That Winter Night
(Short Story)

It was a cold winter night. The station was fairly crowded even at the stroke of midnight. A herd of passengers sipping a cup of ‘chai’ to keep them warm.

Nazneen patiently waited amidst the crowd for the train to arrive.

As the railway announcement was made, the train made its way to the platform.

The ladies compartment wore a deserted look. Before she could get a moment to think whether to get into the ladies coach or skip that rain, he train honked.

She boarded the general compartment without any option. She found herself finding a seat by the window.

As she took her dupatta to cover her head and ears, she saw a family of three sitting on the next seat.

A man, a pregnant lady dressed in fine imitation jewellery and a young girl who clinged to her mother’s salwar.

The man’s face seemed familiar to Nazneen. And then it suddenly dawned upon her that he is none other than her husband.

A bundle of emotions ran in her mind. She remembered how she had met him during one of the train journeys back home, how they fell in love, got married. She remembered how she was abused and beaten mercilessly that she went on to have a miscarriage, never to conceive again.

She covered her face completely with the dupatta and quietly walked to her husband. He was flummoxed when he saw her but didn’t react.

Nazneen smiled at her husband’s second wife and striked a conversation.

A few stations came and went by.

As Nazneen got comfortable talking to the lady, she showed her the scars and the burn marks from the cigarette butts. And then she quietly aid, “Aapa yehaapke shouhar ne kiya.”The lady stared at her blankly. She couldn’t believe what she had just heard.

By then the man had lost his cool. He grabbed Nazneen by her hair and dragged her to the footboard, even while a few passengers haplessly creamed and protested.

The lady couldn’t see another woman being tormented by her own husband. She got up from her seat and with her full force pushed the man out of the train.

The train arrived at the next station and the lady walked to the railway police to surrender.

Nazneen walked away with the other lady’s child and stopped at the tea stall. She ordered a cup of ‘chai’ for herself and the little girl and sipped it slowly.

The ‘chai’ never had tasted so better before. After all, her cold-blooded soul had finally sought revenge!

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Hi, I am Rahul Iyer. Welcome to my blog. Happy Reading.
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