Stories from Rail Journeys
They say, a traveler without observation is a bird without wings. And I have pretty long and strong wings that way. I love observing people and things around me. Observing people while traveling by trains gives a large depth of field as compared to travel by bus or flight. These observations give birth to so many stories in my head. Of course, I may not have the complete picture, but I like to imagine the possibilities. And sometimes I just observe and do nothing about them, too.
Here are some observations and stories from my different rail travels.
- A pantry guy served the complimentary Mineral Water to all. In his tray, bottles are neatly arranged, with paper cups placed on top of each bottle. A paper cup fell near the shoe of a passenger. He picked it up and placed it again on the bottle. So, somebody will use a dirty cup! And I am certainly not gonna use mine!!
- 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. Soon his phone rings which is lying on the seat. The child tells him, “You have got a call from Dimple Aunty.” And then asks,“But you haven’t written Aunty after her name. It’s just Dimple”.
Dad explained, “She is your Aunty, not mine!”
I am curious about this Dimple Aunty now!!
- An elderly uncle is playing some game on his mobile and it seems, either he is leveling up very fast in the game or failing miserably as the game music is being played every few seconds!
- A guy is talking on the phone since ages. A lot of office gossip is being shared with the person on the other end. And they say, women gossip a lot!!
- Two gentlemen have initiated a conversation. “A” is asking “B” some personal questions…like his place of work, his current city and even his age!! When “B” repeated the process, “A” successfully dodged all the questions and did not give a single straight answer. Smart chap!
- A handsome guy is sitting nearby. I am trying not to stare. He has received a call which he has answered promptly. A few words from him and I am stunned! He has such a harsh voice and a crude accent!! Looks are sure deceptive!
- The two year old daughter of the couple sitting opposite to me is very naughty. She wants to move around the compartment, she wants to sit on the upper berth, but the strict parents are not letting her to do so. Incidentally, she is wearing a T-shirt which has picture of Dora the Explorer.
- A guy is sitting with a bit fat book (Competitive Exam Book), but has not studied a word. since the last half an hour. He is busy chatting with friends on his phone. There is a difference in his body language when he is talking to different set of friends… with lady friends (3 until now), he is smiling a lot, laughing a bit hesitatingly and looks all coy and shy! And is all typical boyish talk with ‘Abe yaar’ etc with boys!
- An old lady near me is wearing her spectacles with the price tag still attached to the temple. Oh, wait!! She just removed her glasses and cleaned them and adjusted the price tag too!! I am very much intrigued now!
Do you observe your surroundings and people while traveling? Do share any interesting observation from your rail travels.
April 20, 2018 12:50 am|
I wanted to read more. Each one is interesting. I wont use the glass next time I travel by train.
April 20, 2018 2:48 am|
Interesting indeed. I totally agree. Train journeys give you a new perspective each time. A new story or a new way of life even. Love each one of these observations. ❤
April 20, 2018 3:01 am|
Very interesting read with which one could relate.There are many such specimens we invariably come across.
April 20, 2018 5:48 am|
Interesting stories. We travel by train only when we visit India. Once we were returning from Rameshwaram to Chennai. Near Madurai, a popular minister from the Tamil Nadu Government boarded our compartment and travelled with us all the way up to Chennai. We said hello. He said hello. That is all. He was reading some papers for a while and went to bed. Nice guy.
April 20, 2018 10:55 am|
Interesting. People can be sources of wonderful tales.
April 20, 2018 11:55 am|
Interesting observations shilpa, yes I do observe while travelling, in one of our travel there was a small little child who was wanted to eat chapati from my tiffin:) I shared a small piece and she took it and ate, the young mother was feeling embarrassed and through that child we had a small conversation. Another time I was finding difficult to climb up and there was a man on the opposite seat who exchanged his middle berth and took up the upper berth… there are so many like that … its fun to travel by train.
April 20, 2018 2:37 pm|
An interesting set of observations, Shilpa! So much happens around us, if we only have the eyes to see it all! 🙂
April 20, 2018 3:50 pm|
I love travelling by train, there is no better way to sit back and watch the world go by 🙂
April 20, 2018 6:31 pm|
It is so fun eaves-dropping on various conversations when travelling. Thanks for sharing your snippets. R is for retirement.
April 20, 2018 6:40 pm|
Everybody is walking with their stories. We just need to be observant. Loved ur observations.
April 20, 2018 6:40 pm|
I want to know about Dimple aunty too 😛
This is one my favorite tales.
I was traveling to Chennai with my parents as I was supposed to report to my first day of my job there. In the seat in front of us, a cute guy was sleeping. Soon, the book he was reading slipped through the gap and I found it. It was ‘The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail’. Intrigued, I read the gist and was more intrigued. The guy remained asleep and I started reading the book. After a while, when he woke up, I returned it to him and we started talking about the book. And continued talking throughout the journey.
Today, he’s one of my closest friends 🙂
April 20, 2018 7:05 pm|
My main mode of transportation across cities remains trains… I used to really pick up so many character quirks from there that I have later used in stories. I even have a story in Railonama (a train tale anthology!) that is based on observations just like this 😀
April 20, 2018 8:00 pm|
Ha ha ha, best post of the series undoubtedly and you leave me inquisitive too about Dimple Aunty. By the way, my tmrw’s post is on travel and it was wasn’t possible for me not to link it to your series on travel here, so you are featured on my blog tmrw.
April 20, 2018 9:00 pm|
This may be my favorite post so far. I love the stories. My son and I are looking at a train trip across America. Now I want to do it even more!
April 20, 2018 11:19 pm|
Haha! I’m going to remember this post for long, Shilpa! Bloody brilliant 😛
Kohl Eyed Me
April 21, 2018 12:02 am|
Its been a long time since I travelled by train but your post took me back to the days when I used to travel a lot by train. i love it.
April 21, 2018 1:00 am|
I couldn’t concentrate on anything after Dimple aunty!
Uff..these wild horses of imagination are galloping on your train tracks Shilpa!
Love the opening line of this post.
R is for #RallyforRivers
April 21, 2018 1:57 am|
What great observations and delightful post. Train trips are wonderful times to keep both your eyes and ears open. And now I think all of us are speculating about Dimple aunty.
April 21, 2018 5:51 am|
Oh I love train travel too. Somehow passengers in a train are more fun to observe than those Ina plane or bus ….
April 21, 2018 9:32 am|
This post made me so nostalgic: I haven’t travelled on an Indian train in a long while.
April 21, 2018 9:50 am|
This third party staring is just awesome – no! I do it sometimes when the scenery outside is not captivating enough! One does get to see an amazing array of human behaviour.
You seem to have observed them all so so keenly Shilpa. I could imagine them in my mind on the next berth from me 😉
April 21, 2018 11:54 am|
Hahaha! Loved all of these tales, or observations, as they actually are! But, loved the Dimple Aunty story the best! 😛 I just wish the wife had been around to find out about this Dimple Aunty! Hehehee.
I, too, do this, when I am traveling by bus. Just observe people and wonder about the lives they live.
April 22, 2018 12:17 am|
Such captivating stories Shilpa, true rail journeys leave us rich with few colorful stories. I wanted more about that Dimple aunty though 😉
April 22, 2018 8:42 am|
OMG!! What interesting rail tales… The old lady, surely stole the show. She actually had those glasses on with the price tag??? And my mind is thinking too, who is Dimple aunty :)????
April 23, 2018 11:07 am|
Haha. These are hilarious ones, I have heard men gossip too about their office colleagues inside train compartments. It is rather interesting, observing people during rail journeys, their idiosyncrasies.
Stories By Rabindranath Tagore
April 25, 2018 9:00 pm|
Interesting rail stories, yes train journeys have made relationships, friends for life, marriages, memories, your post inspires me to write my so many tales now. Have met political gurus, best cook auntys, dating couples, even my life saviour who pulled me up in moving train & saved my life