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Too early for tomorrow... our pet project

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I like journeying by train. The liking is mostly due to my passion for the railways which I have nurtured since my childhood.

Among several reasons that I do not like air journeys within the country is that they are very short. Another is that the passengers are very unsocial. They tend to keep their nose high and lips pursed.

I reached Delhi by the Calcutta Rajdhani Express. Although there is always more entertainment in travelling by a sleeper class coach of a less hyped train, a Rajdhani does not always lie far behind. Take for instance the family travelling with a one and a half year old child who kept roaming the compartment on her own tugging at people's books, newspapers and laptops, all the while smiling. Then there arrived another child who always looked angry and the two children immediately took to rivalry. A lot of crying and shrieking followed of course.

Then there was a Bengali family who boarded the compartment at Dhanbad and woke up an old lady sleeping on the lower berth because she could not climb to the upper berth and immediately picked up a fight (typical of Bengalis) with the others on where to put the luggages.

But the peak of the event came at dawn. At Kanpur Junction a girl boarded the compartment and woke up the nice lady sleeping on the berth below me claiming that the berth was hers. I immediately knew where the confusion lay but chose to wait and watch. After a lot of debate and cross examination of tickets I raised my voice and asked which train did she want to board. She promptly and confidently replied, "Sealdah Rajdhani". I smugly replied that this was the Calcutta Rajdhani. The Sealdah Rajdhani would follow in 10 minutes. She hysterically cried, "O shit! o shit". But, shit or not, the train had started moving. It was left to the merciful Deputy Train Superintendent to find her an empty berth and let her travel 'ticket-less' for the rest of the journey to New Delhi.

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