Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Facets of life

Right from 1997 June, I'd been travelling regularly in the Chennai local EMU for around 2 hrs everyday (Well,minus my college days 1999 August to 2003 June). The train is mostly filled with grim looking office goers (in peak hrs-the time I commute) who detach themselves from the crowd by reading novels/meddling with their mobiles/chattering endlessly about their sons,daughters,office pressure,etc,etc. But definitely, there are a few odd ones out who are sure to capture ur attention.My observations...

* A mom with her school going kid.The mother keeps scolding the child under her breath for not getting up in time,coz of which they missed the usual train and are forced to catch this over crowded one(Nobody will raise the question how I heard when the mother scolded under her breath,coz years before I'd been at the receiving end ;-)) Then the routine dosage of advice - Behave properly in school and creche, Pay attention to the teacher's announcement on homework, Eat the lunch without wasting, Take good care while boarding off the train, blah blah blah

* A group of middle aged women chanting all slokas from Ganesha Pancharatnam to Lalitha Sahasranamam to Vishnu Sahasranamam, converting the compartment into a mini bhajan house. After the slokas there will be a devotional song session where the lady with the most mellifluous voice (among them, ofcourse) sings the choicest numbers based on her train fans' request

* Atleast once in two weeks,there will be a lady with a baby(which is less than a week old) wrapped in a cloth, who manages to squeeze herself and secure a corner place offered by one of the co-passengers. It is a "sight" to watch the cute bundle with half opened eyes and pinky pinky tiny feet, wriggle and cuddle itself closer to its mum.This kinda scene will repeatedly remind me of the preferential treatment given to newly-borns at my home.

If this is the case in the ladies' compartment, the First Class Compartment has its own charcteristic.

* An old couple,suiting the description "dhoti-slack white shirt-bald- spectacles//traditional madisaar(9 yards saree)-hands tightly clutched to the air bag hung on shoulders with some Trichy jewellery shop name in it-hawaii slippers-kumkum+metti(toe ring)" board the train. A SRMU (Southern Railway Masdur Union) staff,who looks like a Tamil Cinema villain with a dark moustache shouts in a commanding voice "This is first class compartment.Get down n board the 2nd class".The old man,slowly but steadily pulls out his Railways Retirement pass, flashes it to the SRMU staff and takes the seat with his wife leaving him dumbfounded

* A group of college girls feverishly giving final touches to their assignment,pulling each others' legs,discussing their new chat friends and their "oh!damn smart" favourite hero.Anyone who appeal to them to reduce the decibel level is quickly snapped by a sharp tounged teen-ager "We are also paying to travel in first class" Appealer accepts the defeat saying "Uh!Nungambakkam is just 3 stations away.The train will be calm and quite then"

* Newly married couple on their way to office, exchanging understanding glances, mischevous smiles, murmuring sweet nothings as if the train is the only place where they get to meet n share their secrets ;-)

* Amidst all these hungama and noise, there will be a blessed soul enjoying a quick but sound & peaceful sleep, sailing in dreamland, with half-opened mouth, moving in all directions along with the train, their belongings safely tucked between clasped hands and get up occasionally to mutter a faint sorry when he/she hits someone unconsciously n wake up because of that.Then they resume to the noblest deed of all - dozing.. :)

As far as the general compartment is concerned, I absolutely have no idea as I hardly get into one of them :)


  • At 12:08 AM, Anonymous F e r r a r i said…

    Again, you brought back memories of my Mumbai days!

  • At 4:42 AM, Blogger Yours Truly said…

    @ferrari - Yaadon ki baaraat :)

  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    really took me back to my Mumbai Andheri fast local train days !!


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