The Howrah Station, Located on the west bank or River Hooghly, is the oldest station and largest railway complex in India. It is also one of the busiest railway stations in terms of passenger volume per day.Having studied in Kolkata for 3 years and lived on student pocket money, this station undoubtedly became an important part of my everyday life. There were several people I met on train journeys I undertook from here. Some friendly, some busy, some curious, some quiet and some rather harsh. But there has been no one as special and unforgettable as Bapi.
Bapi is a 9-year-old kid who I met on the train to Shantiniketan. He was wiping the compartment floor with what I later realized was his shirt. He asked us for money and we gave him biscuits. 15 minutes and a short chat later he left asking if I would meet him again. I said yes but forgot. A month later I was taking pictures at a Dhobi ghaat. The label on the T-shirt being washed said ‘Bapi’. I knew I had to be back on the train.
The first journey took me to his village. It was on the platform that I met him. On the second journey he made me meet his friends. On and after the third journey I did not find him. I had come in the way of their only source of income.
I did not see Bapi again but did remember him, specially when I went through the pictures I clicked on our adventures together. A few of them I share with you below -