tagExhibitionist & VoyeurThe Woman on the Slow Train to Bombay

The Woman on the Slow Train to Bombay


This work is copyrighted to LuckOfTheDraw, 2011. No part of it may be reproduced or copied without the written permission of the author.


This incident took place during the early 80s in India. I had just turned twenty, and had started to wonder seriously about life. As a girl I had quickly learnt the art of observing without being noticed. My family was extremely conservative, so I grew up with constant injunctions to conform to strict rules. "Good behaviour" was both the prescription and the phrase used to reward conformance. To compensate for this stultifying regimen, my observational aptitudes developed out of all proportion to my other life skills. Needless to add, I was a still a virgin and would in all probability remain so until my arranged marriage first night with a man I would not have seen before.

In those days, most Indians travelled by train. Train travel was slow by today's standards, but it got you to your destination wherever it was in our vast sprawling subcontinent. Most trains were not air-conditioned. Because of the long distances, sleeper coaches were the norm. First class sleeper coaches were not as grand as the term sounds, but were comfortable and you would meet middle class people as your co-passengers for the most part. The coaches were divided into compartments. Generally each compartment had four sleeper berths, two lower and two upper, but each coach always had two smaller compartments with only two berths, one above the other. These compartments were called coupes. I'd already heard that coupes were very popular with honeymooners.

That summer, I had gone from Bombay (today called Mumbai) where my parents lived to a place called Raipur for the holidays, where my grandparents lived. This was an annual ritual, much looked forward to, because it gave me a chance to meet all my cousins. For some reason, that year, my parents had left early back for Bombay. My return trip back took place, therefore, in the company of an elderly uncle and aunt who also lived in Bombay. There was absolutely no question of being allowed to travel on my own. Raipur was a relatively small town, so it took an overnight journey to reach Mumbai. The train left at around three in the afternoon.

On the day that we left, we had reached the station a little early and the train was yet to pull in alongside the platform. We had checked our reservations and I had observed that the fourth passenger in our compartment would be a gentleman whose age was listed as 35. My uncle and aunt had subsided onto a bench and I was wandering here and there looking for books to while away the journey with. At the place where our coach was expected to stop, I saw a man standing with his single suitcase. He looked the right age, was quite tall, around six feet, and appeared very fit from the half sleeved shirt he was wearing. He looked pleasant and sported a well maintained mustache. Our fellow passenger, I decided.

It was then that I spotted her. She was alone, with one large suitcase and a travel basket for luggage. She would probably not have caught the eye of anyone but another woman, because she was dressed strikingly, but in a very subtle way. The top of her salwar kameez outfit clung just that little bit tighter to her figure and the neckline was just that little bit wider and deeper. The color combination, in a shade of dark green, was very sophisticated and classy. Her hair, which was shoulder length, was tied back demurely with a single clasp. No jewelry of any kind, obviously not on a train journey through central India, where pickpockets and gangs of thieves could suddenly appear. Not really the kind of outfit worn for a long train journey, more suitable for an afternoon social engagement, but still nothing extraordinary at first glance. She looked to be in her mid thirties, but very well maintained. She was very nice looking in a quiet, understated kind of way, with a good complexion. Her best features were her eyes, which were large and dark, and her mouth which was wide with a full lower lip and which looked like it could smile easily. For some reason, my curiosity was aroused and I decided to hang around for some more time and watch discreetly.

I saw her observe the man long and carefully. He had also spotted her and looked at her briefly, for that extra second which told me (even for someone as innocent as I) that he found her attractive, and then looked away politely. Then she seemed to make up her mind and walked up to him. I was behind them but close enough to hear the conversation.

"Excuse me" she said. She had an attractive voice, low and very melodious, very well modulated .

He turned politely "Yes?" he asked.

"I am really sorry to disturb you like this, but I am facing a problem. You see, I have had to go to Mumbai at very short notice because of a sudden family problem. I have a ticket, but the train is full, and there are no berths available. It is very important that I reach Bombay tomorrow. I was wondering if you could help me."

"I am sorry, madam, I don't understand." the man said. He too spoke very well, and seemed a real gentleman, very polite.

"You see, the railways allow a husband and wife to occupy the same sleeper berth in case of overcrowding. If I could travel as your wife, I could reach Bombay tomorrow."

He looked taken aback.

"I don't know, madam.." he started.

"I promise you I won't be any trouble. I can sit up the whole night while you sleep. If a berth becomes free somewhere else in the coach during the journey then of course I can go and occupy it." she hurried on.

For a second he looked at her. Then he smiled.

"It will be no problem, madam" he said. "Please ask your porter to bring your suitcase over here and join me . We should be together when the train arrives at the platform."

The porter brought the suitcase over and she paid him his charges. She smiled at her new companion.

He was looking slightly embarrassed.

"I think we should introduce ourselves. It will hardly do to not know each other's names."

Just then the train rolled in slowly and I lost the rest of the conversation. Sure enough, our coach was right opposite to where they were standing. I ran back to my uncle and aunt. The platform became a bustle of activity, with people and porters hurrying up and down with luggage, trying to find their allotted places.

Soon were settled in our compartment. The man and the woman sat opposite us. My uncle, aunt and I arranged ourselves on the berth opposite. The man sat next to the window, as did I. She sat in the middle of the berth next to him, but not touching him. We all made small talk and we learnt that he was a travelling sales manager with a pharmaceutical company on his way to Bombay after a business trip. She kept mostly silent, answering in monosyllables.

The train soon started and in about half an hour the monotonous clickety-clack of the rails had lulled us all into a gentle drowsiness. My aunt and uncle had lolled back against the backrest and had dozed off with their mouths open. The man was awake and smoking - it was allowed in India in those days - and flicking the ash out of the open window. I was half awake and observing my surroundings with half closed eyes.

From time to time, he would steal a glance at her. She was resting comfortably back against the backrest with eyes closed. Her duppata - that flimsy length of sheer cloth that Indian women drape on their bosoms when wearing a salwar kameez outfit - had slipped down one shoulder. From his corner seat he was able to observe her bosom in profile. It was certainly very nicely shaped and seemed firm, like a mango with an up tilted end, as it quivered and bounced gently with the movement of the train. The neckline was also now exposed and he could clearly see the deep vee of the cleavage between her breasts. He would look at her and then turn away and draw deeply on his cigarette.

Time passed, and I too dozed off. When I opened my eyes I saw immediately that the man opposite had also fallen asleep. But the woman was awake. I was intrigued to see that she was looking in a considering kind of way at the man. Her lips were slightly parted and she once flicked her tongue over her lips before biting her full lower lip as she looked at him.

Then the train started to slow down as it approached a town. Everyone started to wake up in earnest and we were soon asking each other whether tea would be served as it was now about 5 PM. In a short while, the door opened and a waiter appeared bearing two trays of tea. On Indian trains during those days, you got a full tea service with a separate kettle with freshly brewed tea, teacups with saucers and a small pitcher of milk and sugar on the side. The waiter set down the trays and mixed the tea for the three of us on our side of the compartment.

When the waiter turned round, she said "I'll make the tea, please". The waiter left.

She placed the tray on the berth between them and started to mix the tea. This required her to turn and lean forward slightly while facing the window. She was concentrating on making the tea, and the man got a long unhurried look at her breasts and cleavage and face. His expression suggested that he was looking at her body against his better judgment.

She looked up and smiled deeply at him. Holding the gaze, she leaned forward and offered him a cup. That gave him an even more generous view of her cleavage. The cup rattled in its saucer as he accepted it. She turned around and bent down to open the travel basket and take out a packet of savories. She stood up and, like a good Indian wife, offered the guests and old people and children first. As she did so, bending forward slightly, I got a glimpse of the black bra she was wearing under the dark green kameez. The three of us accepted the savouries gratefully. I was careful not to look her, but I could see from the corner of my eye that the man had his gaze transfixed on her buttocks.

Still standing, she turned around , bent down and offered the savouries to the man. Now he had an even better view of her breasts and cleavage and no doubt the bra as well. I, on the other hand, could now see her buttocks outlined against the thin fabric of the outfit. They were certainly round and firm. I suddenly found myself hoping I would have a derriere as attractive and well shaped as hers when I grew up.

She sat down and started to sip her tea. Things slowly moved back to normal as we finished our tea. As a girl who had travelled a lot by train, I knew that the most boring part of the journey was about to begin, the interval between tea and dinner. I did what I always did in these circumstances. I took out a book and started to read.

My action seemed to act as a signal to the woman. She reached into the travel basket and brought out two books. She passed one over to the man with a smile, who accepted it with a look of some surprise on his face. I could see that it was an old James Bond novel, "From Russia With Love". I had read the book. All of a sudden, I recalled the scene in the Orient Express when Bond was alone with the girl.

Her book looked to be one of the latest Mills and Boon romances. All us girls of a certain age used to avidly devour those books in those days, partly because of the increasingly graphic sex scenes.

We read the books in silence, but I watched the two of them discreetly. She seemed wholly absorbed in her book. He, on the other hand, riffed through the pages quickly with some impatience. Then all of a sudden he went still and started to read slowly and carefully. Without knowing how (at that time) I knew he had come to the train sequence.

He sat in silence for a while and then all of a sudden he shut the book with a snap and raised the glass window shutter halfway and lit a cigarette. He seemed angry with himself. She continued to read her book with a slight smile on her parted lips. Her duppata would keep sliding down and she would very slowly and deliberately pull it back up again. Each time this happened, the cigarette would glow redly.

Around 8 PM or so, we stopped at a large town and dinner was served. She placed the two trays in the space between them on the berth. Both of them had to turn and face each other to eat, and they did so in silence. He breasts bounced up and down with the movement of the train and the man kept looking at them and her exposed cleavage. She seemed to be completely unaware of his gaze except for a slight smile between mouthfuls.

When the dinner trays were cleared away by the waiter, we started to prepare the compartment for the night. This involved folding down the backrests of the two lower berths. The back of the backrest now became a wide horizontal mattress comfortable to sleep on. The upper berths were unlatched from the wall of the compartment. There were now four beds available , two below and two each immediately above. There was a small ladder on each side to help people climb on to the upper berths. We spread bed sheets on them and prepared to turn in. My aunt slept on the lower berth always as she found it difficult to climb up. I elected to sleep above her. My uncle took the upper berth above the couple. From where I lay on the upper berth I could now watch them below and across.

The man pulled down the metal blinds on each window. Now no one could look into the compartment from outside.

He said: "You go ahead and lie down. I'll sit in the corner and read for a while."

She did not say anything but stretched out and closed her eyes. Her head was at the other end of the berth and her feet were close to his thighs.

We lay like that for a while. Then the man shut his book, and reached up and switched off all the lights except the dim "zero wattage" blue night light found in all Indian trains. I could just about see the interior of the compartment. I could sense that my uncle and aunt were in deep slumber.

For some reason, my senses were alert and I was fully awake although pretending to be fast asleep.

After some time, I heard her whisper.

"Are you going to sit there all night? Come and lie down with your wife."

He sat still for a moment, and then with obvious hesitation, he stretched out next to her with his back to her.

I could see her hand as it came up and softly held his shoulder, urging him to turn round. He did so after a few seconds. They were now lying down facing each other.

I could just about see them as their heads came together and they kissed. After almost a minute the heads moved apart. Then he move towards her and pressed every inch of his body that he could against her. Her arms came around behind him and I could see her nails dig into his back as they gave themselves up to a kiss without end.

They lay there for what seemed an eternity. Then the train started to slow down I heard the woman's voice. 'That's a big station next. Ask the conductor if there's a coupe free."

He paused only for a second and then said "OK."

He got up, opened the door and went in search of the conductor. She too was now sitting up and straightening her dress and hair.

He was back soon enough with the conductor in tow. The conductor said."You're very lucky. Two people who had made reservations haven't turned up. I can give you their coupe, but..." and he left it hanging. I sensed rather than saw the currency note that changed hands.

She got up and left our compartment. He followed her with her large suitcase, and then returned to pick up his own smaller suitcase and the travel basket. The door shut behind him as he left. My uncle was now awake with all the commotion and climbed down and locked the door and lay down on the freshly vacated lower berth. I fell immediately asleep.

I woke up early the next morning and went to the toilet to brush my teeth. As I was returning, she emerged from her coupe. She had changed into a loose caftan, the kind that Indian women use both as nightwear and as casual wear around the house. From what I could judge, her bra was missing, but everything seemed to be in good control up there, if a little bouncy. As I passed her, she gave me a small smile. I could see that her eyes had a soft, sleepy and oddly satisfied look about them.

Our next major stop came some three hours later at about nine. I got down from the train to stretch my legs. We had about ten minutes at that stop and I saw her also step down to buy a newspaper. I noticed, to my surprise, that she had changed again, this time into a blue saree and left her neatly combed hair open. She looked very lovely and glowing and radiant. The metal blinds of their coupe were still shut.

Some two and a half hours later we arrived at Bombay. As we got down from the coach, I saw that she had changed yet again, this time into a sober printed saree and had tied her hair back in a neat bun. She now looked like any one of the millions of middle class women in Bombay.

But with two differences. She looked about the happiest of those millions and had an air of complete confidence and self assurance about her.

They had separated now and the man was walking on ahead. She followed with a porter in tow with her large suitcase and travel basket. I was close behind her in the milling crowd.

The all of a sudden he turned back to her.

"Are you planning to travel again by this train soon?" he asked.

The woman laughed. "Probably never" she replied.

He seemed confused. "Well, in case you do, here is my card" he said as he handed her a business card. She put it into her bag.

Then she laughed again and said. "You'd better hurry. You'll be late for your afternoon meetings."

He disappeared into the crowd and we followed more sedately. As we reached the exit from the station to the cab rank, I saw her reach into the bag, take out something, do something with her hands and then toss something into a trash bin.

As the pieces floated down, I saw they were fragments of a torn business card.

By the time I looked up she had walked out of the station and back into her life.


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by Anonymous

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by yowser12/10/18

Teasing train ride

Sweet, sultry, slow-paced but elegantly described tale. Lovely.

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by Anonymous12/07/18

woman on a slow train

Tittilating story and well-written, if not explicitly erotic. Cultural norms will do that.
Still, a different version might have a young girl watching as the top was exposed and serious play, or her openingmore...

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