Sunday, October 2, 2011

The nagging question

Divya was waiting at the Central station for boarding her train to Coimbatore. She had come an hour earlier. She found seated by her side a young man in his late twenties reading an English magazine. He looked handsome with dark curly hair parted at the centre. The thin rimless specs that rested on his aquiline nose added to his charm. She glanced towards him now and then but he never seemed to take note of her. She glanced at her watch and found it had stopped.

“Mister, can you please tell me the time?” she asked him shaking her watch vigorously.

“20.10.Has your watch stopped or what?” he asked.

She giggled and said “Thanks. Why would I ask if it were running?”

“I am Madhavan bound for Coimbatore. Who knows you might have asked me just to pick up a conversation” he said with a mischievous grin.

“Chee, chee.Why should I pick up conversation with a stranger? I am Divya waiting for my train to the same place” she replied.

When he exploded into laughter she too joined him. After a few pleasantries he asked her “Would you mind having tea and some snacks at the restaurant? I am famished and we have an hour more”

She readily agreed. He ordered samosa, sandwiches and tea. As they were waiting, she excused herself leaving her small suit case with him . When she came back, he found him waiting with the snacks and tea. They ate together. She learnt he was an Income Tax officer working at Coimbatore and in turn had informed him that she was an officer in a national bank.

As they were eating she felt suddenly groggy with a tugging pain in her head and blacked out.

It was early morning. She heard noises of people around. She found that she was in a berth in AC two tier compartment. The train had reached Coimbatore. She quickly looked for her hand bag. It was lying under her pillow. Except for the missing cash of a few thousands all were intact. She looked for her suitcase. It was missing.

She realized she was conned. She didn’t know what to do as most of the passengers were getting down. She came to the gate to get down. There she found Madhavan waiting for her with her suitcase in his hand.

“Good morning, Divya. Could you sleep well? What happened? You passed out suddenly yesterday. I gtot worried.. I saw from your hand bag your ticket with coach and seat number. I did not want to leave you in that state in the station. I had no time to go to the police. I was also not comfortable leaving a young lady in their custody in the night. So I decided to put you in the train .Luckily I was in the next cabin. I took the precaution to remove the money from your bag and keep your suitcase with me. Here they are. Please have them checked” he said with a smile.

She thanked him profusely and said “I did not know what happened after I ate the stuff along with you. I do not remember a single bit. But for your presence of mind and help I would have been in serious trouble. I have no words to express my gratitude. Thanks a bunch for safeguarding my money and the suitcase.”

“Never mind. All is well that ends well. My car would be waiting. I can drop you at your place on my way” he said

“Thanks. I would rather take a three wheeler. I do not know how to thank you for being such a good Samaritan” she said as she gave her card.

“I can understand your apprehension in travelling with unknown stranger in a car. But I have no intention to leave you here without ensuring you reach safely to your home. I will accompany you in your three-wheeler with my car behind. Here is my card” he said.

It was a big bungalow where the three wheeler stopped. She invited him for a coffee to which he readily agreed. As she related the incident, her parents were very pleased with him and enquired about his parents, where he stayed, matrimonial status and such like as old people are wont to. To make things short suffice it to say they were happily married in six months time.

One Sunday morning when she was sitting in the balcony of their house sipping tea with Madhavan, she remembered the question that had always foxed her without an answer. She looked at the innocent face of her husband reading a news paper. The thought crossed to her mind that he had also taken the same refreshments that day in the station with no ill effect and how she alone conked out. Could it be someone at the restaurant, she wondered? No, it cannot be she concluded.

Divya asked him the question the umpteenth time.

“Whoever did it I thank him from the bottom of my heart for fetching me such a beautiful wife. Do you suspect me?” was his smiling answer as always. She dared not accuse him for he was such a beloved husband.


  1. oh..such a sweet story and with a mystery..please tell me the secret..i am dying to know why did it happen?

  2. You are being quite foxy. Leaving the reader to search with the same question and be restless without a convincing answer.

    If you like watching movies , I would suggest that you watch the two , in the order I mention below
    1- Before Sunrise
    2- Before Sunset.

    Your story in some parts reminds me of these beautiful movies.Especially the way they pick the conversation and ..

  3. The nagging doubt will be there throughout her life!

    Nice story!

  4. Hi Uncle.. u touched an important sensitive corner of a woman's thoughts..

    Well put..

  5. Yikes! I am too curious to live with a question like that nagging me all the time. Did he plan all of it? But how? And why? You know, you could easily start a short story contest, where anyone can attempt giving this story an end. :)

  6. very sweet story indeed, though at the beginning gives the feeling of biscuit thief.

  7. You're at your best regaling your readers with stories like this. Interesting.

  8. That's a wonderful story. Curious to know why only she blacked out!

  9. Blessings....
    Ever leaving your readers hungry to, lol, signs of a great writer.

    Please stop by my place and pick up your ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD, just click on the award name and it will take you directly to my award page where you can right click and save.

    Stay blessed my sweet friend and keep writing/


  10. Leaves me with that nagging question too...

    Good to see some of our common friends here. I will have to check out the movies Anil has suggested too.

  11. That was cute.. lovely and like a fairy tale.. Of course fairy tale, helpless damsel and her hero.. liked it very much especially the twist in the middle..
    Divya seem to be a little dumb.. he he!

  12. ehem ehem.... :)
    KP sir... com'on you are kidding us... this is too good to be true haha
    i would have liked some other title by the way because the focus is more on the guy na?

  13. Dear Partha,
    A Pleasant Morning!
    Happy Navrathri!
    It's a lovely story,leaving the reader to wonder!:)
    It's my pleasure to browse through your stories!
    May Goddess Saraswathi Bless You To write more interesting stories!
    Have a great day!

  14. I think Madhavan did this to her. It is quite obvious, and no matter how noble the intention, it is a despicable act. How can Divya be so stupid?

  15. I agree with Sandhya, she'll always have this doubt in her heart........interesting story as always :)

  16. I finally am reading you again...after a long, long time...

    That nagging question, whether he did it or not, it doesn't matter to me because the end justifies the means and it was a fairy tale ending!

    Beautiful story as always KP!

  17. You are writing stories with a real twist. So difficult to predict the end.

  18. Lovely story. Well secret please...Who did it ?

  19. It began like a love story, moved on to something mysterious and again ends ona note of mystery. Enjoyed it thoroughly!

  20. The man really loved the woman a lot. He was willing to do anything for it.
    Help her and get a good name from her parents? Or maybe drug her?
    Good one KP.

  21. tch tch tch .. did he or did he not.. dat is the q ... :P ... :D .. awesome read ...