“Everything needs a perfect ambience! Even death will need an ambience to be felt by the mortal souls as a thing to fear”, said my friend-cum-senior batch-mate, Saurav.

You might know some people who turn philosophers as soon as alcohol slips down their food pipe. But his case is a bit different because he turns so only in my presence. You can consider me his secret-keeper.

“Today is twelfth February, and in two days, I will be yet again celebrating the Valentine’s Day as a single.”

“Hey, I have a story regarding Valentine’s. Listen attentively!

Both are young, good-looking students and destiny has put both of them in coach no. B-3 of Malda Town-New Farrakka Express. The girl will get off at Varanasi, the boy will continue his journey. Their eyes met. The date was Thirteenth February; the next morning will mark the beginning of Valentine’s celebrations. It will be the third Valentine’s day they will be spending together after a gap of two years.

He turns towards the window and stares blankly at the red walls of Old Delhi Station. She searches for her phone, sitting in the next coop. Their silence was palpable, the storm that had erupted, brought back many painful memories. The engine blew its horn load and gave a sharp nudge to the coaches which rattled behind it.

The night sky was well illuminated by the moon. The coach swayed with its distinct tune. He tried desperately to catch a good sleep, but the pain in his breast bone didn’t subsidize though he had taken one combiflam. Sleep didn’t adore her eyes as well. It was Etawah when he gave up his plan to sleep and sat on his berth pressing his back against the partition of the coop. The pain reduced a little bit. He rubbed his hand on his chest and applied little pressure on it. It wasn’t something which could terrify him as he had faced this many a times. Medical terminology for his condition is Costochondritis; the pain and inflammation of the junction of upper ribs and the cartilage. It had been about fifteen minutes since the train had left Etawah when he felt little difficulty in breathing. The pain also resurfaced. He thought lying down would make him feel better.

It was somewhere near Kanpur Central. The night ambience was still at its peak and snoring people made her feel she was spending a sleepless night. She got up for washing her eyes. While returning back to her coop, she saw the attendant and two other people standing near the coop adjacent to hers. As she came close, she heard them talking faintly about calling a doctor. She came closer to see what had happened.

His left hand was pressed on his chest, the right one held the berth firmly.

At Kanpur Central a medical team took him to the infirmary. After confirming that his heart functioned normally, an injection was jabbed in his arm. As the pain subsidized his eyelids started to give up though he didn’t really want to sleep. He wanted to enjoy the moments that passed by, in the ambience created by pungent smell of disinfectant, chatter of on-duty nursing staff, and the monotonous voice that incessantly talked about arrival and departure on the station’s public address system. A sight that his heart refused to let go got mingled in the same, but the dose of pain-killer was too much to handle. She was sitting beside him, holding his left hand and stroking his forehead gently with her right one. It was 14th February, and one vague medical room that otherwise is infamous for churning out death, set the ambience right for two hearts to unite again.”

Saurav’s mug was empty; I was guessing who these love birds were! I asked giving a little nudge and asked, “Who are they? Are they your batch-mates?”

The ambience, the ambience….yea, I think that will be good name for this story!”

He left the chair and went for kitchen sink. I didn’t get my answer, but I guessed that since it is Valentine’s, the heart matters! Head can wait for some time…   

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From the Origin of time many rise and fall like winter weeds, My identity could not be revealed by anyone, My identity could only be revealed if you know me well. There isn't any great mystery about me. What I do is glamorous and has an awful lot of white-hot attention placed on it. But the actual work requires the same discipline and passion as any job you love doing, be it as a very good pipe fitter or a highly creative artist.