“Tanya….hey…..you” Rohit yelled at top of his voice, came running and touched her shoulder but the moment she turned around he stopped. She wasn’t Tanya, his friend of school days but someone else. All the passengers waiting for the announced train looked for a moment at him and then again went busy in their world. But the girl mistaken for Tanya was still staring at him. Rohit felt embarrassed. Should he give the reason for his deed or just ignore it? He wasn’t sure. He thought if he could leave the place to shed off the embarrassing situation. But before he could react she said “Aren’t you Rohit Bagchi of Sijua, Dhanbad?”
Rohit was shocked in surprise. How did she knew him, she isn’t Tanya? He stammered “Yeh..yes” “What’s a pleasant surprise….we met again after a gap of some eleven years I think”
After she finished Rohit could find out his voice to ask the question which was still jumping in his stomach “But I couldn’t recognize you”
“It’s quite natural that you won’t recognize me…I’m Kanika Dey, Tanya Sinha’s friend. “Oh”… Rohit remembered now. How could he forget her? They were very much alike and were bosom friends. He could never visualize Tanya without Kanika beside her. Kanika was more like a bodyguard of Tanya than a friend. The duo could be seen together at all the places of the college where Rohit wished Tanya to be alone. Their class teacher Mr. Perry used to call them ‘pretty chums’
“So where are you going?” asked Kanika.
“I’m going to Howrah from where I’ll get the connecting train to Chennai. What about you?”
“I’m going to my home in Kolkata”
“That’s nice…so we can travel for some time together”
Before she could answer the train came in with a loud noise. Everyone ready to board the train rushed towards the compartment doors. Thankfully they got seats in the same compartment opposite to each other. Rohit said “What are you doing now?”
“I work for a renowned news agency in Kolkata. What about you?”
“I work in Hr department of an IT company in Mumbai.”
They went on with their casual chat with sips of tea from earthen cups of tea vendors or munching chatpatta snacks. They realized the time is over and the journey too when they saw the passengers started the hustle bustle. Rohit said “The time went away at a lightning speed. I wished to know something from you from the beginning of our journey ….if you know…..the whereabouts of Tanya, can you provide me any information?”
“Oh yes, she is in India, working in a reputed company based in B’lore, happily married and have two loving children. Do you know who is her husband…. your best friend Surya”
Rohit concealed his sigh and said “Hope we meet again in future.”
Kanika smiled with a reply “You never wished to see me Rohit. Tanya was there always in your mind. You loved her but never saw that it was only one sided. Tanya was in love with Surya, your best friend. So she never looked back to find that your heart broke into pieces when she left for abroad getting a better opportunity in studies. But you waited with patience. Today too you wished to see Tanya but got disappointed finding me. “
Rohit was stunned. He never thought Kanika could read all his feelings, his depression everything. They both advanced towards their way, Rohit is going to the waiting room to rest there until his train comes and Kanika towards the exit. Before bidding goodbye she turned and said “Your love was always dedicated for Tanya who never recognized it and it’s your fault that you could never acknowledge that girl who loved you the most and she may be still waiting for you. May god help you to find out your true love. Bye!” and she went out of the exit towards the bus stop.
Why did Kanika said that. Who was she to love him most when he was blindfolded in name of Tanya. Is she Kanika? In a flash he remembered all those incidents when she was beside him when he was in need, but each time he wished Tanya to be with him instead. Rohit ran out of the station to get hold of her before he misses again his true love.