After a month long legal internship in Mumbai, I was going home. My parents had booked a train to Ahmedabad for me. At 9pm I board the train, glad that soon I would be home, in my comfort zone and eating all my favourite dishes. I had missed my boyfriend and my friends and I was really excited to see them. For some reason I was feeling scared. I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. My phone had about 15 percent battery left, soon I would have no connection to the world I knew. I had a little over a 1000 bucks with me, and I knew that it was enough to take me home.

The train kept moving in its usual way, and it was almost 12am. We were on the borders of Maharashtra. Suddenly I heard a racket. The pit in my stomach grew by leaps and bounds. There were 6 men with guns, and they started firing shots at inanimate objects. They ordered us to give them whatever valuables we had, or they would kill us. Scared for our lives, we did as we were told. Before the train could move, they pushed us all out onto the station. I was left there, alone, with no power in my phone, no money, in the dead of the night.

I slept on the station floor that day. Morning came, and I was glad to be alive. I tried to tell the station master about what had happened. He told me they could compensate me by booking a train to Chennai and providing me enough money to buy food on the train. Chennai! That was in the opposite direction of where I was going. My brother lived in Chennai. I took his help as there was no other train for the next 10 hours.

At 8pm the next day, I was standing at Chennai station. I borrowed a phone and called my parents, only to know they were in Kanpur. With a little help from a passer by, I got a train till Varanasi. It was 6am and there was hardly anyone around. It is here I met my old school friend Kriti. We decided to stay at some guest house until it was noon. I charged my phone, ate toast and had milk, and we talked of old times. Then the old man came to know we did not have enough money to pay the entire bill, he shooed us off. We were on the roads again.

Thank God we had our phones. My parents booked us cabs to Kanpur and Rishikesh respectively. I got home that evening finally. My parents hugged me and everyone sighed with relief. I vowed that I would never go anywhere without a charger. I would wake up in tears often for the next few days, I never really felt safe anymore. Time healed me, and soon everything was back to normal.


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