*Aastha,26, is a freelance journalist in Delhi.
I slept restlessly with Zubin on my shared top-berth seat in a three-tier coach of a Delhi-bound train. We slept with our heads on opposite sides of the berth, so each one of us had the other’s feet by their head. The late November night chill made this arrangement bearable. In our brief acquaintance as freelancers on a video shoot, I had grown to like Zubin for being a reliable teammate.
Moreover, on one of the days when I had a painful second day of my periods, he also insisted on carrying a little of my load of the shooting equipment. Both of us also discovered a shared fandom for the music of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. At the end of each day’s shooting, we would dine together. This post-shoot bonding would happen in either of our rooms, along with our third teammate, *Tarun, who now slept with our ten bags of shooting equipment and personal luggage on the opposite berth.
Zubin was to stay back and explore the historical monuments in the region after the shooting assignment ended. However, a personal emergency meant he now had to leave with Tarun and I. He couldn’t get a seat confirmed at the last hour, so, Tarun and I naturally offered to accommodate him.
Since both men – Zubin and Tarun could not have fit on one berth, Tarun had volunteered to squeeze in with the bags and watch over them. Being the petite one, I was the obvious choice and fitted alongside Zubin on the other berth.
At around midnight, a slight noise in the compartment made both of us snap awake. We both sat up and Zubin ducked his head from the train’s ceiling to match my sitting-height.
In the intimacy that the wee-hours bring, we began to talk about past loves and sexual encounters in odd spaces. As the train-coach reverted to its deathly silence, it was only our slight chuckles and murmurs flowing in the cold air. Our shoulders were pressed against each other but now our legs too got entwined under the shared railway blanket.
Kiss and more
Zubin’s hand accidentally brushed against mine and I realised they were icy cold. We both acknowledged the contrasting temperatures of our bodies. In an unspoken gesture, Zubin’s hand was now being warmed in mine.
A few breaths would have passed, when Zubin turned his face towards me and started kissing me. Recovering almost immediately from the surprise, I kissed him back softly, too. He now caressed my breasts from over my cardigan, as I stroked his nape in response.
After a few moments, we pulled our faces away to look ahead as if nothing had transpired. However, Zubin suddenly put his hand on my crotch, rubbing my clitoris from outside my pants.
Fast and furious
I don’t know if it was the chill in the weather or shyness on our part, we both decided to try and lie down and pursue this inside the shelter of the blanket. He undid my bra and squeezed my breasts a little too strongly. I winced and asked him to ease up. Instead, he took his mouth inside my clothes to hungrily suck at one of my breasts.
I reciprocated by planting a long row of kisses on Zubin’s neck. He shivered at first, then gnawed at my ear with his teeth. Then, suddenly he pushed me around so my back was facing him. I was struck with the force of the action. With one hand he crushed my breasts, and with the other, squeed my vulva into a tiny knot. With a hot gust of air in my ears, he said he wanted to have anal sex me.
This was an idea I had always been uncomfortable with, and was so in this moment, too. I told him the same. Hearing my no, he brought both his hands to crush my breasts with a choking force. He simultaneously grinded my legs between his for a suffocating moment, before suddenly releasing me.
He swiftly jumped off the berth and did not return until their train reached Delhi at the wee hours in the morning. He had taken the berth of a passenger de-boarding at a station on-route, while I lay writhing in pain, and trying to process what had happened to me. When we parted at the platform, neither had a goodbye to say.
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.