Monday, 23 March 2009

6 days of my life on the Indian Railways - Part 3

Two guys, yes guys, were in my seat and they were pretty sure it was their seat and said that I had a problem with my ticket (- I was too sleepy to think anything up soon)

After dismissing me he went back to sleep with his friend on the top berth. I gave the warm couple a long puzzled look. I had the deepest urge to just fall onto the dirty floor of the train and go to sleep immediately. But I decided to go and enquire with the TT.

As I was going, these two police fellows stopped me and asked when I was hurrying around? (They noticed huh?) and as I explained one of them replied -

"Yeh sab tho common hain. Jake un choron ko do lagao kaan ke neeche, thumhara seat mil jayega"
(Don't fall for this, go and slap them hard near their ears, you will get your seat)

Finally waking up to this nonsense completely and now pretty angry I stormed back to Seat 72 (S4) and woke up of the guys (Now they were hugging each other tightly - seriously) and asked

-Can I see your ticket please?

"Jee bilkul" (Sure)
and he produced a ticket for the general compartment and my anger just shot up exponentially

"Kya samajthe ho? Eh General compartment ka ticket hain"

"Lekin TT ke chart main entry huva hain" (But the TT has entered this in his chart)

"Neeche utharthe ho ya main khud tumhe utharu? " (You better come down)

Listening to our conversation, everyone in the compartment got up..

"Main nahin aaonga" (I'm not coming down)

Next, I did something really stupid, I reached out and held his collar, hoping that he will get down when he realises I am forcing him down. But he had crossed his legs and was sitting firmly, so as soon as I gave him a little tug on his collar, he landed


onto the train floor from the top berth. Over 7 feet of crash landing. As I say at the back of my mind - "Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark" I am in shock. What have I DONE!!!??

This fool, calmly gets up dusts himself, even as his dumber friend climbs down and runs away towards the open area near the toilet, and he looks at his luggage in the top berth.

Now, if there is anything good I have to say about my extremely rare yet violent bursts of anger, it must be of how soon I cool down.

I immediately ask him,
-shall I get your luggage for you?

"Haanji" (with gratitude - all of a sudden)

Soon he is off.

When I tell mum that night about the minor scuffle she goes berserk
"Dont get into fights now..doom doom dish tush..".

I finally had a place to sleep!

" Expecting the world to be fair to you is like hoping a lion wont eat you because you are vegetarian "
Unkown(to me)

Next morning, after sleeping solid for about 4 hours, I wake up two find a lot of detail about the train that I missed last night in the darkness. It had rats running around EVERYWHERE!

Hey, I'm not complaining. No sir! I am just appreciating the ecological balance of the train. Humans and wildlife, coming together. Living in harmony.

I saw one guy walk and started talking so much and so loudly at one point, in some native dialect.
He was limping. About 25 years of age. He had cataracts on one of his eyes. I wanted to see what this guy was upto (I had no choice, he was sitting RIGHT IN FRONT of me).
Note: The two fellows who tried to steal my sleep were also sitting on the side seats next to me, giving me akward smiles every 20 minutes.

This new guy, he prepares some paan, starts chewing them, takes out a bunch of vegetables and starts cutting them on the floor at one corner. While he is doing that, I see his hands are cut here, there - everywhere and plastered with old yellow bandages and I wonder what on earth has he been upto?

While cutting, every 180 seconds , he spits on the corner he is sitting at making a huge noise. Somehow he manages to cut himself yet another time on one of his fingers and that answers my question as he applies some more dressing to it.

After about 20 minutes of cutting and mixing along with some really bad singing, he puts it all in a basket and starts hawking "Channa Masalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa lelo lelo...."

and I go - WHAAAAAAAT???? He is gonna sell all that to someone else?

Well! I'm still not complaining. Why would I? I didn't buy it. Right?

One of the things I would really cherish is the countryside. we read so much about it in poems and yet when you actually see it, it still amazes you. Madhya Pradesh border and Uttar Pradesh had some really lush green fields.

I made friends with a certain dude, from Jamnagar(I think), his name I forgot. Simple, Honest guy. Too bad I forgot his name! He told me a little stuff I needed to know about the place I was heading to. He looked like he was alone, which comforted me - Kool! I am not the only freak travelling alone! But before I could think further, he told me he was with a friend! Great!

To Be Cont'd
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