Live from the Train

I was in Alwar Bagh for a 2 day training workshop. Alwar Bagh is some 15 kms away from Alwar.My datacard was not working and Blackberry’s Edge was having problems too, so was not able to get the schedule of trains from Alwar to Jaipur. Had asked KG to check the details for me and as expected he forgot soon after the call. A colleague offered to help as he had the Indian Railways application on his Nokia Phone. Promptly, he gave me the schedule of 3 trains which were to leave from Alwar post lunch.

The 2 trains which suited me were scheduled to leave Alwar station at ‘4.20’ and ‘4.38’. I reached the station at 3.45 pm and asked for the ticket to Jaipur for the above mentioned train timings. The booking clerk looked at me with a funny smile and informed me that no train is scheduled at these hours. The only train that would now leave for Jaipur was at 6 pm. I was devastated. Took the ticket and moved towards the station, with a heavy heart. Checked the network on my phone and finally the internet on phone was working. And it was not a FacePalm moment but a HeadWall moment!!

How could I not remember that the train timings are in 24 hour format and not 12 hour format!!

Anyways, finally boarded the 6 pm train and got a seat in the AC compartment. For the uninitiated, for small journeys, one can buy the general ticket from the platform and then board the AC compartment, as getting a confirmed ticket a day or 2 before the journey is a bit difficult. So, once in the train, TTI can upgrade your  ticket to the AC one, and get a confirmed seat for the journey. For a person, who would travel only on a confirmed ticket, a few years ago, this style of travelling was a bit of a shocker and full of stress and anxiety pangs. But, then you need to practice what you preach. So, here I am practicing “Adapting in adverse situations”, “Stretching out of comfort zones”, “Busting self espoused limits”…

The journey is pretty eventful inside the train too….

The seat (lower side berth) which I am occupying now was occupied by somebody else just before me and all the blanket, sheets and pillow are lying in a messy way. I push all these towards the other end of the seat and I see a wallet!! I am in two minds, whether to touch the wallet or let it lie as it is! While I am debating with myself, the TTI comes and I immediately inform him about the wallet. He checks the contents, mutters something and keeps it in his pocket! Hope it reaches its owner, because it contained a PAN card and a driving licence along with some papers and Rs 1000!

My co-passengers are a father and a son duo. Father is helping the child revise his study material. So, the 5 year old is learning the various parts of the body, animals, people who help us etc etc. The father is even making him recite the poems. I am impressed. Usually, this role is performed by the mothers. These days, you rarely see a father taking so much time and pains for a child’s studies.

The father is asking about the various rooms in a house
Father : Where do you cook food? Son : Kitchen
Father : Where do you sleep? Son : Bedroom
Father : Where do you entertain guests? Son : Painting Room!!

Next, the father gets a phone call. The child tells him, “I know you were talking to Dimple Aunty.” The spelling of Dimple Aunty is DIMPLE (he reads from the phone). And asks his Dad. “But you haven’t written Aunty after her name. It’s just Dimple”.
The Dad explained, “She is your Aunty and not mine!”
I am curious about this Dimple Aunty now!! 😉

An elderly gentleman, as he walked past my seat, crushed my feet with his shoes and while I was doing “Ooohs and Aaahs!” he moved ahead, without a backward glance! I have forgiven him!!

A handsome guy is sitting nearby. I didn’t had much time to admire him, as very soon his phone started buzzing. He answered the call immediately and a few words from him and I am stunned! He has such a harsh voice and a crude accent!! Looks are sure deceptive!

A group of 5 elderly ladies have entered our compartment and it’s clear that they do not have tickets for the AC compartment. They are coming back from some religious function somewhere and are in the age group of 50-60. The father of the 5 yr old child has allowed them to sit near his seats. They are thanking him and a minute later the train attendant is asking them to leave the compartment! Poor women are pleading and requesting. But they are shooed away! I feel sad for them, but…!

An uncouth man is sitting in the next row of seats and he blew his nose right in the aisle. Am I DISGUSTED!?! I feel like abandoning this train right away! Gosh! How uncivilized  people can be!!

The TTI passed by and gave me Rs 3! I never expected him to give the change back, and he gave it with a smile. Nice to see honesty at work!

Hope, the datacard works and I am able to post this on the blog, live from the train!!

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28 thoughts on “Live from the Train

  1. Thanks for coming by my blog and dropping an insight.

    Train journeys have ceased to be the romantic journeys that one encountered long ago. Now it’s more crowded, less disciplined, no conversations and stale food.

    I just wish Indian Railways take a huge U-turn.

    Joy always,
    Susan

  2. It was so enjoyable to read your observations, Shilpa! You truly are a people-watcher, arent you? 🙂
    Didnt know about the possibility of getting a general ticket converted to an AC tkt..will keep inn mind for those last-minute booking days 🙂

    Now I’m curious about ‘Dimple aunty’ too 😉

    That was sad to read about those ladies who were sent away from the compartment. Very insensitive of the attendant 🙁

    And that uncouth man…yuck yuck yuck!

    • Thanks Deeps! Observing people is fun and you get to know so many things! And it’s the best time pass when you are travelling alone! :))
      This kind of ticket up-gradation works better for small journeys (2-3 hours or day journey types) and should not be tried for long journeys!
      That makes us Two Too Curious Ladies!! 😛

      Its sad but then then they didnt had tickets and the attendant had to do his duty too… a kind of predicament… humane approach vs duty! 😐

      It was such a terribly disgusting feeling to see that man!! MY God!! 🙁

  3. Train journeys in India are quite interesting. You seem to have perfected the art of observation.

    Did that man really blow his nose in the aisle? I shuddered as I was reading. Wyack.

    BTW what was the workshop all about?

    • These are the perks of travelling alone!! 😉

      Oh yes, he did it not once but twice… the second time was after I had posted the blog!! I tell you people have no manners or civic sense!!

      It was a corporate training for Management Trainees to inculcate Corporate Values and Culture along with team building!

  4. I recently traveled from Indore to Jaipur and back, by train, with my 11 month old, and I tell you, for the first time in a very long time, my journey was alright and I did not regret travelling by train. Except for the lady who whined all the way about having kids (my boy and 2 others) in the compartment. Funny thing is, she had a kid of her own traveling with her.

    • Hey! You are from Jaipur or I think your in-laws stay here! Right? When you are next in Jaipur, do let me know… will meet up! 🙂
      Aaah! Such co-passengers can be a pain! So wasn’t her kid adding to her woes or was it just the other kids!

    • Yeah, it got posted after some initial hiccups! 🙂
      Let’s hope so… like you mentioned in your post some time back… there are good people around and of course, there are others too!
      I wonder, if the kid’s mom was around, what would had been the scene like! 😉

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