By: Raja Jaiswal
The railway station of a small town, near Gorakhpur, had been renovated to a new level, on the theme of palace. A flash crowd appeared very timely, routinely, humming and driving their luggage to platform, through the large palatial doorway fitted exquisitely in the small structure of the station.
A small boy was jingling and dancing with a cone of chocolate ice-cream in his hand. Father pulled the kid’s hand to the centre, close his mother. The entire family, including grandfather and grandmother, was on trip.
The kid however got some desirable space and escaped frequently from the family realm. After some rebellious footsteps, he looked back, as he himself was afraid to go too far. On his little stroll, he discovered a tiny pond of stagnant water, filled in a crater formed of a few lost tiles of the platform. The water leaking from a tap was filling the pond very gradually through the tributaries cropped in the vents and the partitions of the tiles. He waved the still water with a light stroke of his foot as he looked down at his own reflection of his tongue leaking the ice-cream.
At a sudden a monkey pranced on the leg of the kid with a desperate attempt snatch the ice-cream. It came and disappeared like a flash of camera. The attempt however failed. The kid was jolted with the sudden phobia of monkey. He fell on his reflection in water. The fingers of one hand drowned completely in the one inch deep murky stagnant water, but protected his body from kissing its water.
While he fell, the frizzy chocolate ice-cream ball popped off and fell at the centre of the stagnation, and his hand had just the crispy brown cone base. He stood up and looked at mournfully the unflinching splitting of the chocolate lump in the water. The dark green greasy algae of the bed deposit of the stagnation, streamed down from his thickly coated hand, very viscously.
The monkey was immensely happy with his accidental extracurricular activity. A huge smile flourished around the socket of his fiercely sharp bright teeth. With one huge leap the monkey jumped on a pillar of sunshade, and held its edge with his fist. The pillar, made of steel, nuts and bolts, shivered feebly with the impact, as well as the curtain of the sunshades above, an identity feature of a railway station. The station was filled with a pulse of faint, hardly noticeable, sonorous sound of the shivering steel.
The monkey relied so much to the holding strength of his fist; he hanged with it, bobbled around, and left himself entirely on its loyalty. The ecstatic monkey spindled around the pillar, like a needle of magnetic compass, a while after, he froze to a direction.
A fleet of monkeys was taking sun bath at the roof of the one storey station. An elderly monkey was being combed by a young one, the kid monkeys were playing a game of poking each other, and an exception personality adult monkey was experimenting with a tap and was amazed with a mystical phenomenon, how loosening and screwing the tap change the flow of water.
The monkey, the ice-cream kid molester, screamed in a strong pitch: ‘Khaa… Khaa… Khee… Khee….’, from his frozen position. The fleet took just the time period of a blink to transform into alert state from leisure state. The monkeys, all together, echoed back the sound: ‘Khaa… Khaa… Khee… Khee….’, with amplified intensity, to rejoice his new chronicle against human race.
The floor of the platform and the large sunshade of the station began to simmer briskly, like a cloud getting charging up to hit a thunderbolt. The stray monkeys, here and there, strolling calm and placid on the platform, stirred up at a sudden. A train with a mighty speed flushed on the rail, along with the wind, dust and litters. The loco pilot was running the train with malice speed to show off his full disrespect to this small no halt station. The thin line of crowd repelled away from the showers of minute dust meteors.
A while after, the engines, wheels, vibrations and collisions on the rail, began to diminish its effect on the platform. The end of the train reached the end of the station. Some fingers on the rim of the window, at the last seat of the last coach of the train, lifted off a beautiful paper plane outside. The plane scientifically ascended exponentially, due to the suction pressure of the fast receding train, to a point from where it could see outside of the station arena.
The paper craft, then, went on descending gradually, subtly, like a glider. The plane entered into the dominance of station as it escaped very narrowly from getting crashed with the edge of the dazzling shining steel sunshade.
The People, busy with nothing, filled with a sudden temptation to fist the plane, directed their radar head and meticulous eyes to that paper craft. The meagrely descending plane flaunted around a silvery pillar of sunshade, and changed its course towards the kid.
The kid posed his hand up, in the air, and the plane was about to embrace his hand. But before, the monkey strode there from nowhere, like the Tarzan, grabbed it in his fist, crunched its head, clipped its wing as soon as he landed on the floor. The wrecked aircraft was lying dead on the platform. The little kid, who was just three years old, had been very new to this planet, was feeling a strange gush of anger that he had never been in his entire three fold years of life. Nuked with anger his body was turned red, the kid pelted a small stone, kept aside, onto the monkey with his all strength.
The monkey made an easy escape, turned back and taunted him: ‘Kha… Kha… Khee… Khee’. The monkey strode a little from his place; then strode a greater, then, overjoyed with second chronicle of the day he strode a bigger and slipped at the edge of the platform, and disappeared. The people from here and there accumulated there. The monkey was struggling, he had his foot stuck under the rail, and worsen more as the track gravels gripped his leg from below.
The monkeys from all the positions of the station marched to rescue him. The spot was very soon filled with the buzzes and screams of ‘Kha… Kha… Khee.. Khee..’ of so many monkeys. The kid-monkeys were the first to start the rescue operation but their endeavour rather appeared like playing a poking game with him. The small boy, who had blur connection with this mishap, was watching it from one corner, and probably unaware about life and death, but certainly he was unaware about the fact that the position of the stuck monkey was the very spot of the third coach of very next train. The wheels of decelerating train would very smoothly cut the monkey’s flesh and bone, like butter, before it stops on the station.
A prudent monkey bowed and pasted his very sensitive ears on the metal of the rail, and measured some sound. He screamed ‘Kha… Kha… Khee… Khee…’, all the monkeys understood the omen of bad fate, and hasten up their effort. Two monkeys were pulling his each hand and a few were pushing him from back. The light signal turned red, the monkeys were adapted to the station, understood the signal, they turned into clamorous. The train began to appear in the form of a dark red spot at the far end of the track. A few more added up to the pulling group and a few more added up to the pushing group. The dark red spot had, now, had taken the form of engine, coaches, smoke and noise. The adult monkey, with the exceptional personality, brought his eyes close to the stuck leg, and he mulled with a profound expression around it.
The train came close enough to make them feel its fierce vibrations through the track, but the monkeys were ardent and fearless. The adult monkey tried to twist his ankle, but it was stuck rigid and tough, and the effort was in vain. The train was about a distance of some twenty seconds, getting on slow to stop. All the monkeys stepped back accept that adult monkey. The people were stormed with the trill, precipitating over the uncertainty of the two monkeys’ life. The adult monkey, on duty, used his entire strength, and made to twist his ankle by small angle. The small angle was a form of ambrosia to their life, and the stuck monkey successfully pulled out his leg.
The two monkeys disappeared from the spot in less than the time period of a flash of camera, in less than the time period of a blink. The two second lapse would have just ended their life. The kid was happy; certainly he understood the life and death. The people rejoiced with a huge applaud and whistle. The train finally stopped, the people inside the coach looked at one another face with confusion and anxiety that why their arrival made the people to rejoice, applaud and celebrate.