared from nowhere, took our luggage and we got down from the train that was to take me to my honeymoon. I still did not understand what was happening. The train left us and carried on with its journey. We were made to seat in the Station Master’s room. And then, I was told that yes, my husband had missed the train. So, could I wait till he caught another train to pick us up?

By the time, my husband reached the station and came up to me. One look at him and I burst into tears. Only then, did I realize how close I came to literally losing him in record time soon after marriage.  And what about him? He had entered the station with the packet of biscuits only to see that cross sign on the last bogie of the train. His head reeled he later told us, “There goes my only wife..” He rushed out of the station, caught a taxi and like Rajesh Khanna following Sharmila Tagore in the parallel road singing “mere sapnoh ki rani kab aaeygi tu?” he asked the driver to catch the train. Of course, he wasn’t singing then. The air was filled with the despair of a newly married husband chasing a train on a four wheeler to catch his wife who was chugging away from him. He reached the next station, paid the driver, entered the station only to find the train steaming away again. He knew then, that approaching the railway authorities was the only way to trace his wife. So, that’s how he finally got around getting me and his poor anxious friends back.

You might wonder how I got around remembering this incident. Well, 23rd January happened to be the day we got married! And for the record, I have never touched that particular brand of biscuits again from that day. 

Little Hearts, they were called. Sugary heart shaped biscuits in whose pursuit my heart got literally stolen away!

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48 responses »

  1. Varun Reddy says:

    Though this article was the last article, I was compelled to read it because of the huge number of comments it garnered !!! It was a treat reading this scary yet delightful once-in-a-lifetime experience 🙂 BTW, happy anniversary (belated) to you and to your husband. May you have many more little-hearts…….moments together 😀

  2. Irene says:

    Ha ha ha, loved reading this Shail!!!

  3. deepika says:

    Wow! what a kick start was it. I think, god was in mood to test your love. Enjoyed fully.

  4. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    🙂

  5. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Sonal, I remember, Imtiaz Ali, the Director of “Jab We Met” once said (in one of the award functions or interview) that the story-line of the film came to him while traveling by train – running on wheels we reach our destination within expected time but what happens if we suddenly go off-the-track and fail to reach the intended place. That really made me think – we live such closeted lives, well-on-track that is! What happens when suddenly the train of life gets derailed ? It can end up in funny episodes like Shail has so well narrated or perhaps something more bizarre……..my “wild imagination” cerebral cells are speeding up into action. See you soon on my blogheart!!!

    • Sonal Shree says:

      We should ask Shail if Imtiaz Ali was a co-passenger too that day 🙂

    • Dear Geeta,

      Yes, closeted lives indeed. I am seated here closeted in the warmth of the four corners of my home rattling off all my emotions and thoughts. Off track, yes, I suppose we need it to happen to us at times, to make our minds get rid of the one-track reflections. Don’t you think so Geeta? Of course, I don’t exactly mean missing a train like my husband did:)

  6. Varalekshmy says:

    Hi Shail,
    it is really scary, I wonder how you kept your cool. May be you have such confidence in your husband’s ability to catch the train no matter what!
    So yu now are denouncing the little hearts for giving you heart ache?

    • Dear Varloo,

      Nice to see you here. Yes, I did have a lot of confidence in my husband’s train catching abilities.

      Yeah, I suddenly ceased liking the Little Hearts biscuits. All psychological….

  7. Jess says:

    Congratulations dear!!

    Thanks for sending across the link–trust you know moi has gone a bit off the tracker & don’t seem to getting back on it.

    Should say the piece is quite hilarious and quite touching. Just love the way you narrated the entire episode.

    Regards
    Jess

  8. Sonal Shree says:

    I like the change- Shail in Ha Ha Humor section. I can empathize with you. While we may smile at this incident now, I am sure it must have been so difficult for you then.
    Nice account.
    Belated happy marriage anniversary.

  9. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Oh yes married on a historical day too – birthday of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Belated happy marriage anniversary!

  10. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Dear Shail,

    A more realistic version of “Jab We Met”. The first thought that came to my mind while reading this humorous and dramatic piece. Nice to read a flow from your pen away from serious musings:)

    • Dear Geeta,

      Thanks. That’s a compliment. Many things in our (my husband’s and mine) either appear like a book or now as your said like a movie. Ha ha!

      Yes, since the day was special for me, I thought I would take a spoonful of nostalgia, mix it with some humour and make a dishful of some nice happy narration for my friends.

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Yes, you are right Geeta. Even I recalled the movie JAB WE MET. Movies are inspired from real life, isn’t it?

  11. Shernaz says:

    A belated happy anniversary Shail and your other half with many more joyous ones to come. What a memorable start to a honeymoon! Enjoyed reading your story.

  12. Elegant Chic says:

    Didn’t know a tiny packet could make it an unforgettable honeymoon!!! 😯

    To you and your HERO, happy anniversary!!! 😀 😀

    • Hi Elegant Chic,

      Yeah, it did. As the title says, all for a packet of biscuits!
      An unforgettable honeymoon start it definitely was.

      Thanks for visiting and for the lovely good wishes:)

  13. beyniaz says:

    Happy Anniversary Shail. Loved the lost and found anecdote!

  14. Ashwathy says:

    Hahah….very nice!! These are all precious memories to be savoured forever 🙂

  15. Pintu says:

    Hello Shail,

    Nice to your story. Beautiful ending!Your husband is very thoughtful 🙂

    Little Hearts was my favourite too, till I turned Vegan!

  16. Eva Bell says:

    What an unforgettable honeymoon! It’s really great that you didn’t panic even though your friends did.
    Here’s sending belated wishes for your anniversary. May you have many more exciting tales to tell.

  17. Kumarendra Mallick says:

    Shaili, Belated happy wedding anniversary… do not be casual again, pull the chain to stop the train, and not his leg to stop him! and happily thereafter. May god bless you both.

  18. vimala ramu says:

    A very enjoyable story Shail of “Lost and found” told very interestingly.

  19. Mira Pawar says:

    Hey Shail! Lovely story….your friends would have had a real great laugh at your expense. Shail, you were just married and sure enough did not know what all your hubby was capable of doing. As far as the heart biscuits go, you can have them now because there is no way he is going to disappear again…..I can assure you that!!

    • Dear Mira,

      Yes, friends did make a lot of fun. In fact, many from my side even wondered aloud, ” If he could do this just after getting married, how will he be by your side for the whole life time?”

      Fortunately for me (for him, that you got to ask him) he has stood by me during all train rides including our journey uptil now in life and has never got me a Little Hearts again!

      Thanks for the wishes.

  20. Shail, I am sure you will agree that the poor chap who went out to get little hearts for you, had a BIG heart! and hopefully, still has! 🙂

    And, Brocaji, little hearts are my favourite too, besides Monaco. Nowadays, Monaco’s “Snacky” is very nice.

  21. J S Broca says:

    Dear Shail,a lovely journey,a lively narration,full of suspense,pathos,humour (?) and it ended like a fairy tale ..” they lived happily ever after..” Sugary sweet experience like the sugar-coated biscuits of Britannia (they happen to be one of my favourites too,besides Parle’s Monaco-salted biscuits) reminded me of a railway journey from Ranchi to Delhi (1999 I think-yes) when on a hot summer day, I got down at a station on the way, to fill a flask of cold water for my wife, from a water cooler on the platform,but, by the time I reached back, the train had moved on and with great trepidition,I hurriedly boarded the first coach that passed by.Luckily, the coaches were inter-connected and I reached my wife with her much needed cold water, but instead of a ‘thank you’,she took me left and right for being so careless and risking my life…I could see the glimpse of tears in her eyes and the big question on her lips :” Agar aap ko kuchch ho jaata tau..?” (if something had happened to you…?).Wishing you many many more years of togetherness with your other half (better or worse ?) . Enjoyed your piece !
    J S Broca

    • Dear Jitoo,

      Nice to read your lovely comments. And also nice that my article prompted you to share one of your train journeys with your wife. Those tears really melt your heart, don’t they?

      Thanks for the good wishes. The better or the worse applies to me too I suppose….

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