Ten On Tuesday – 22
Ten Things about by Trip from Kalka to Delhi in a Shatabdi
- A week ago, I was travelling from Kalka to Delhi by Shatabdi. As you know, the seating pattern in a Shatabdi has 3 seats on one side of the aisle and 2 on the other side. I had a seat right in the centre of the compartment, so I had 3 seats just across my seat and we shared a big table between us.
- A Tamilian family occupied the 3 seats across me. The family had husband-wife, a son and a very sweet 6 year old daughter. The son sat across the aisle. One look at the wife and I knew that she was not talking to her husband!! The poor (?!!?) guy tried to initiate some conversation with her, but she simply ignored him. Ah, a fight on a vacation!!
- The thing about Shatabdi trains is that they start feeding you as soon as you are just about comfortable in your seat. So, in a short while the snacks arrived along with tea/coffee.
- The attendant’s load of snack trays finished just after serving the wife and the lil daughter. The girl was super excited to see her tray of goodies. But her excitement turned into panic when she saw that her Appa had not received his snack tray. She gave frantic looks in the direction of the attendant who had gone to get another round of trays. But the baby was unaware of it, it seems, so she started speaking in Tamil, and from the words Appa and Amma and her panic stricken look, I could make out what she was trying to tell her parents!! It was an amusing sight! And a moment later when her Appa got his tray, she was at peace!
- I could see a 10-12 year old in the next row, reading a story book. It was so heartening to see him so engrossed in his book. At first he was reading a Tinkle and then later on a Amar Chitra Katha. Passion for reading is something which I wish each child should have!
- Soon, it was dinner time and this was the dinner tray. How all this tasted, I can’t say a word about it, because, I don’t eat food served in a train!
- For the first time, I saw a 10-12 year old boy taking a bite of raw green chilli with every bite of food. Amazing, it was!
- After dinner, the husband, busied himself with his Handycam. It looked like his prized possession. But it sure had some issue as his repeated attempts to rectify resulted in some irritated mutterings.
- Children bring about such positivity and happiness around, I experienced it once again. The incessant chatter of the lil girl, Padmini (I couldn’t resist talking to her!) sometimes, with her Amma and sometimes with her Appa, at last ensured that both the parents smiled at each other. I couldn’t understand a word of what the child was taking about, but whatever it was, sure made the parents smile and they started talking after nearly 4 hours in the train!!
- The Indian Railways inhouse magazine, “Rail Bandhu” had some interesting travelogues of some celebrities and I liked their caption for the series…