I had insisted that I should meet the doctor. The TTE had finally agreed and allowed me. I went and sat near the old couple. The doctor was in a loose night dress, ready to retire for the day and visibly tired.
As expected it was a cold reception. He was not ready to talk. He had his own reasons. “How can I come to a coach which is so much away? Do you expect me to go with a stranger in the night to an unknown spot? Will you do all these if you are in my place?”
I didn’t have any answers, but I only knew that his visit was needed. I tried to convince him by showing my identity card and promised him that I will take care of him like my father. I also told him that he would be treated like a God by all of us.
It was thick silence for a while. I had eagerly waited for the slightest of a positive gesture. It did happen, but from an unexpected source. To my delight, I could see a twinkle in lady’s eyes. She moved closer to her husband, gently took his hand on hers, and tossed up a light suggestion. “If this young man is so much involved, and assures to take care of you, then how can you disappoint him?”
The Doctor seemed to be making up his mind, but with a rider. “Please go and find out whether two policemen can escort us?”
This was as good as saying no. Where will I go and get the escort policemen in a moving train?
The matter was discussed with the guard posted there. He did not want to leave the a/c coach where he is posted during his duty time.
That was the moment when I got convinced that life is not a bed of roses. It is rather a carpet of thorns & stones.
However, the guard came up with a sensible solution. “Sir, a few of my colleagues are traveling in the unreserved coach. They are not on duty. If you can meet & convince them, probably they will agree.”