This blog is a collection of events that happened during one of my longest train journeys.
I was waiting for the Nagarcoil express - 16351 (Mumbai to Nagarcoil via Pune via Trichy) at the Pune station, feeling irritated thinking of the long journey ahead. As the train arrived, I checked the charts eagerly to see any female companion of my age near my seat.
Having been disappointed again, I cursed my luck, boarded the train and arranged my luggage.
The train started at 5.00 PM and within minutes of start of the train, a family approached me and requested me to shift to the other 3AC coach, as they had got tickets split in both of the 3AC coaches. Thought lazy to change the coach, I still felt happy as I realized that there might be a chance to meet a female companion next to my seat. Seems unlucky guys are always unlucky, as the scenario remained the same in other coach too.
It was 9PM in the night.
Having chatted with the family for a long time, I went out to stand near the door and was just listening to the chat between the coach attendants. Hope most of you know that 3AC coaches are accompanied by coach attendants, whose responsibility is to give the bedding items.
The lady from the family came out and asked the attendant for a bedsheet. As the bedsheet was handed over to her, she started arguing with the attendant to give a neat and clean bedsheet. It was a white bedsheet, but due to repeated usage, the colour has slightly faded from it. But it was fresh and neatly ironed; still she wanted a fresh white bedsheet, not like the faded one that has been given to her just now.
The lady passenger argued and added that she would complain to the TC (Ticket Checker) for not issuing a fresh one. By this time, the attendant lost his patience and told her to go ahead and complain. As the lady passenger realized that argument is of no use, she took the besheet and went to her seat.
Her actions took me by surprise, as while we were talking inside, she was complaining that it is difficult for India to develop because of unwanted behaviour of people and now she is doing exactly the same!!!!
Isn’t the lady passenger asking for too much of comfort when travelling in a public transport? She could have paid money for her travel, still she should not have argued, as this is the maximum care that the railways could provide. She could have easily taken the bedsheet and left the scene at the very first moment, rather than having an argument.
Oh man, now I realized. We are living in India and it is not an unusual thing, if people speak in one way, but behaves in a completely different manner.
As I entered the coach, a passenger approached me enquiring whether the plug point near my seat is working or not. Even though I didn’t use the plug point till that point of the journey, I assured him that it would work and plugged his charger. To my dismay, it didn’t work and told him to try charging in the next coach.
Instead, he called the attendant and asked him to repair the plug point. The facial expression of the attendant showed the shock he had just got by such a request. As the attendant was explaining that he do not know how to repair, the dissatisfied passenger immediately replied, “I am going to complain to the Ticket Checker (TC)”
This time, it was me who was shocked rather than the attendant. What on earth an attendant who deals with bedsheet has got to do with electric repairs. The person who was arguing with the attendant looked like an educated guy and doesn’t he have common sense to think that an attendant cannot deal with this electrician type works.
Just because we have paid money to travel, it doesn’t mean that we own the train and can complain about anyone, for whatsoever issues we have. Feeling exhausted on just looking at the two incidents, I just wondered at the plight of attendant as how many passengers he has to encounter in his train journeys. It seems he is used to it and takes everything as just another argument and moves on.
May be none of the passengers has really complained to the TC or even if they had complained, it didn’t bother him much!!!!
I was curious and asked the attendant whether he is not irritated by these incidents. He smiled and replied , "My Dear friend, This is India"!!!!
I went to sleep, awaiting eagerly for the next day expecting some interesting incidents.
As I was listening to songs, the train halted at Tirupati. I got down the train to stretch a bit to get rid of laziness.
People got down from the train hurriedly and swarmed the dosa shop on the platform like a swarm of flies around a fruit. Everyone was busy buying dosa and few of them told the vendor to pour additional sambar.
While the passengers carried the paper plate to the coach, sambar started spilling on the platform. Even though the passengers are aware of this, they just didn’t care about it and started walking away. It was not the case with few passengers, but with more than 75% of the passengers, who got down from the coach.
The way the people behaved made me to think whether they are trying to clean the platform with sambar.
If the same thing happened in their home, wouldn’t they clean the place immediately? Just because it’s a railway platform, it doesn’t mean that they have all the rights to dirty it.
Why don’t they understand, that they have equal responsibility in keeping public places clean? The looks given by the people around conveyed the message, "My Dear friend, This is India"!!!
As I was looking at the dirty platform, the train started moving again. I entered the train and took a paper and a pen and started scribbling the rough draft of this blog. I got down at trichy, feeling happy to have added one more blog to my kitty.
It took me two months after the train journey to convert the rough draft to a fair one, after looking at the competition (Around the World with Expedia!) conducted by Expedia (http://www.expedia.co.in/) in Indiablogger.