I recently have been travelling a lot , especially long hours on trains .I usually reserve the upper berth when travelling at night, Once I had reserved the side lower berth. the opposite side where there are other 6 berths stacked up in 3’s over one another with the upper , middle and lower berths .The opposite side had 2 young couples , probably newly weds and two ladies one in her late 50’s and another in her late 70’s or so . I decided to hit the sack earlier while the rest of the bunch opposite to me were chatting away .
It must have been around 3 am , I woke up and saw patch of light that beamed across from the the window by my side and on to the floor . When I looked down on the floor I saw that 4 pair of legs laying on the floor !! I understood them to be one of the two elderly ladies The light shown just to highlight the spot where the eldest lady’s legs lay , I sat up and quickly took out Butterfingers ( My sketch Tab) and made a rough draft of one of the elderly lady’s legs which was highlighted by the light from out side .
About 20 minutes in I felt a little uneasy , I put the tab away and laid back down on my berth and I tried to go back to sleep but, that uneasiness just wouldn’t go away , The image of the elderly lady’s leg disturbed me , I started thinking..
” Here I am lying down on a comfortable berth, but not sleeping . (not making any use of the facility at all ) and there on the floor right besides me lies the most weakest elderly looking legs , sleeping on the hard and dirty floor “
A sudden gush of guilt ran through me , I got up wondering if I should wake them up , but hesitated with inhibition, I wondered how I could to wake up the two ladies , do I tug at their feet , call out ? The train was too loud and I didn’t want to wake up the others ..What do I do ?
I tried to sleep it off , but I couldn’t , tossing and turning , constantly thinking of ways to wake them up without creating a scene or disturbance to others , then as if my thoughts were answered , suddenly the other lady got up to check her watch for time – This was my Q , I sprang up and asked her what had happened why were they sleeping on the floor , she replied ” tickets didn’t get confirmed, The Ticket inspector had asked them to move to the non reserved compartment and that her travelling partner the older of the two was too weak to be move. I offered them my berth , she hesitated at 1st but I got her to agree , The older lady she couldn’t even get up on her own so , we helped her up and moved her to the side lower berth , the other lady thanked me and squeezed by the side of the berth and sat looking out the window . I sat on the edge of the opposite berth looking at both them – still not feeling sleepy but definitely content 🙂
It elevated my spirits , I felt good for having had the opportunity to help .Over coming my inhibition to do the right and proper thing . The aged lady slept off all curled up like a baby and other looked out the window ,then there shone another light as day was breaking in to golden yellow , .I …felt good about the whole thing and I took out my sketch tab….again ( pic above ) 🙂
Below is the coloured in versions of the two sketches I had roughed out that day