I would like to auspiciously begin this post citing the words of Navjot Singh Budhu verbatim -
"Traveling in a Train is similar to watching a Cricket match. You never know what's up there for you. You pay, you stay, you enjoy, you cherish and you leave. But once you have left, the memories haunt you"
Train travel becomes an integral part of an average middle class Indian. Every Indian, knowingly or unknowingly would have had the opportunity of traveling in a Train at least once in their lifetime. A train travel is tantalizing and inevitable. And every person has some cherish able moments out of his railway travel as the love for Train is never ending.
Every person has some expectations from his TRAIN travel.
Even more than that, as a kid(long back), I loved Train travel for the kind of food I get. I make it a point to halt every vendor who passes by. The ultimate aim - modified Mill's Utilitarianism theory. "Most food for most people" That's in addition to the food which I stack up from home.
For a middle aged mom, most of her expectations are directed towards taking care of her family n belongings in the Train. Contrarily a middle aged father expects to terminate his train journey with minimal loss incurred. Also he expects to grind and chew(karaichu kudikardu in Tamil) all the magazines and newspapers he had stuffed for the journey.
And as a couple, their combined expectation is to continue their household hulla-bulla in the train. The ultimate goal - Who has the last laugh? This again is never a million-dollar question. The female of-course. I hear some chauvinistic comments. Right, we will shift gears.
Shifting thoughts towards the old age goshti(in Tamil persungo. In Hindi Booda log.) They have no other choice than to munch in their part of groundnut, cashew nut or any nut if they ever get. In addition to that, the old age lady(paati in Tamil, aaaya in Tamil again. aachi for some and kezhavi for the rest.Pheww) is always stuffed with the whole set of knitting kit. The aim(before her travel ends) - a pair of sweaters for her grand children, woolen gloves for her son, and a pair of socks for herself(South Indian paatis never have to worry about this, as they never know what winter is.)
OK, coming to the most interesting part. Females in 16-24 age range. I don't need to tell this, but still, their expectation out of a train travel is to
(I can see many of you nodding heads ;))
(I don't need to mention that each one is a synonym of the other)
Also I restrict myself from exploring more into their intrinsic expectations.
Now to the boring part. ME. As far as guys like me(read as youngsters) are concerned, you don't really need to explain what we expect from a train journey. And if you want me to say that, right, here it is - hot chicks (Of course unaccompanied by their boyfriends) (I can see you nodding vigorously now)
So every time before I entrain, the first thing I ever do is to check the reservation chart for obvious reasons you already know. An unusually odd searching algorithm comes into picture.
1. Check your bay. Consider yourself lucky(God-gifted) if your search returned TRUE.
2. If the above case misses out, check in the neighboring bays. You can consider yourself partially serendipitous if t. All this if I get a side berth. And for the reason, your guess perfectly hits the bulls eye.
3. If both the above conditions fail, you end up looking for at least "one" in your compartment. That really comes handy in helping you decide which side of the restroom you need to frequent.
4. If all the above fails, then you end up praying god for ending your journey soon if not sooner.
If you reached the 4th level, I consider you the most unluckiest human ever. Unluckier than Salman Khan.
In addition to the above mentioned groups, there are some uncategorizable categories of people and situations you encounter in a Train, which needs a special mention
- Gadget gurus- You find people with their iPod, iPad, iPhone , Macs and some other gadget you never heard or seen off. In Tamil you say " scene party."
- TTR(No No. Not TR) - He is the most unusual or rather usual(If you have an RAC ticket) character you encounter in a train. And why not he has to manage around n-Combinations of the above mentioned groups at a time.
One most interesting incident I could think of is when a TTR asked for my T-Shirt. Man. I cant explain further.
- The Frequenter
"Ethana maniki ney Train poi serum?" What time will the Train reach?
"Tandayarpeta thandiducha?" Has the train crossed Tondairpet?
"Wimco Nagar eppo varum?" When will Wimco Nagar come? (Not when will we reach Wimco Nagar. Well thats tamil for you)
"Coffee vandutu poiducha?" Did the Coffee guy come?
"Train timeku poguda?" Is train on time?
And of course he can even answer this - "Enda platform la train nikkum anney?"
- Swap-Cats - I bet you have encountered guys who ask for a seat change. And mind you, you get really weird reasoning for that. Most often you find people bargaining for a window seat. The reasons may fall into any of the following broad categories
"Thambi enaku udambu serila. Frequenta Vaandi edupen" I am sick. I may puke anytime
Dad vouching for his son " Kozhanda paavan jannal vittu kuden" Kid wants to sit near the window
"Naa paaku potu pulichu pulichu thupuven" Anniyan style. I will frequently spit paan.
"Orey puzhukama iruku, konja neram kaathu vangitu poidren" Its suffocating here. Let me get some air.
And man, you can even expect to get a 100 bucks of his money, but never a window seat. A window seat is always a prized possession.
- The uncategorized - These are the kind of people you never want to meet in a train.
They might be someone who keep on staring at you for no particular reason. Irrelevant of the gender. No. I am not meaning to say Gay.
Someone who keeps on inquiring about you, and is keen on showing interest on you.
Someone who borrows things from you. Like Newspaper, headset or even your phone saying "Thambi signal serilla konjam phone use panikatuma?"
A protagonist. Man, expect your train life to be screwed if you even encounter one. He helps you getting your coffee. Helps you in setting up the middle berth. Tries to entertain the babies.Switches off the light when you need to sleep. At times he even helps you with your bed sheet when you sleep. Sheeeesh.
- The Nightmares- These are the people who make your life miserable on train. They may include one of the following
Immortals who insist in switching off the lights at 8PM
People in your neighboring bay who wash their hands or throw crap while in the running train which eventually and unsurprisingly lands on your face.
People who snort as if they had eaten two full buffaloes.
People who mess your berth with their shitty food.
In the next part I would like to concentrate more on the type of people with whom you share your bay with. Watch out this space.
1. Blog post header inspired by Tadaku Tadaku Tadaku Ta. Please visit the link and spare some time for appreciating the man behind these divine words.
2. For those who had read my first POST(I know you haven't) and still think that I have used a lot of numbering bullets, dint I already say "Ivan ipddi dan"?