Mystery UniK

At Blue Hour

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At blue hour, a sharp and bold whistle echoed in the lush and verdant thickets near Mathura. Coach D10 of the Taj Express was drowning in loud silence, silence so loud it could break a glass. I sat wide-eyed gaping in shock, the lady in crimson attire had her head hung low, whilst the old man peered with glassy-eyes and the opinionated man sat with his lips sealed shut. How a chaotic conversation became this blue in a mere hour was beyond me.

Thinking back now, it was when the train ceased with a harsh chuff by the desolated Dhaulpur Station. The clouds had a fluffy and smooth appearance in cotton-candy like hues. A caramel-like tint spread in the surroundings leaving behind tones of beige and peach in the sky. In the warm evening, the train’s halt and minimal shuffling in the train car caused the lively chatter to melt into sluggish whispers. The tranquillity lulled many to sleep in the unusual space. Amidst the stillness, a slow and careful couple had entered the carriage.

I looked up to see two lovebirds, hand in hand, fiddling with their belongings to make space for settling down. The two were dressed in a casual outfit, fit for travelling. Their contrasting complexions set together like coffee and cream, whilst the dusky lady’s flawless skin shone under the sun, the pale man glowed even when not in contact with the sunlight. Even though, no rings and accessories were visible on them, the mangalsutra hung in the lady’s neck was evident. She tugged at her husband’s sleeve and waited for him to slowly aid her to her seat. With a slight penguin-like waddle and a little squish here and there the woman settled down cosily in her seat and started to caress her belly. The man wrapped up with putting his belongings in the space under the seat and soon joined his wife, embracing her with his right arm. The lady had a stoic expression on her face, it appeared as if she would simply shut down any greetings that came her way but the round baby-bump was more or less an invite for unsolicited blessings. Her husband sighed every now and then but still had a loving smile plastered on his face whenever he gazed at her. Soon the to-be-mother slipped into a deep slumber in her husband’s arms.

The lovely moment was soon interrupted by something loud. An intrusive thought, a very loud one indeed.

‘How far along is she, Beta?’ a lady in her energetic voice inquired with no regard to the lovers’ privacy.

‘Um… it’s her thirty-eighth week, Ma’am.’ the polite lad replied hesitantly.

‘My goodness, then she should not be travelling!’ the older woman provided with unsought advice.

The scenario in front of me was awfully awkward. The overly inquisitive woman pushed the man to an uncomfortable edge. The fellow was hesitating to reply when an old man dressed in creamy white kurta spoke up.

‘Amma Ji, kids these days know better. Let them be.’ the man spoke with a gentle voice and a tender smile.

‘Who’s “Amma Ji”? I am not that old mister. The men from my village sing praises of my beauty till this day, please address me as Paro if you must.’ the woman huffed, and if I may add, sung praises of her non-existent beauty.

A little comment here and there and the small talk led everyone to start introducing themselves. Mr. Oberoi, the man with the gentle voice told he came from a loving family and had two daughters whom he loved and cherished with all his heart. Rajat, the pregnant lady’s husband, spoke about his early marriage at the age of twenty-three to his lovely wife Samaira whom he held with his right arm. Miss Paro, as she asked us to address her, told her tale of rebellion as she ran away from her abusive spouse at the age of twenty-three. She narrated in bits, her financial struggles in the city but never spoke about her methods of earning.

‘Must’ve been hard on you ma’am.’ I added.

However, the man seated beside Mrs. Paro had an entirely different view and perception.

‘It is undignified of a married woman to run off!’ the man stated with fury making his orange apparel match his complexion.

‘But hitting your wife is dignified you say?’ Rajat had a deadly heavy voice and hissed at the man with abominable opinions.

‘Don’t talk back to me kid, first control your wife. No sindoor, then such loose clothes and sticking so close in public, you should be ashamed.’ the man babbled away without a care in the world.

The loving husband could barely keep his anger within himself and hit right back at the man with insults sharper than a spear. A chaotic argument had ensued and the two could barely keep their fury contained.

‘Kids these don’t know the struggles of the past and have lost any respect passed onto them. Your parents must’ve been so miserable seeing you marry such a woman. I would’ve rather had a stillborn than a child like you!’ he shot back with the harshest of words from his vocabulary.

‘Mind your language, sir.’ Rajat had a calm rather quieter tone than before.

The coach was dead silent after the wrangle, not a single word could be heard. The train soon stopped at a small intermediate station that was minutes away from Mathura. Miss Paro couldn’t stay quiet for long in the solemn atmosphere.

‘So, why are you headed to Delhi, beta?’ she asked gently afraid she’d invite any arguments but she’d much prefer inviting arguments than sit mum.

A slow sigh escaped Rajat’s mouth before he continued speaking.

‘A doctors appointment ma’am, the baby was declared term stillborn. We are seeking a better doctor for now.’ he replied in a cold tone.

‘It’s dead.’ a semi-awake Samaira replied with a harsh tone.


At blue hour, silence crept inside the train coach through its various cracks, crevices and rested in every nook and cranny and no one spoke of Rajat’s delusion or Samaira’s unhealthy methods of accepting the reality.

At blue hour, in a blue train, in blue ambience, a pair dressed in blue ran frantically but what chased them was the limbless bitter reality of death and life.




The image was clicked by Alex Simpson and published on 20th June, 2020.

Author’s notes :-


I whole-heartedly thank all my friends for Beta reading my story throughout its compilation and being the harshest and most vague critics of all time. I happily announce my self-esteem has been kicked down the stairs with immense power. Jk would choose y’all over a genuine critic any day.


1.Amma Ji – an Indian term used to address an elderly lady respectfully.

2.Beta – a term of endearment used to by elderly people in India to address kids and youth and anyone younger by more than 2 or 3 years.

3.Mangalsutra – a mangalsutra, or thaali, is a necklace that the groom ties around the bride’s neck in the Indian subcontinent, in a ceremony called Mangalya Dharanam within a Hindu wedding. The necklace serves as a visual marker of status as a married Hindu woman.

4.Sindoor – red pigment made from powdered red lead, especially as applied as a dot on the forehead or in the parting of the hair of married Hindu women.







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