‘Red line Delhi metro still haunts me’ Inaaya a 25-year-old girl living alone in the suburbs of Delhi has a strong feeling of fear for that metro line.

A While ago, Inaaya was popularly known for her confidence, courage, and independency. She had everything a youth wants a good 9 to 5 job with a 6-figure salary, a perfect relationship and a good blend of friends and family. She was extremely close to all of them. But as it is said good things do not last forever, her happiness was also for a limited time.It was the time of annual recession in her office, she was pretty much sure that she will not be in that blacklist for all the laurels she has achieved personally and for the company. She was dreaming of soon getting promoted. But reality struck hard, to her it was like the rug swept out under her feet. She got a termination letter and could not believe it.

Last few days of her life had been miserable, losing her parents in a car accident, getting her best friend married and shifting of Karan to the US. She was sure nothing worse than this could happen but then she loses her job as well. With a heavy heart and glistening eyes, she headed back to home just like she always goes, through Metro obviously being the cheapest and safest mode of public transport.

Her house was on Dilshad Garden side and in night usually the metro which comes had only 6 coaches. She always used to notice the number of coaches before sitting inside and the number of metro which usually remain same as she used to board metro at that time only, but that day she was lost in her own world. The metro arrived and She sat in the last coach which was surprisingly the 8th coach and it was alienated and no one except her was there in that coach. She was shocked seeing this she looked here and there and noticed the 7th coach also had only 4-5 persons and the crowd was in the 6th coach. She decided to remain seated in the 8th coach only as she needed some me time.

Next station arrived and a person entered that coach, she seemed to be a teenager. She came and sat next to her and began talking to her. She being lost in her world did not pay a heed to her.

She said her ‘why are you crying, you can share your feelings with me, we won’t even meet again so no attachment as well’

Inaaya being vulnerable told her that she resigned from her job.

‘ Oh, please do not lie you have been asked to leave and you have not left that place on your own. But see you will have many more good opportunities ahead and better jobs too’ she said , and I know that’s not the only reason for your breakdown you are feeling cheated and betrayed from inside. The person whom you trusted blindly broke your heart.

‘Wait what are you saying, how are you so sure about all this’, Inaaya said

‘I know everything which you don’t even speak. The guilt of not going to your parents last rites and cremation because you were stuck with those stupid meetings and the left time you spent arguing with Karan , she said’

Oh, please stop it, said Inaaya

‘You cannot hide from reality; you broke your phone in your rage and when you opened it you received that news of your parents. It is sad. I know you were close to them but you haven’t spoken with them for a while and one day when you decided to meet them you got to know that they are no more. This must have broken you from inside.’

‘Who are you how do you know so much about me? Wait is this a dream!!’ Inaaya wondered

No, you are not dreaming we are in the metro. So, tell me about Karan and Natasha. Were they close friends?’ she said

‘Ya they were, Natasha my best friend who got hitched last month, met Karan because of me. They had a good bond and they gelled up quick.’ Inaaya said

‘Do they use to meet each other without you?’

‘Yaa me and Natasha were flatmates and she had work from home and I had work from office. Karan used to come frequently to my place and often when I went home I used to find Karan there only’ , Inaaya explained

‘Oh, seems like they were really into each other’

‘No, they were friends and they could not think to ditch me like this. Natasha was my childhood friend ‘ Inaaya said to calm her heart.

You are naive, you know something is cooking between them but you have decided to shut your eyes. You give credit to him for your achievements but when you needed them today, both were not bothered to pick your call or drop a message. You always met Karan with Natasha and Karan never really had an issue with it, have you ever wondered? Going movies, shopping, dinners, outing , you were the one who felt out of place with your two favourite persons as they had their inside jokes and talks. Think, think! She spoke

‘Wait, first tell me who are you, you seem to be a teenager but then you know so much about me. You do not have a familiar face yet I am feeling so good with you.’

‘Maybe our meeting was destined today! And why are you even worried about my identity when you are already struggling with yours! So, you interrupted me in the middle, tell me when Karan shifted to the US?’ She answered

‘After Natasha got married and shifted to the US, Karan got an offer and a better pay from one company in US and he shifted there, but Natasha is married and they do not have anything between them. She is happy with his husband.’

‘Sure, as you are happy with Karan! She spoke

See I know you have lost all those persons in a while you have loved and trusted the most and I know it really hurts. You thought that your job would keep you distracted but then you lost that too. And you know if you will breakup with Karan, he will not feel bad because he never really loved you but maybe your friend. He always shown his affection and pampering to you but was it worth? Think yourself!

You are a strong girl and you need to be strong. Maybe life has something better for you! And as far as I know this is your station so get off now and all the best for your future’. She spoke

Thankyou! for letting me hear my inside voices and being a good supporter today, I owe you a lot. Thankyou!

Inaaya got off the metro and she thought she doesn’t even the name of the girl who helped her and turned back but then she noticed the metro she boarded in never really had 8 coaches it was one of the last metros for the day bearing 6 coaches as it always had.

She was confused she thought she was hallucinating but she talked to someone who made her feel good. She could not even believe what just happened.

She enquired the officials and all of them said that the last red line metro only has 6 coaches.

She was sure it was not a figment of imagination because she was away from the hustle and bustle of metro and neither she was dreaming any sort of this thing.

She was confused and still is.

Red line continues to haunt her and she never again found that 8th coach in those last metros for the day.