I write about the blank spaces between relationships.

The Stranger


The cold winter wind blew in hushed tones through the barricaded train window near which the 35 year old woman sat huddled in a brown shawl. Small wisps of snow had settled on her black hair which appeared a bit frizzy in this strong weather.

This was a nearly empty compartment given the time of the year when not many opted for a visit to a hill station and as this late November train sped past  quaint Indian villages in the extreme north of the country well past dusk.. Tania drifted off to a dreamless sleep.

She had been deciding upon this trip for a few months now and something or the other had kept delaying it. A trip that had been planned for early September when the apple orchards were laden with fruit had stretched into gloomy November when most of the valley began preparations for a harsh winter ahead.

The train screeched to a halt at a lesser known station and a tall heavily built man clad in a thick overcoat entered her compartment. He brought a gush of very cold air with him that Tania felt harshly despite the half open window. His face was partially covered by a muffler but she could see his eyes. Thick tufts of dripping blackish hair fell over his forehead. He was carrying a small dark brown handbag that he placed overhead before taking a seat exactly opposite to her.