It was a cold night; everyone on the railway station was trying to find some shelter to escape from the freezing weather. I was smiling with the confidence of my young blood, sitting in the waiting room, watching others pleading to the nature for some mercy. Suddenly, a man probably in his late forties entered into the room. There were two strange things about him, his extraordinary energy which was not congruent with his pale face and weak body, and four heavy books in his hands shaking his lean and thin structure. Walking like a kangaroo with a human face, he came and settled on the chair beside me, keeping his heavy books on the floor. The next moment he opened his laptop and started focusing on the screen from just 26 cm distance through his thick glasses hanging on the nose! The next moment he opened one of his heavy books and started turning the pages, keeping his laptop aside. Curiously I gave a quick glance on the screen but he took it back quickly giving a cold look, but however I managed to read three words, CANCER, GENE, and STRUCTURE.
His cold look made me feel uncomfortable. I changed my seat and went to the last row. Quickly my thoughts diverted from that person to my sweet girlfriend. The cascade of thoughts suddenly broke when the train whistled. I rushed to the train and settled, I saw the same person on my front seat. I was surprised how this man managed to get earlier than me on the train, even when I was almost running!
Here too he was busy operating his laptop, with two heavy books opened in front of him. He was repeatedly seeing on the screen, the books and the roof in quick succession. It looked as if he was trying to find something, ignoring everyone around him. By this time I had developed some interests in his strange personality. In spite of all odds, he had an extraordinary attraction. I don’t know when I caught some z’s thinking about him.
When I woke up, it was already 11 PM and all the fellow passengers were busy in dinner or gossips, but this man was still busy in his work and to my surprise all the four books opened on that narrow berth space. It seemed as if his clock was running faster than ours. Spontaneously I reacted with sniggers, but he was too busy to notice me.
After having my dinner I sat ideally at my place, thinking about different domains of human psychology. I saw a small diary on the floor just beneath the strange person, I silently took it and turned towards him, he was coughing and appeared to be in a lot of pain. I forgot about the diary and offered him some water, but he didn’t listen and again started working. I was irritated and kept the diary in my bag thinking to give it back when he will search for it. I went to sleep with mixed feelings of curiosity, anger and attachment for the strange person.
It was Mugalsarai junction; my compartment was packed with people ranging from policemen to media persons and general public. Some people were taking the strange person to the platform. After enquiring I came to know that an eminent scientist had died last night in the compartment. I was shook to the core of my heart. The train again started getting some motion leaving me startled at my place. It was a grave silence in the compartment; in a hurry I opened internet on my mobile to get some latest News. The headline flashed, “The great scientist Mr. Subramaniam died of cancer last night in a train but not before concluding his latest research on cancer treatment which could be a major breakthrough in the human battle against the disease”.
Suddenly I remembered about the diary and opened it. The first page of the diary showed, “what if I die tomorrow let the human race rejoice”. I turned to the second page and it again showed “what if I die tomorrow let the human race rejoice”, and in a moment I turned all the pages but all of them showed the same scripts. I closed my eyes to find Mr. Subramaniam looking at me, with a smile and telling “Now I can rest”. For the first time I had seen such a dedication to a cause and to the human race. I understood the fact that “what if one dies tomorrow he can continue living with his ideas and contribution to human race”.