The train station was very crowded as it was summer. Most of the parents took their children to various places around the country during the summer holidays.

Chetan followed the porter to the train compartment. Swetha was walking behind silent and angry while holding on to their three year old son Mohit.

They all took the over bridge to go to the other platform where their train is supposed to arrive in the next half an hour.

Chetan looked really upset. Swetha was waiting to say something. She did not get a chance to talk after they got down the cab as they had to make sure they reach their platform safely.

As they reached the fourth platform, Chetan informed the porter that their tickets are reserved for the air-conditioned coach. The porter guided them to the leftmost end of the platform. The coach is supposed to be placed there. There were hardly any other people at this end of the platform. The porter left the luggage and told them that he would return once the train arrives.

As soon as the porter left, Swetha started, “How dare you behave with me like that? What do you think of yourself? I wanted to go to my uncle’s house and you feigned illness and woke up late to avoid going to my uncle’s house?”

Chetan responded with contempt in his voice, “I’m really not feeling good. This place is very hot and I feel very dehydrated. You know that sometimes the summer makes me extremely dehydrated. I was born in a hill station and cannot take this kind of heat. You know it.”

Swetha retorted immediately, “I’m also from the same town as yours. But, I can adjust to this temperature. Are you some prince or something? Be a man. Don’t be so sensitive. Being a girl, I could bear the heat. Your son is able to bear the heat. I wonder why you become so sensitive.”

This statement really irked Chetan and he could not control his anger anymore. He said, “Stop the fun. You are such a nuisance. You will talk anything that comes to your mind. You have become so hopeless. As a wife, you should understand my situation and try to help me. But, you should not be judgmental and pass such idiotic comments. I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of you. I’m tired of this relationship.”

Mohit, their three year old son, got down and started playing around them. He ran far. He came near. He went behind the birds.

Swetha roared at him, “You’re tried. I’m vexed. I can’t take this anymore. Ever since I saw you for the first time, my life got doomed. I have lost my freedom, peace, happiness, and everything.”

Chetan: “When did I last have freedom? What about movies? When did I last watch a movie? I earned money day and night for you and you spend it all for your luxuries.”

Swetha: “You are such a terrible person. I saved every rupee you gave me. I helped you with your loans. I tried to save every penny wherever I could. I stopped going to the expensive beauty salon for the last eight months.”

Chetan: “I postponed my plans to buy a new bike. I bought a phone for you. I postponed my plans to buy a new cricket set. I bought an expensive gift for you on your birthday.”

They both shouted at each other. Mohit went a bit father as he just wanted to play away from the regular fighting drama. He gets frightened whenever they fight like this. They normally fight like this at home.

Someone came and picked up Mohit. He smiled at the visitor and went away with him.

Swetha and Chetan shouted at each other and argued for nearly forty five minutes. In between, Swetha threw a water bottle at him. Chetan threw the watch that she gifted to him on his birthday. They continued shouting at each for some more minutes.

A few people started gathering around them to watch the drama. They found it funny.

Suddenly, Chetan realized that the situation was going out of control. He immediately lowered his voice and told to Swetha, “Look around. Let us not make a scene out of silly fights. Control yourselves.”

“This is great. Now, you ask me to control myself. You said all the unpardonable things and did horrible things ever since we got married and now you say this. You deserve more shame. Let people know how horrible and shameless a husband you are.”, said Swetha.

Chetan understood that it is time to step away from this place. He placed all the luggage near Swetha and walked away while she continued shouting at him and hurling abuses.

The train was delayed for an hour.

As the train arrived, Chetan came back to the place where the compartment is supposed to come. Swetha already got into the compartment with the luggage.

Chetan walked in asked, “Did you pay the porter? Where is Mohit?”

“Where is Mohit? Stop making fun of me. I know he was with you all this while. You are such an idiot. You make fun even when I am very angry.”, said Swetha.

“Isn’t he with you? I never took him with me. I thought he was playing around. So, I thought you will take care of him. Oh my God! What happened? Where is he now?”, said a shocked Chetan.

They both were devastated for a few moments.

They ran outside the compartment searching for him. They frantically searched for him in the platform. Chetan started asking people if they saw a small kid wearing a red shirt and blue jeans. Nobody got any information. They were all busy with their preparations for the journey.

After thirty minutes, the train was getting ready to leave. Chetan got the luggage out of the compartment and asked Swetha to look at the luggage while he will go to the police room in the train station and seek the help of the cops.

“Please find my son. I’m very worried about him. I’m sorry I fought with you. Please get him back to me. If this is your way of teaching me a lesson, I learnt it. I will try to control my anger from now on. I want my Mohit, now.”, cried Swetha to Chetan.

Chetan was in despair and anxiety. He said, “You know. I would never play such big pranks. I am so worried about him.”

Saying so, Chetan tried to control himself and stopped short of crying. He had to do something immediately before something untoward happened to his son. However, they were confident that Mohit would not go to strangers so easily. He would cry, shout, and throw tantrums if strangers try to talk to him or take him anywhere. He would not even, usually go to some of their closest friends.

After seeking the help of the cops and after making the announcement to the public, Chetan and Mohit were really sad and did not know what to do.

Just then, Chetan got a call from his father on his mobile phone. Even before his father could say anything, Chetan started by saying, “Paapa. We did not take the train. Mohit is missing. Please do something.”

There was silence on the other side of the line.

His father said, “If you  guys are done with your fighting, come home immediately. Mohit is with me. Talk to him.”

Chetan heaved a huge sigh of relief. Tears started rolling down his eyes after he heard his son’s voice.

They immediately took a cab to return to Chetan’s parents house.

They both hugged Mohit and vowed to him that they would never fight again.

After two days, they booked flight tickets to go back to Bangalore.

As they were on their way, Swetha started, “Your father should not have taken him that day. I almost died there. ”

Chetan was worried that she would start the fight all over again.

However, Mohit replied, “Momma. I asked Grandpa to take me to their home. You both were fighting. I did not want you people. I told him that I want to be with them and not come to Bangalore. He told me that you were playing a game and that you will not fight anymore. So, I came with you.”

Chetan and Swetha were silent for the entire trip.

As they reached Bangalore and their home, Chetan said, “I’m sorry for everything since we got married. At least, let us not fight in front of him.”

Swetha replied, “I wanted to say the same thing. We think so alike.”

And, they embraced each other.

One thought on “Little Hope

Comments are closed.