Purvi glared at him. “So now it has to be me again to carry the bags also. Firstly go to office, then do all the house hold work, then look after the kids single handedly and now, as if it was not enough, that even on the Vacation I will have to pull the bags along with the kids and he will just brush himself with air! Do I look like I have ten hands? Really there should be a limit of incompetency. How can a single soul handle everything alone! And farther more how can another person remain so indifferent seeing all of it?”
Nikhil realised he couldn’t win the situation and stopped arguing. The only problem is, like most of the other men on the planet he realised it late. Purvi deposited her twin kids, Titli And Tito to their father and hurled towards a book vender near them to get herself something for the journey. After a good long fifteen minutes she came back with two latest editions of Whippy Kid and a brand new crime thriller of a renowned American author. She handed the whippy kids to her children and slipped her own book into her bag. Titli, her daughter who always exhibited her quality of being responsible, took off the backpack down her shoulders and put both the books inside. There was a food vendor just next to them whose owner was constantly busy with the customers. His helper was concentrating in dipping off the samosas into the big iron pan filled with boiling oil. And the whole place was filled with the aroma, filling them with temptation. But those who have any idea how foods was made by the station vendors will never think of touching any of it. So there they had to stand helplessly fighting their temptation hard. Tito tried to put up the suggestion of having the hot samosas but had to settle with a packet of Kurkure instead. So now he was having Kurkure while smelling the aroma of samosas, satisfying himself with the idea of the famous saying, “Smelling is equivalent of half eating!”
The train arrived half an hour late than the allotted time, though for Indians it would be considered right on time anyway. As soon as the train arrived, the doors of the two tire AC clogged with passengers and their luggages and not to forget the coolies who somehow manages to get into the train before it even arrives properly. It is a situation when adrenaline ought to rush as the stoppage time allotted for the station is only two minutes. And to all her dismay Purvi found Nikhil at the outer most part of the jolt. This man was impossible. Nothing, absolutely nothing he could manage by himself. They are going to miss the train and she has no doubt about it. She kept calling for Titli and Tito repeatedly, asking them to stay near her and hold each other’s hands these are the situations when siblings get apart and meet after twenty years in some strange circumstances one in a police uniform and another definitely as a most wanted thief. Purvi couldn’t imagine any of her kids being a thief. So the reminder of sticking together kept coming more often. Finally Nikhil managed to put all their luggages in the train and they all boarded safely, way before the train departed the station. All four seats of a coop had been reserved for the Banerjee family. Nikhil tucked the bags safely under the seats and secured them with a luggage chain. Purvi took a seat next to the window and so did Titli on the opposite side. Tito took out one of the Whimpy Kids and started turning the pages. Nikhil sat beside Purvi and almost immediately got busy in checking mails on his iPhone.
The Mandovi express left Mumbai around 8 in the morning. They started from home almost having nothing as it was too early. So now Purvi got busy serving breakfast. She laid four paper plates on the brief foldable table fixed with the wall between the two sleeper beds, provided by the Indian railway. She pulled out a medium round steel tiffin box from the haversack and opened it. It was stuffed with slices of rich chocolate and walnut brownies which she baked the day before. She put two slices on each plate and put the tiffin box back. Now she pulled out a rectangular Tupperware container which was filled with a small homemade diamond shaped deep fried snacks called nimkee. It’s a recipe form her mom which Tito and Titli loved. She poured some on each plate and handed them over to all. Titli took a bite of the brownie and popped her eyes with a huge smile.
“It’s lovely Maa, can I get some more please?”
“Sure you can, but in the evening. For now only two pieces.”
“You will get fat if you will eat more, understood?” Tito didn’t miss the opportunity to tease his sister.
“Shut up you idiot, I am not at all fat. It’s you who is getting fatter day by day.” Titli countered back.
“Oh ya, yes I am fat, but what would you do about yourself? Say, say?” Tito said in a mocking tone pushing his sister with his shoulders.
“You two please behave. This is not home, remember?” Purvi tried to stop them, taking a glance from the corner of her eye at the opposite upper side berth from where an elderly person was observing them. It seemed the little chit chat of her kids was keeping him away from his nap which he intended to take to compensate the early morning journey hazards. The lower berth was occupied by a foreigner who was reading a book on his kindle and occasionally looking out through the glass window.