I usually take the MRTS train from Velachery to Kasturbai Nagar station in Adyar for my UPSC classes. On one such day, there wasn’t much crowd in Velachery so I was able to get into the first coach of the general compartment. As I was stepping in, I noticed a paati with a basket of flowers in front of her — she was sitting by the door on the other side of the platform. She had a gentle smile on her face, so I smiled back.
No one else was in my compartment. From that station till the next, which is Perungudi, the old lady hadn’t moved a muscle; she was sitting in the same position, leaning slightly towards the back, with the same smile. I felt very awkward because she was staring at me so I walked up to her and asked if she wanted anything. She didn’t respond so I tapped her shoulder lightly and that’s when I realised she was dead! I immediately informed the railway police.