Essays & Short Stories

Where stories begin – at a railway station

Here’s a beautiful first-person account by one of our esteemed students at our online writing program – Dr Nita Jagad. We loved her eye for detail as she spent 10 – 15 minutes at a suburban railway station in Mumbai. Truly, stories are born from every day events. Read this piece and it is going to make you want to know more. 

Text by: Dr Nita Jagad

A train waiting on platform number nine is completely empty and no one is getting in because it is being announced not to do so as the train is going into the yard. It’s looking very clean and neat, newly painted with a combination of light purple and pink.

I see quite a lot of garbage, plastic bags, plastic bottles lying around the tracks. The big clock on the platform is showing the time of 9.30 pm. I am waiting for my train to Bhavnagar which is scheduled to arrive at 10 pm. There are so many people waiting for the same train to Bhavnagar I guess.

The platform is crowded with so many people and their relatives who have come to see them off. Its too noisy here due to people talking loudly, the vendors trying to sell their products, the railway announcements etc. The coolies in red uniform and a metal badge on their arm are running around trying their luck to get some customers.

I see a large family with six adults and four kids and a lot of luggage, waiting for the train. They are carrying eight big suitcases, one red, one grey, one yellow and rest black in colour. They are also carrying some small handbags. The children in the family are eating chips from the packets and one of them about three years age is crying for a green coloured packet.

A lady wearing a pink cotton saree with a black small handbag just walked in and sat on the bench. One beggar lady in unwashed clothes with a small child in her arms is stopping by each one on the platform asking for money. In the meanwhile, many local trains entered and left the platform periodically every 3-4 minutes bringing in and carrying passengers.

One young boy in a red t-shirt and jeans is sitting on the bench and reading the book. There is an announcement in a very unclear and loud voice and I see all the passengers moving away from the edge of the platform and getting ready with their luggage. The train to Bhavnagar is seen entering the platform. It’s time for me to prepare to board the train.

Dr. Nita M Jagad, MBBS MD DCH, is a senior paediatrician based out of Mumbai.  She’s an EQ trainer, certified and trained by Equip kids, India. She is a passionate advocate of Emotional Intelligence in children and parents. She’s one of our esteemed students at The Lifestyle Portal Online Writing Program.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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