Sunday, 30 September 2012

Railway Child Reloaded

This blog is the fruit of a request made by my brother (which is a surprisingly weird occurrence in itself!)
So this entry is dedicated to him...

First off, this entry has nothing in common with the book from which the title is derived other than the fact that there are three children in here(Me, my brother and sister) and they too have a lot of fun & thanks to E. Nesbitt for the title of course.
I wanted to write about a typical Bombay train journey but the title makes me think about the longer Kerala trips (which are fun as well)
So Im going to write a mish-mash of both. (Pray it turns out well since Im running low on inspiration.)
O.k., so here goes...
{Train whistle}

Bombay (Yes, I dont use the name Mumbai since I am totally against the vernacularization (Not sure its a word!) of perfectly good English names) trains:
The first time I travelled alone would be sometime in the first year of my Diploma to Borivali...Manus whim and Id have done anything for that trip. To make this blog interesting, Ill make a list!

The Biggest fears when youre on a local:
1.    It will be crowded and you'll get pushed off it or flipside: That youll get pushed in so bad, you cant come out!
2.    It will be filled with fisherwomen sitting on the footboards, who yell curses at you when you lean over them to get a grip somewhere, then abuse your height, and (If theyre badly pissed off,) your family.
3.    You'll doze off and miss your station.
4.     If youre running late, it'll get jammed somewhere in the unknown forever.
5.    Your pocket will get picked or youll drop your belongings or even your baby (Im cruelly paranoid I know!) when you're jammed in the throng of bodies.

Some Ewwy and irritating things to happen on a local:
6.    To be stuck beside a sweating (Its natural yes, even I sweat but there is something called deodorant) and irritating fat Guajarati lady who keeps pushing her cleavage on you and makes you wet and stinky.
7.    To have people yell age jao, age jao at you when youre stuck with no scope of limbic movement at all and your station is fast approaching.
8.    To have people tug at your bag's strap, hair, arms or anywhere else to move you or just get your attention(Come on, just standing there is painful enough, why make it worse??)
9.     For a kid: Its awful when adults push you down when its already hard to see you and then you have to crawl your way between peoples legs like a little bug which makes them look at you like you definitely are a bug!
10. And if youre a peace loving person like me...youll hate the shouting (Ill say men are better in this matter) and also eunuchs, (Known colloquially as ‘chukkas) saying Baba, paisa do and blessing you (Thankfully, being a girl assures you that they dont pay much attention to you) and the fact that you tower above everybody else in the coach doesn't help.
11. Travelling during the rains is a horrific experience with all the squelchy mud, wet clothes, vermin and mosquitoes.

Kerala trains:
I have around 4-5 trips worth of experience for here goes!

Biggest fears on a long-distance chuk-chuk gaadi:
12.  The TC will come around before the station we have the ticket from arrives.
13. We'll fall from the top berths while sleeping(I had a phobia of some guy touching me when Im sleeping on the top berth where my parents cant see me(& btw I have no abused past if you started thinking it.)
14.  Some person (Even a sibling) who actually has the window seat will claim the seat in the morning before you get to it.
Or a drunkard will be sprawled over your berth when you board the train & youll have to stand around while people try to get him off and leaves finally but not before retching on the seat.
15.  The toilets wont have a mug or will be this perpetually stinky bog and there will be scary abuse(Or a pimp's phone number) written on the doors and there will be paan-stains, sanitary napkin papers and even body fluids in the toilet when you have to go.
16. That ticketless waifs (I was one on a trip but got a seat due to strangers kindness) will come and sleep between or even under your berths and scare you out of your wits when you step on them by mistake & then you take pity on them and share your seat and food and your mother goes all charity and begins giving them 100 buck notes which they spend on drinking and loot you when you get all familiar (Paranoid I know, but it has happened).

Things you look forward to or hope for on a long-distance:
17.  The coach will have rubber handles, and magazine holders and charger plugs and no table, rusty handles or torn seats or yucky fixations and good toilets.
18.  Good people in the adjacent seats and at least one person of interest to stare at throughout the trip. (Girls fine but Boys better because you can spin stories by just observing them!)
19. Awake parents with plenty of money to spend on books, CDs and snacks...and a wonderful aunt to get you yummy stuff at Panvel!
20. This is something I wish for real bad but hasnt happened yet: A friend on the journey with me....some of my college besties or Roy or any guy (Cant think of any other guy Id want to go with right now, Roy should be honoured, but Hed probably say no and Id spend the time fuming and secretly enjoying it....because he wont have anywhere to escape my hard-hitting questions!
Diverging...beep beep)
I apologize for that.

Yes, so thats my train monologue. Hope you liked it.

 Train Song by Vashti Bunyan is, I think, the perfect accompaniment to this entry!


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