Saturday, March 3, 2012

indian railways and me: 2 stories

*This post was written for 'Around The World With Expedia' contest by Expedia.co.in (http://www.expedia.co.in) for indiblogger #ExpediaIndia*


For as long as I have started travelling, every time there is something, someone in the journey that make me want to shoot myself during/after the journey. So I wont be doing justice to those ‘characters’ if I write about each of them in one post. Domestic flights are short duration and hence I can choose to NOT talk and pretend to be sleepy all the time. Ergo, I have tried to write about 2 of such experiences, which happened during my date with Indian railways. Without further ado, here goes:

Exhibit 1 - Where ‘s my Seat?

When Bangalore bound Karnataka express left New Delhi station I had no idea I will develop suicidal tendencies for weeks to come after the journey. I was travelling alone and was on middle berth which is the worst Indian railways could do to you after taking away your money and not giving you something to sit/sleep upon (read waiting). Next day around noon a mother and daughter entered the compartment. Female looked a little around 25-ish give or take 3 years (oh yes she was cute) and was accompanied was her bodyguard-cum-mother. She kept mentioning how many diseases one could have traveling in sleeper class so I gathered medical student. It was during lunchtime that they took out something to eat that the mother turned to me and fired her first shot

Aunty- beta what is your caste?

Me- *shocked at the question* excuse me?

Female – mom wants to know what caste you belong to?

It was unbelievable

Me- I am (still clueless about why she deemed that necessary)

Aunty- here, have this (she offered the mixture and fruits that she was peeling on a plate)

Me- (making my WTF face) frankly speaking aunty, I don’t like to eat from strangers on a journey.

I have had enough so I got up and left to stand near doors. There is something about sound of a moving train that makes you forget a lot of things. I could not believe this, how could they? What if I didn’t belong to the caste they were looking for? And gods help the patients this female is going to see after she graduates, or whatever doctors call it, because they never actually do.

I went back to take my purse when I saw that the female was reading my book; she waved and mentioned that she took it. Boy, Wasn’t I grateful for the heads up?

I was starting to question words like sanity, civilization etc.

Several hours passed, I was standing near gates (yes I like it, can do it for hours) and NO I DON’T SMOKE, STOP ASKING ME FOR MATCHSTICKS.

It was when I returned I noticed that the female was sleeping on my (middle) berth and her mother was on lower berth.

Now seriously, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

I woke up the mother as gently as I could because trying to touch a woman my age in the dark wont look good and past results weren’t too promising

Me- aunty, she is sleeping on my berth and…

Aunty- *before I could finish* Yes she said she wanted to sleep there.

Me- *stunned* ok so where do I sleep?

Aunty - go to upper berth, I am sure you don’t mind

Of course I didn’t/couldn’t, what choice did I have?

Exhibit 2- It’s a child; oh were they your sleepers?

It happened on last day of Feb ‘12 when I was returning from home and got upgraded to 2nd ac, which I hate for so many reasons one of which being they are full of patients and children’s. Either you agree with me or you haven’t travelled in railways enough.

Guess what? My compartment had, surprise surprise, BOTH (oh yes a patient AND a child). The moment I saw the drapes on and lights off, prayers came to my lips automatically ‘PLEASE GOD, not this one, PLEASE’

“Oh this is my berth!”

I noticed a patient on my lower berth and a crying-talking baby on the other side. What more could have I asked for?

Oh did I tell you that the mother believed in ACCIDENTLY using slippers without asking? Oh yes I found out when she came back from washroom after attending to her kid’s washroom needs and stuff. The wetness gave it away. She didn’t ask, if you wanted to know. The child was exceptional to say the least, he kept saying he is hungry and refused to eat when his parents brought food and kept crying during the process. Look children are cute and stuff but when you are trying to sleep and some person keeps yelling at everything, well lets just assume normal human behavior is predictable.

I was trying very hard to sleep amidst all the ‘OH MY GOD TRAIN STARTED’, ‘DO YOU KNOW HOW TO GIVE INJECTIONS?’ ‘OH I LIKE MAGAZINES, LETS BUY’ and other things I didn’t bother to listen in highest pitch its humanly possible, but it was like the universe didn’t want me to sleep. In the mean time some guy in other compartment decided that this could be the best time to watch Agneepath in the Dolby digital sound speakers

Every time I got down for going to loo or some fresh air, I had to ask that female for MY sleepers, s-l-o-w-l-y because hey, there is a patient in the compartment.

THIS IS COMPLETE MADNESS.

I patted my back for being patient in the whole journey when I reached New Delhi and ran straight to the metro for the fear that these people will ask me to help with there luggage.

These are some of the instances when the people I met weren’t interesting. There are many more, If you ask. The one where there were 8 people on my berth, the one with a professor uncle, person who didn’t know about torrents, the guy who liked himesh, the ‘CAN I SIT IN YOUR PLACE’ guy…the list is endless and every time I board that big-ol’blue vehicle a new story is waiting to unfold.

have you had a story to tell in your travel? share

\m/

45 comments:

  1. good entry for the contest Madhav. good luck with the competition. the prize is just too amazing for this one.

    and after the last train journey post, this was a good follow-up post - enjoyed reading :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hee hee hee thanks :) you didnt write for it?

      Delete
    2. nice one..

      i really get pissed off by ye-meri-seat-hai ones who get their ass cemented on your seat and wont agree that the seat is your's until you call a tte for settling the matter..this one time an asshole wasnt even ready to show his ticket and when i showed him my ticket,he gave me a whatever look..he never moved before i called a grp guard !

      i can kill them without any hint of guilt..

      Delete
  2. You are indeed very patient ,must say! I cant imagine how would I have put up with someone wearin my slippers to the washroom.its just gross!and why caste!

    Mast likha hai.fun read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well TELL ME, i so shocked to see that myself.people are weird. thanks for reading

      Delete
  3. This is India and we are like this only .. once you become more accomodative, you will see that its all harmless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well i didnt say it harms but is it too much to ask for a little civilized behavior?

      Delete
  4. I did not get the update of this post :(

    If you are patient, so am I. I prefer travelling alone and I do travel alone(at times). But everytime I travel alone, my lost family from my last birth awaits for me in the train! And they have everyone. A kid, a patient, chappal-chor, Himest and Justin Beiber!!!

    All the best for the contest :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehehehe well *Hi 5* i can totally understand how you feel ;)

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  5. Very well written maniac at last u didn't mention why she asked the caste....

    mumbaiflowerplaza.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have no clue, was shocked myself. weird ppl

      Delete
  6. oh my you are very patient. If it was for me, I would have yelled at the mother-daughter combo from the first incident, and at the slipper using mother from the second one! All the best for the contest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heheheheh there nothing much you can do when you are unmarried male aged 25 travelling alone. social pressure you see ;)

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  7. What a great entry for the contest- I'm sure you will do well. I laughed sooo hard- I love the way you relate your experiences on the train- I could sooo identify with what you were saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well thanks for your kind words. what can i say, terrible experiences make for great stories

      Delete
  8. I guess aunty was checking you out for her daughter..ha, ha did she ask you "Beta salary kitni hai?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh god NO. but daughter looked elder to me. anyhow she didn't ask me about salary.

      Delete
  9. Its funny that I just wrote a blog on trains and I stumble upon someone who has probably had almost similar experiences as myself. Read both your train blogs. Nice reads.

    Do stumble upon mine when you have time :) .
    Cheers

    P.S - I also had help in stumbling upon yours through my friend Jenny whom i find is frequent on your comments section :) . (Just giving credit where it is due)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yo sure. read and commented.thanks for reading

      Delete
  10. Terrific blog........

    rosesandgifts.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. One of my friend shared your blog with me. And how great that was! ROFL stuff. I've never been a train faithful myself, but the way you've detailed each character is superb.

    Will keep an eye for your new posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. convey my regards to your friend, i am humbled.thanks for your kind words :)

      Delete
  12. Wow, the last time I visited India I was 12. So my memories of the place are very different, but I wasn't born there so my perception might not be as drilling as yours :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. its a funny place i must say, you just have to look harder to find the humor

      Delete
  13. This is a really good blog. I visited India a number of years ago, and I enjoyed my visit. You have no idea how much I admire Indian culture.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, cheers to that. hoping you ll visit again. spices taste the same anyhow ;)

      Delete
  14. First time on your blog! And the first tale was quite a story..LOL! I have never seen women like that and yes I know how irksome it would've been for you :)

    Good luck for the contest!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thats so sweet of you.thanks for reading.indeed i was annoyed to no end

      Delete
  15. You have such a hilarious style of writing! Very impressive! I've not been on an Indian railway but I have been on a British tram!

    Love from, THE EASTERN PEARL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hee hee hee thanks. all are same. people turn into maniacs on things that move.

      Delete
  16. Aww...The great Indian railway torture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehehehe i am guessing you never had a bad experience in RAILWAYS?

      Delete
  17. Truly! These things happen time and time again! I was once body slammed by a rather heavy Aunty as she came and sat next to me.

    Surely enough after 10 minutes or so, she leaned over me politely and found a pillow on my shoulder. It felt like I was carrying one of those sacks of grain heaved over my shoulder for a full 2 hours. Refused to wake up you see.

    I even contemplated pulling the chain, but that was impossible for a boy of 17 who found it impossible to get up from underneath her in the first place !

    - R.R

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahah people are weird man. and when women folks are involved, there is nothing much single guys can do without being stared at :P

      Delete
  18. Funny!!

    I have tagged you. Please take it here:
    http://anucreations.blogspot.in/2012/03/tag-thon.html

    ReplyDelete
  19. Marvelous…..
    bangalorewithlove.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. i don't know exactly, we people become more sensitive or some people, like you mentioned in train, are too stubborn?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well lets just say, to each their own. live and let live man

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  21. Replies
    1. likh diya ji finally. padhiye to sahi ;)

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  22. Lovely post! I too have certain interesting experiences with the Railways, especially during my childhood!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Enjoyed reading the post... asking for caste, occupying ur berth and then wearing slippers.... I can understand ur patience..


    manjulikapramod.com

    ReplyDelete

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