For some strange reason I don’t like train travel. Perhaps I know the reason. Well this is about travel in India.
Actually passengers are a friendly tribe, sometimes too friendly that everyone expect you also to be part of the gang.
Before the train starts all are looking serious and one may think it’s the tension or the thought of loved ones left behind are reasons. Nothing like that and you will see the reason the moment the train starts.
Suddenly there’s a shuffle, people scamper and the carefully packed and spiced and painfully smelling food comes out….
I used to commute by train when I was working in London. There you can experience the stiff upper lip. Nobody talks, smiles or recognises anyone. A wrong move… well, be very afraid.
Stark contrast is Bombay crowded trains. You can stamp on a barefoot with your spiked shoe. It’s tolerated with a smile and comment ‘that’s alright’.
Well right now I am in a train, chair car of Bangalore Chennai train. I used to avoid train journey from Kochi to bangalore by opting for flight which is difficult with travel to airport and check in requirements. Moreover it is expensive. Driving the distance used to be the option.
Something interesting just happened. The tickets examiner has humour in him. Three generations of women are copassengers. The grandmother got a seat behind, the mother by our side and the daughter in the adjacent compartment.
We were blaming the railway ticketing rudeness or lack of intelligence for the generations divide. This was till the examiner approached. The mother in the meantime had got the gentleman sitting next to grandmother to exchange seats.
The TTR quipped “so this is musical chairs”
The family said the daughter is in another compartment.
TTR “oh, what is it then- migration”
All said smilingly
Something good to think about….