Tuesday, 24 March 2009

6 days of my life on the Indian Railways

If you want to see the real side of our country, take it from me, travel by train! If you are catching up now with what was happening with me, I went on a long journey. Where, when, forget all that. But it was in a train and it was 6 days long totally - and I am here to speak about the TRAIN.Right!. Initially, I was worried about travelling alone. Thieves, robbers, missed trains, luggage...list is endless and scary.

Whats worth a blog about all this, is really the colourful characters on tour. I made friends in so many shapes and sizes. Few of them and some others are mentioned here.
I realised how many people lived a huge portion of their lives between the chugging and creaking belly of this metallic monster!

The first trip to the state capital itself was quite a beginning. Almost all the messages I was getting as the train left, were queries of whether I was sitting next to a girl or if I had one in my compartment. It went from funny to freaky on the avalanche of the common question. Feeling good that people will keep me company with their messages during the entire trip (Though almost none of you did - screw you :P ), I replied patiently.

Well, the answer to that question was - Yes. There WAS a chick in my compartment. And also a tourist(Western chick). I didn't speak to either of them, but I did try to speak to a middle aged Marathi couple, though the guy didn't seem even minutely interested in conversing with me. He was more interested in speaking to the westerner , who was more interested in the book that I was reading and I was more interested in finding something entertaining. We had our very own love triangle here!

I did get my entertainment when the 50+ guy was trying his best to capture the tourists attention(His wife conveniently had left to speak to someone in the next compartement)...with questions like -

- You! Where you?
- Ohh? Americaaaaaaaa?

- You marriage? Marriage you?
"I'm single"

- Why no marriage? How many years you? 26 noooo?

"No I'm 29"
- ahh 2 years different

- In India 90% of love marriage fail. In America all arranged marriage or love marriage?
"We don't have arranged marriages in America"

- Oh full love marriage? Full? Fulllll?? How much love marriage work?
"It's not as bad as 10% success rate as you mentioned, I would put it at 70% success.

- What happened with rest 40% ?
(This guy deserves the Nobel prize in Mathematics)

"If they don't succeed...I guess they fail?"

- Oh sad. How situation in America?
She thought for a really long while and finally said
" Most of us now prefer live-in relationships"

The guy turned to me really puzzled, and for the first time in nearly 3 hours he initiated a conversation with me by asking
-What did she say?

I just shrugged and turned away, not knowing how to translate and explain this in a short and clear way.

To Be Cont'd
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