Part 1 – Year 2014
8 June, 4:00 PM
I was stuck between an immense traffic on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway. Lying back on the car’s driver seat, I was listening to my favourite music track by Arijit Singh, ‘Hum Tere Bin Ab Reh Nahi Sakte, Tere Bina Kya Wajood Mera…’ on an FM channel. Every time I heard its lyrics, I got inclined towards her. I needed nothing, but her mild-looks with vibrant aura to pacify myself after a tiring day. I was returning to my home in Chandigarh from my native place in Delhi after attending a family function. While driving above the Delhi highway towards the city beautiful, my thoughts were completely gripped by the erratic ideas of how to surprise my wife, Meera, with my arrival. She was not able to join me at the function because she was busy in the investigation of her client’s case. But, I was totally sure that she had missed me more. She would come back home at 5:30 PM after her work. ‘If I’ll be able to reach home before her? If I’ll be able to hold her from behind and see her expressionless face? If I’ll be able to wipe out her tears of happiness she may bear in her eyes after having me in her arms?’ These were the thoughts that I was occupied with while entering the city. I took a right turn to my home sweet home. Though it was still an hour away, I was getting restless to see my princess who made my house, a home. The radio channel stopped broadcasting the music and started giving the latest local highlights of the city.
‘A father killed his one-year-old child and his wife and he himself committed suicide after the crime for being unemployed since last one year,’ the radio verbalized succeeding another news of an accident that a school bus met due to clash with an overloaded truck. ‘Damn this system and its fake promises, I can’t stay here, I’ll shift to Delhi with Meera and Vidhan, my son next month,’ I thought. Another soul tearing news was broadcasted and I thought of the poor situation of their caretakers after witnessing such incidents fated to their loved ones. Strange lines of worry and anger were clearly visible on my forehead. Sweat drops made its sleek way down the cheeks near my left ear.
‘A young lawyer Mmm-eee-rrr-aaa Talwar found hanging at her flat in Chandigarh, the police registered a case of suicide after scrutinizing the home. And an audio clip was found on her mobile phone in which she accepted her willingness to end her life.’ A severe rough voice from the radio crossed my senses. The engine of heavy vehicles was roaring out on the road and I was not able to hear the name on the radio much clearly. As I was already consumed with the memories of Meera and thinking that I was bad on paying attention to the names flashed in the news or listening to them clearly. I wanted to hear it again, but radio channel never repeats the same news in the next few minutes. Getting impatient, I decided to resort on some TV news channel. I thought of going to a nearby restaurant where I would be able to catch the whole story and the latest updates. I was feeling uneasy but tried to be firm till I confirmed with the reality. With the trembling hands, I tried to park my car in a narrow space that was available there. My car staring betrayed me and suddenly it clashed with another at the parking. Hurriedly, I paved my way inside the place and searched for the Television, and I got it… by God’s grace, the same news was flashing on the TV screen as it was the highlights of the day. When such incidents happen to renowned faces of the city, no TV channel steps back to cover the story to add up to their TRP (Television Rating Point).
I tried to approach near the Television screen stepping ahead slowly rushing forward with the crowd to clear my doubt about the name of the person who committed suicide. Unfortunately, I forgot my spectacles in the car but the speakers on the television were about to verbalize the name after giving a brief flash of the suicide news. I stepped ahead and this time I kept my ears open and more alert. It started with M… then succeeding it was the alphabet E… and I felt deprived of my consciousness slowly with every miniscule moment. The bitter thought that I was avoiding since I heard the same news on the radio was repeating itself. Lying down on a chair nearby in the hall, I was still able to listen to the harsh splashing voice of the crowd, ‘Meera… that pretty girl?’ ‘Yes, Meera… I remember two days back she revealed the truths in the court behind so much wealth of that millionaire… Oh, I forgot the name… and judge punished him by seizing all his rights over his wealth.’ ‘I can’t believe how could she do this? She was such a brave girl who investigated numerous cases by her own, even when the police refused to help her. She was the only one who was not corrupt in the entire system.’ ‘But these tycoons never spare anyone… now all his property is released and he is discharged from all the allegations’, numerous voices entered my ears and I found myself lying on the bed in Lifeline Hospital in Chandigarh in the next few hours.
After two Days…
10 June, 10:30 PM
‘Forget that you ever met her, thinking as if you were lucky enough for a while… to cherish an Angel in your life. But you know what? That pretty soul flew, leaving behind not a single clue.’
This is what the last page of the Meera’s diary read. The dark humble sky in the middle of June outside the window of my living room was roaring in grief and so was I. Taking a sip of coffee from a mug that had her lipstick mark which she left on it a month ago. When she was sitting on the same chair, the summer evening wind was blowing her hair back and she was busy writing something in my diary. She never wrote a diary. It was I who was fond of penning down my daily life, but after meeting me, all my habits turned into hers, while she became my habit. I remember when I tried to put her floating hair back her right ear to look into her eyes, she smiled holding a coffee mug from my hands and took a sip from it leaving a mark of her lips over the edge of the mug.
Vasu… these marks will never part us from each other as it will always leave my kiss on your lips whenever you’ll take a sip from it, she said.
Recalling her words, my eardrum felt her sweet voice thumping over my inner sanity and a small impish teardrop fell into the coffee from my left eye marking her departure not only from my life but also from this mysterious world.
She was a girl of desires, ambitions, and the sky had no limits for her. She can never commit suicide… she can’t leave me in the middle of everything like this. She was mine and her every decision of life had my consent too. So, how could she take such an integral decision of departure alone? How would I console myself that she was upset of her life, which she used to live to the fullest to her knack? My memories with her were haunting me, like oxygen to nostrils to keep the body alive, while her memories were keeping her alive within me. My tears and wet eyes needed all the answers to the inner turmoil that were causing them to sneak out.
There are people with a magic spell and there are spirits living immortal, she had the similar incantation. There are hearts that indeed beat and there are brains which never stop even at heat, she had the similar vigour in herself. There is a sound of silence and there is music even in the chaos and hollowness; she was herself a mild music of this mysterious earth.
She had some vivacious kind of agility that even her silence had the power to inspire the few. When they were captivated by her, few others applauded her efficacy. When they accepted her light, few were drawn back into their own darkness, yet flew with her towards the impeccable heights; heights of her soothing thoughts and magical words. When they were busy loving her, few were craving for the reasons to hate her. Alas! They found none. They ended up finding themselves in her. The secrets of their turmoiled life were hiding behind the crystals of her silence which they had avoided since long while embracing their own paleness. But her light itself trod its path towards their yearning hearts and filled them with its own freshness; it was that great, to take them along with its calm and colourful shade.
Hope Dwells in Darkness
8 June, 11:00 PM
In the month of June, days in Ambala happens to be like head roasting. Long, humid and sticky. Deep blue sky covers all over the earth reflecting its energies. Grey pigeons stray out flapping their wings high and then low into the air in search of a shade and fodder while crows and myna have somewhat disappeared from the sight. Hitting the high leaves of the eucalyptus tree, the wind seems to rise to let its existence be felt, but it fades away very soon. Sun is all above higher, far in the universe, bestowing upon the earth its warmth and grace, giving life to stillness here and ensuring its importance since ages. In contrast, nights are quite cool and alluring to the senses.
Bani sat quietly at her study in loosely fitted light pink top and black shorts folding her legs on a chair. Playing with a pen in-between her fingers of left hand and then tapping it on her head while with her right hand caressing her long black-brown hair floating down, its tips tickling her lap, she urged to give her thoughts a way in this peaceful aroma. When the night wanderers like mosquitoes hit her twinkling lamp’s bulb, its tiny unorganized shadow reflected on her writing pad and wings whined out at back crossing her ears in the dark room. There wasn’t any hustling sound of living objects and her vintage lively words rose only when everything’s dead and down asleep.
In-between her imagination which was evolving within her mind with open eyes, she was wandering in her fantasy world, her eyeballs got a sight of her mini-library, but her mind was stuck somewhere. She heard a harsh, loud sound of fighter plane crossing above the building in the night black sky to land at a nearby Air Force Station and so did her thoughts land back to the reality.
She was unable to forget how her mother yelled at her, the last evening. Unlike all other girls, Bani found no interest in typical kitchen stuff or the daily home chores. Yes, of course, she tried becoming her mother’s helping hand most often, but always ended up increasing the burden for her mother. Thus, after three-and-a-half-hour of drama at home, the mother told Bani to stay away from the kitchen. Books defined her daily destination. Pen and paper accompanied her to every alley. Nobody is perfect, neither was she. To the outside world, she was full of flaws, but she was perfect in her own world of words.
After completing her graduation in commerce, Bani decided to pursue journalism as she was inspired by the challenging lifestyle of the writers and the journalists which always attracted her soul. More importantly, Bani saw it as the only pathway to travel deep into the roots of the culture, religion, history and untold stories of the nation and the world. She never felt any sense of belongingness with the place she lived in. She believed that she belonged to every part of the world, that she was born to live every story, to live every emotion, to discover every hidden secret, to crawl on the ground and then to fly at heights. She wanted to discover the world of unknown truths. Truths, which define our existence, yet remain indefinable.
So, she decided to ask her parents about the same and hoped that they would give their consent for the same. Subsequently, she dozed off at 1:00 AM after scrolling through her emails and social networking accounts.
9 June, 9:00 AM
On a warm Sunday morning, when everyone was at home, Bani was assembling the dishes on the dining table. Tuning to a news channel, Bani’s father sat on the sofa in the living room when Bani with a cup of tea for him in her hand tip-topped towards him dodging the eyes of her mother who was preparing breakfast in the kitchen. She knew that mother would deny to her idea while she found a little hope on her father as he had always proved to be an open-minded man in the entire family. She took the opportunity and asked him if he would allow her to pursue her dreams or not to which she was denied giving a reason that Journalism is not her cup of tea, she was advised to pursue some other profession from a nearby Institute.
‘But papa, please let me go…’ Bani was trying her level best to convince her father to let her get admitted to the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi. His face indicated that he was reluctant to her request and he simply ignored her like any child getting stubborn for a toy and parents hardly let their words to even enter their ears.
‘You should know that it is just a waste of time. It is not safe for girls,’ her mother’s expected remark came when she was stepping out of the kitchen.
‘I want to explore the world with my words and stories which is only possible if I pursue journalism. It is adventurous yet challenging and that is what I crave for,’ Bani added to her argument. She knew that her parents would ignore her every request yet she tried with every inch of her energy to at least make them feel her aspirations from her One Life.
‘You are naive and not ready to take such big decisions. You are thinking it to be as easy as anything. You have to strive hard to earn your living if you choose this as your career and I am not going to be there to feed you for a lifetime,’ her father retorted with a strict tone, ignoring Bani’s pale face and dying emotions.
‘Neither does your future husband will entertain you if you won’t be earning and holding some good professional job,’ her mother took the arguments further. This reaction from them was somewhat expected by her.
‘I know and I do understand but…’ Bani again tried to put forth her point but nobody paid a heed to her feelings.
‘Listen Bani, you are good at studies and we wish to see you at some highly-paid position in life. Yes, we know that you pen down your thoughts in a diary daily but that doesn’t mean you can become successful in that field so promptly. That needs time, guidance and experience,’ Sharad said knowing Bani’s sentiments. Bani and Sharad were twins. Though he knew her ambitious nature, he was against her decision and tried to convince her to change her mind.
‘For now, you have to pursue your post-graduation in M.Com. (Master of Commerce). That will help you to expand your knowledge on this subject and then you can become a lecturer or you may get some job in the bank or any government institution. There is no better job other than this which is not only highly payable but also safe and comfortable for girls today,’ her mother tried to reason with her from the kitchen. Like every other being, they too wished for a secure future for their children. She knew that they were right in their own conception. But, their non-acceptance to her dream was not a new thing. When you want something from the heart and know that it was the right way to keep yourself alive and high, then such contradiction from the ones too close to you tears you down.
‘You never let me do what my heart wants to. I want to travel, explore, live several lives at once, stumble and learn to get up on my own. These so-called comfortable jobs never tempt me neither my soul will be satisfied with it. I will never be able to put my heart into any one of these. Within the four walls of the home, I will never be able to pursue what I really want,’ Bani said. Her eyes went red and damp. After hearing to all of them, she drank her sobs down her throat.
‘That’s it. Stop arguing now,’ her father ended up the conversation with his final decision with an arrogant look.
Of course, like all parents, they were reluctant to let her go as a wanderer. Bani was shattered. She never thought that her dreams would be destroyed so horribly. Nobody in the family was supporting her. The girl whose anger had no limits when nothing was happening according to her was amazingly quiet this time. She felt alone, timid and life had nothing to serve much better in her palate now. So, she headed towards her bedroom after finishing her breakfast for having alone-time. Something most powerful within her was dying and she had no way out. Her mind was stuck and she was hardly able to foresee her future.
‘Hey,’ a message popped up in her WhatsApp. It was Aayan, Bani’s childhood friend and the only trustworthy friend she had. He was the one who never left her alone. He was the one who irritated her to the core and yet knew how to bring her back to the good mood by pampering her. She felt safe in sharing everything that’s there in her heart with him. Aayan understood her very well.
‘Hi,’ she reverted.
‘What’s up girl? And what about our New Delhi plan?’ He texted back.
Aayan, Riya who was Bani’s classmate and Rishabh who was Riya’s brother planned to visit the International Literature Festival at New Delhi to create some memories together since their graduation college days had ended and they were all moving towards a new life which might be as harsh, independent, and as real as no Bollywood movie had portrayed ever. Aayan and Bani wanted to join IIMC for further studies in the field of journalism and so they had decided to travel together.
‘Hey! What’s wrong sweetie? Why aren’t you replying? Shall I call?’ He again texted when he noticed that she had read his messages but hadn’t replied.
‘Umm… Nope Aayan, I had to tell you that… that I am not going to join IIMC. All the very best to you. And I’ll talk to you tomorrow about it. Take care. Bye. :)’ Aayan received a text from Bani after ten minutes of his text.
‘Okay, sure. Take care… :)’ Aayan replied instantly sending a smiling emoji. He chose not to ask anything further sensing her to be in a bad mood.
Though her father was against her decision, she always felt blessed to have him in her life as a guide. Bani was sitting quietly sitting in one corner in her room resting her head back on the wall, her hair was almost rubbed against the paint over the wall. While folding her arms around her knees on the floor, she was lost in deep thoughts starring above the ceiling of her room after having breakfast and chatting with Aayan when her father came to her room.
‘My darling, come here,’ he called her out, but she didn’t react. He came closer to her and sat beside her.
‘You know, since the day you were born, I always got the things for you before you even asked for them. And your happiness is paramount for me, my doll,’ he lovingly told her. A tear rolled down her eyes. She kept the mobile phone aside and put her head down on his lap.
‘Baby, you yourself know that you are capable of doing much more in your life and I trust you completely. If you love me, you have to agree with my decision because you know it’s only for your well-being.’
‘I know, papa,’ She said, lowering her head.
‘I am not against journalism, but your mother and I don’t want you to be troubled and live far from us. Right now, we want you to complete your studies and get some job nearby.’
‘And what about the application you filled for law entrance? You told me you love law and you want to be a lawyer. See, if you are blessed to have a life, you must utilize it for others well-being. Isn’t it?’
‘Yes, yes papa. But writing is my first love and law comes thereafter,’ Bani said with a smile. She was happy that her father at least tried to understand her.
‘You are still young; you can pursue writing when you are free from all the responsibilities of life and family. For now, go and prepare well for the exam,’ he said while patting her back softly.
‘Now, promise me that you will never break my trust in you,’ he added.
‘I promise,’ saying this, she ended up convincing herself to give up on her first love and pursue her second love.
Tangled between the aspirations of her family and fate, she found herself in an utter chaos. Her mind and heart, both were heading towards opposite directions. She believed that our heart knows the way towards our purpose and everything will work out when the time is right. Thus, she took a control of her emotions and after much contemplation and with a positive attitude, she lifted herself up with a few new hopes and allowed new light to enter within her. She walked towards a life that destiny wanted her to pursue and live.
Who am I?
I am a Hope.
When the darkness becomes darker,
Every hope becomes hopeless,
Every help turns to be a curse
And every dream scatters.
Never back down,
Never give up.
As you have a crane
Of your life to elevate.
Even if you are buried deep
down under the core,
Never let your eyes weep,
Rise and adore.
See, there you fly!
Regardless of your sorrow,
You bid a goodbye,
Letting others follow.
As I am a hope.
Follow your Instincts
Breathing deep, I strained to look at the time on the clock that was nailed to the wall. The clock struck 2:00 AM when an unruffled breeze patted my cheeks. It made me come out of my partly tender sleep. My right eyelid opened at the same time as my left one.
She gazed at me with her mushy, loving looks. She wore a beautiful nighty, which I gifted on her 24th birthday and she held a few yellow old tattered papers in her hands. While throwing a generous smile at me, she advanced a few steps to hand over those papers to me. I stared at her by peeking over the pillow and tilting my body to the front, expecting that she would have graced me with her warm loving touch, something which I had craved for days.
I didn’t utter a single word, but my eyes did, even though slightly opened. I have never had to explain to her in words what I felt for her. My expressions were enough. It had been like this ever since the day I met her. If my mouth should open, she would always come forward as if she had the ability to read my mind and spoke words that matched whatever I intended to say to her.
I removed my quilt and stepped out of the bed. Putting my nightgown on, I arranged my hazy hair and pulled my feet down on the floor. I approached her while she stood at the other corner of my dark room. Her shadow was darker still. I could see her because her bright eyes stood out in the dark milieu. She continuously stared at me. Within a wink of time, I lost her sight as the shadows deepened. However, my ears pricked up at the low-pitched noise which sounded like footwear chafing the floor. Without any hesitation, I followed it.
Waving my hands in the air, I tried to sense her presence around me. Taking a few steps ahead, I reached the place where I had seen her standing a minute ago. As I looked around waving my hands in the air to find a switch on the wall that would turn up the light of the room, she took hold of my right hand. It felt the same as when we met for the first time during our college days. It was the same warm feeling of her soft hands on my palm. She was so close that I could feel her breath on me and I could feel her rough stiff body. My feet did not stumble this time as it was something I encountered daily. The way she approached me seemed like she had a lot of secrets to reveal. She just needed a perfect place and time to speak to me. Whenever something intervened, she vanished. I could feel her pain by her fast breathing, keen shining eyes, her pale face and ruffled footsteps, which I knew she wanted to share with me.
Today, something alluring was there in the air; she had a heavenly plea in her eyes. Her warm touch and sudden disappearance due to external disturbance were developing restlessness within me. Since last seven days, I haven’t had a sound sleep, that unearthly phenomenon was pulling me towards an unreachable end. Towards an ultimate destination where nothing will be so confused and everything will be having solutions of its own.
I saw few partially-torn sheets scattered on the floor because of her sudden disappearance. I collected each one of them and came back to my bed. I sat there taking deep breaths while my eyes were still expecting her to be around. I gazed at the same place where she stood few seconds before and then moved my eyes around, but I was left with nothing. I switched on the table lamp on my left and started arranging those pages in an order. With a few muddled words and blur ink, I was unable to read what was written over it clearly, though I managed to draw some words from the inscribed marks on the pages. Adjoining the words, it read:
‘I told my looming death to take me the day I’ll compose my wrath and when they’ll admire my love. But that vague shadow seems to be reluctant as if it’s indeed my end and no more breath was meant. My body shivered, I felt arctic like, something in my neck choked. Within a single blink, I felt so buoyant; and there flew my entire funk. For I am now after death on this earth. I collected their tears which they on my holy grave and it furled near. Don’t cry O’soul, But, favour, and tell my love, that I am still here in those old pages. So, pastel and frayed I’ll live for ages. Accompany me when I rove.’
Being numb and motionless, I kept staring at it; her handwriting was still the same. Beautiful and mysterious! Not only because of the words she used, but also the way she had scribbled it. Shuffled up and running down, zigzag was the way her pen must have moved while she was writing it.
But the only question which was hitting my mind was, ‘Where was she now?’ I had so many thoughts bumping into my mind and only she could make me come out of those.
‘Meera, are you listening to me?’ My voice mumbled but I got no reply.
As I kept the pages aside, removed my gown and tried to lie down on the bed to have my sleep back, one of those pages slipped touching my arm as I kept the pages beside my pillow on the bed. That page had a line written on it,
‘That vague shadow seems to be reluctant as if it’s indeed my end and no more breath was meant.’
The handwriting was bit misty and blurred whereas beneath there was a mark, a black mark, which had a definite shape and design. I felt as if I scrutinize it inquisitively, I may have a clue behind her strange disappearance. But my head was getting heavy and I needed quite a deep sleep, as for now, it was becoming hectic for me to keep my eyelids open. My eyes were constantly fluttering down hard but I was relentlessly trying to keep them wide open.
In between this, I don’t know when I fell asleep with that page still in my hand. I put upon my coverlet feeling the cold even in the hotter days of June which was making me feel the uneasiness throughout the night. I kept taking shifts while sleeping and the moment came when the sudden jerking voice broke my raw sleep again. I woke up and without even putting up my gown, I straight away headed outside. In a hall at my left, a sleek ray of light was entering from the window. And curtains were patting at each other due to cool breeze that was coming in from the window. I stepped ahead to close the window and arranged the curtains inside.
‘Vaaasssuuu…’ a timid low voice pierced through my ears and I promptly looked at my right with wide eyes and hope. I was feeling restless but found nothing. Out of the blue, my eyes got stuck at our picture on the wall.
It was the picture of our marriage ceremony. She was smiling benignly with eyes down as she was shy and I was standing beside her. Finally, we were one soul. It was the most awaited day of our life as we had to struggle a lot for giving our relationship a suitable name — as a husband and wife.
‘Meera, you are looking splendid in this white gown.’ I uttered in her ears while giving a smiling look at the people who were staring constantly at us as every bride and groom become the center of attraction for the people who are invited to the weddings.
‘And Mr. Vasu you look dashing today.’ She whispered back in my ears while being a little bashful. To show her affection in front of the whole crowd she took a shift and came closer to me which made our arms touch and our little fingers met.
But today, she was nowhere to be seen and it was killing me terribly. We had woven millions of dreams which are yet to be chased together but she betrayed me in between. She had gone but her memories haunt me every passing second of my life. Her spirit never lets me have a sound sleep at nights. My eyes are always wet and exhausted. Even in the dark shades of my life, I always keep on looking for her. Is she alive or dead? Meera cannot give up like a coward. She was a fighter, fighter since birth. Then how could she kneel down at her death? No… She cannot, she is alive. Somewhere, her soul calls out to me every day and night. She needs help. My help! I need to go and find her. My diary! Yes, my diary is the only clue to me. She always wrote everything in it. Every tit and bit, even when our son called out Maa to her, she wrote the date and the time. When we had our first kiss, the way we met for the first time and the way our journey started with each other. How our lives entwined and everything was penned. Then, surely, she must have written something about what happened to her that night when I was not here. My thoughts helped me to get closer to her, to her very essence. And I was getting restless with every passing moment of that scary night.
‘Your silence covers magnitudes of words within me. And your absence still ignites the airy touch of your presence around me. You are dwelling with me since ages and will live with me till eternity.’ I mumbled, as the one to whom I wanted to say this could no longer lend me her ears. If she could, she would have said, ‘You know Vasu, if love was not here on earth, no one would have ever lived in peace. Everyone might home selfishness in them but love made the difference. We all live for each other. Altruistically, we all feel for each other.’ I imagined and smiled. She was spiritual sometimes and never left any event of life to be cherished to the fullest. She believed that Love binds us. It binds the human and animals with the nature around us. She was fond of pets but I never allowed to bring any pet home looking at the immense care and protection they needed. I told her to bestow her extra care upon me that she might have done to any pet. She had a mysterious charisma. She always knew what was going on in my head. Maybe we were connected by our roots — by our souls. And soul speaks in silence as per her thoughts.
I thought to visit Ambala once with Vidhan. Ambala was the place where she had grown up. With a motive to get some clue about her, I decided to go there. Restlessness was drowning me in it. I couldn’t understand what was going on with me and my inner sanity. I was lost as she had gone. My half part was not with me. My entire world was lost. But my heart never lies. It was still beating entwining her with itself. The gap between my heartbeats was still filled by hers. She is alive. She cannot die. My intuitions hunched me that I had to search for her. Or it was her another part alive at some other corner of the earth which was dragging me towards it, might be her another face or life. Without giving my instincts any other thought, I followed it.
Maybe, nature was playing its role, so I decided to know what was hidden there in its lap for me. As sometimes we are unable to figure out our odd circumstances, we must walk through it anyhow and as the time passes they themselves provide the reasons behind its roughness towards us. Eventually, it unfolds its secrets layer by layer unveiling the deepest reality. We just have to go with a flow.
After completing my office work and responsibilities of her funeral, I planned to visit Ambala on 20th. I checked on the internet and according to it, the train to Ambala was scheduled to depart at 5:30 AM; so I decided to board the bus which hardly took two hours to reach the place.