Trains of Turmoil !
“Excuse me, but we have women with their little babies traveling here. So can you please shift to D2 compartment (some far off compartment that is stuffy and crowded)? “, “ I cannot climb up. So can you please use the upper berth (that is filled with bugs and hot as hell)? ”, “ Can I have the window seat? ”, are some of the usual pleasantries that fall on our ears as soon as we enter any train in India.
Once you have undertaken and completed the Labors of Hercules, also known as booking an online train ticket via IRCTC, board your train correctly and take your seat. Make sure it has not been spoiled by little children who answered nature’s call on the exact place you want to sit and that no roach has decided to call that comfy cushion its home.
Traveling a lot of times aboard the Indian Railway service will leave you with a sense of Déjà vu as you get to meet people who always seem to fall within certain categories.
Some of the categories are
1) The entire family tree:
They are the reason why bulk booking flourishes in India. From the aging old grandparents, the In- laws, the gossiping ladies, the balding uncles to the screaming kids, they come in no less than 6 in number and sometimes seem to occupy the entire compartment! And sometimes, we may get stuck in-between them.
Be prepared to face the lamest jokes ever and watch the family gobble down home made food while you are cramped in a corner, silently cursing the Indian Railways computer that allotted you this seat.
2) The Chatter-Box:
They are the unstoppable force. No amount of subtle hints will force them to stop their flow of speech. If it is an elderly person, get ready to face a barrage of questions about your education and a lot of free advice. And also, the trials and triumphs of their sons and grandsons.
3) The Friendly Neighborhood family:
Then comes the small family that sits opposite to you and when they find out that you are from the same neighborhood as them, get ready to face a seemingly endless list of questions about you and your family, your fathers workplace and so on, like the annual census.
And if they have a small kid, be prepared to face small insults from its parents, who suddenly decide to use you to their advantage. When the child doesn’t eat, “ dei look, that uncle is watching you. If you don’t have your food, he’ll take you away “.
And there are even more too. But it is these kinds of people who make our journey through life, and in the train interesting enough. They are everywhere and you could be one among them too !