It was long, long back… but it’s still not a blur. I remember everything vividly. The first time I ever felt like an adult was when I missed my train! It was perhaps the first moment in my life when I felt left in the lurch. There was nobody to help me out. I was all alone standing in despair at the New Delhi train station enquiring the policemen about my train.
Let me give you a bit of a background of my ‘first adult moment’ story - I was working in Gurgaon and I was going home to meet my family, who was in Lucknow at that time. The very kind admin staff of my office had arranged a cab for me that dropped me at the station. I knew I was late for my train. I was just hoping to catch the train out of sheer luck, but I managed to reach the station only after the train had departed.
Well, I was disappointed at the highest level, as I was so eager to go home. I didn’t want to waste even a single day out of the days off that were granted to me. I just wanted to go home by any means. I was at no cost ready to leave the station. I quickly enquired about the next available train to Lucknow. (By the way, I had missed an afternoon train)
Somebody at the station advised me to get the ‘missed’ train ticket cancelled before anything else. So I headed to the ticket counter. Now in the midst of all this, I discovered a very valuable quality in me – the spirit of not losing hope so easily. After this incident, I have seen the same quality emerge in me on many challenging occasions. I queued up at the counter with a blazing anticipation of getting reservation in the next train to Lucknow.
To my comfort, I got my ticket cancelled with ease and also got a certain amount of money back. After which I got a seat in one of the late night trains to Lucknow. I don’t remember the name or the exact time of that train, but it was an odd hour train and it was a chair car. So now after I had got my new ticket to Lucknow, I heaved a sigh of relief.
While I was undergoing this situation, I had a feeling of being an adult. Although it was unfortunate to miss a train and then wait for another train for hours, it made me feel good about myself that I could handle so much on my own.
But that was not all. There was something in store for me to help me kill time at the station. I met a somewhat middle-aged man or rather he bumped into me uninvited. I was sitting quietly on a bench just waiting for time to whisk by, and this man came and sat next to me. Well of course, he tried to befriend me. I was barely interested in talking to him, but I had to, because there was no escape. Besides, he was a harmless guy. He asked me all sorts of questions, from ‘whether I was a student or a working girl, where did my father work, where did I stay in Lucknow’ to possibly everything under the sun. Obviously, I didn’t tell him anything about me except my name. I gave him all fake answers. (I just wanted to run away from him)
But, for some people their politeness let them get away with anything. Then he told me that I was like his sister. He tried his level best to assure me that he was a man of good character, someone who had control over his senses. He also wanted to stay in touch with me. He even shared his phone number with me, but thankfully didn’t ask for mine. He very smartly said that once I call him, he would get my number too. I just thought to myself, “Why would I call you?”
Anyway, I couldn’t be happier when I saw my train arrive on the platform. I extended an obligatory goodbye to the old chap and quickly got into my coach. Phew!
What was your ‘first’ adult moment? I would love to hear you out!
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