Sugarfree Lovers

November 21, 2010

Train Stories

Call it my laziness or over confidence that I did not book my tickets in advance for going home this deepawali. And at the nth moment when I started looking for tickets, flight tickets were unbelievably high (12K-29K one way), and there were no tickets available in the direct train to my home town (By the way, it takes me 36 hours minimum to reach home by train). After seeing no other possibility, I booked my tickets with braked journey. I was supposed to change train in Rourkela, and my next train for Jamshedpur(home town) was after 4 hours. Friends were asking me what I will do for that long time, and suggested me to wait inside waiting room

On planned date I started my journey and I was praying for train to reach Rourkela late so that I should not wait there for long. My train reached Rourkela 1 hour late. I asked a coolie to take my luggage to that platform where my next train was supposed to come. He did the same, took money and left. I was busy arranging my luggage on the bench when I saw a passenger train, which was going to Jamshedpur. I was sure that if I take this train I will reach home early. But me being me, decided to wait for the train I booked tickets in. 

I thought I will listen to music to pass time, but then one drunken coolie came and asked me where I want to go. I tried avoiding him but he was not leaving the place. To get rid of him, I told him the name of the train I was waiting for. He told me to go and sleep in the waiting room as my train will come tomorrow morning only. I had checked the train timing that morning also on internet, so I was very sure and didn’t believe on what that coolie said. 

Still that passenger train was there on the platform. I don’t know why, but I just got up from my place and walked up to the enquiry counter. And there when they said that my train will come next morning only due to train timing changes, I was shocked. I somehow managed to buy tickets for that passenger train and got inside. Call it my luck, as I sat in that train, it started moving. I just managed to get inside with my entire luggage. I was really pissed with all these unexpected changes and was extremely angry on Indian railways. When I returned to my senses, I thanked that drunken coolie for saving me from spending whole night in the station. And then I observed that I was sitting in between so many men. I had no energy left to shift my luggage somewhere else or look for other place. This journey was for just 3 hours, so it was better to adjust.

There were 3 engineering students and few uncles who were sitting in my compartment. In the next station one chai wala came inside. There was one uncle (I think he was drunk), he asked the Chai wala for time. He replied the time for which this uncle said “I am asking you to give me tea, why you telling me the time.” 

Chai wala: You asked me for time only. If you ask me for tea I will give you tea. You ask me politely, I will give you my blood too.” 

Till now I was looking outside the window. But this filmy dialog from the Chai wala confirmed that the scene inside was more interesting then what I was seeing outside. 

That Uncle: Okay, enough of your dialogs. Give me tea. And if it is not hot I won’t pay you.
Chai wala: My tea is the hottest. You drink it and see. If it’s cold I won’t take your money. And this is a man’s promises. 

He said this and looked through the audience for applause. I felt even he was a psycho, my bad day. He served tea to that Uncle.

That Uncle: If your tea is hot, I will give you 100 Rs.

Chai wala: I don’t take money in charity. 

He again looked for applause, his dialog reminded me of Amitabh bachchan’s dialog in the movie DeewarSeth, main pheke hue paise nahi uthata”. 

That uncle drank the tea and asked the Chai wala “where this train is going?”. That was extremely funny moment. By now I forgot all my anger and I was enjoying my first ever local train journey. Chai wala got down in next station and that uncle slept. I was listening to music, when I felt that the guy sitting next to me asked me  something. I removed my earphone and begged his pardon. His question made me speechless. 
Guy: Why do you keep long nails? Is it for fashion or for clawing someone’s face.

He gave a wicked smile. I was shocked on such question. I felt like clawing his face as answer to his stupid question. But I maintained my calm and said “just for fashion” and wore my earphones back. 
My god! I was praying for that journey to end as early as possible. First the shock of rescheduling of train, then running around to manage to get into this train, and finally these chai wala, drunken uncle and useless guys sitting around me, made me pray to god like the Geet of Jab we met, for no more excitement in the trip.

But whatever we say, it is 100% true that we get to meet many interesting people and witness many funny incidents in train journey, which we always miss in flights. I had come across many experiences during such journeys, some made me smile and some pissed me off, but all of them are unforgettable. And with this one journey, one more page got added to my book of memories. I will share few more such memories with you all some time again.


Rajlakshmi said...

woa that guy had guts to ask that question :P
what an adventure totally filmy style :D

miltan said...

good one...since its like a filmy plot....based on real incidents though..i would like to name the story..ghar jaane ki last local:-)

Sweta said...

@Rajlakshmi: oh thous guys were very daring, I must say ;)

@miltan: Title is really good. you should have suggested me before.

Jidhu Jose said...

nice ......Moments in the the last train journey , I really irritated with the beggars.
I read in one book. If u want to know abt India, u have to travel in local trains with the locals. hahaha

Rajavanya Subramaniyan said...

Nice rant.. your narration style has improved big time. The interesting events help too I guess :)

Nasia said...


is what i will say.. my god! u are jhansi "the" rani herself.. phew!

i would have been so damn scared.

similar thing happened to me when i went to chennai. my train was a day late. return train. Speaking of which, did you apply to get the money back? via TDR?

mine is till pending, and its been 6 months.

Nasia said...

oh and btw very well written and interesting :)

Sweta said...

@jidhu: very true.

@Quakeboy: Thanks

@Nasia: I got my money back already... but that tension and frustation was no wear compared to this money.

Unknown said...

Local trains are the most enjoyable rides. I used to love it, but of late, I have been flying. :(

Nalini Hebbar said...

You should have given him a sample...for him to check out the depth and extend of pain!

Blue Lotus said...

All Indians have a train tale to tell..Loved the Chaiwala episode..

Uday Mishra said...

"Is it for fashion or for clawing someone’s face" I loved that line next time I can also use start a conversation ;)

I have felt that in India girls traveling on plane are much more empowered and posh to handle this kind of situations in more positive manner and start the conversation then in girls traveling through public transport like train and buses.

May be a full generation or two might be required for Indian females to get to level where a interaction at humane level can be established. I am just comparing the level of interaction which you can establish with a female of developed country then with a female of semi-urban India.

Interaction is the only way to develop intellectually and socially. Escaping from the situation is easy but to handle and utilize the opportunity to grow and maneuver things are the skill need to develop.

I will not say it was scary thing but a lost opportunity to grow!!

Sweta said...

@bibek: use trains also some times ;)

@Nalini: really! i missed the chance :P

Sweta said...

@Blue lotus: true :)

@Uday: Well, I don't think every conversation can lead to an intellectual one... so our safety is in our hands :)

MangoMan said...

I didn't read it myself but made the guy sitting next to me in the lecture hall read it! The chaiwala just cracked us up!! :D

Manish Verma said...

hahaha.... awesome experiance girl... but y the guy is useless, i too do the same in train....

so again u back in your story telling format....great..

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan said...

interesting.. yes. But not necessarily safe people... have heard so many incidents where people like this misbehave with women.. decades have gone by, but for some reason a train journey at night=invitation to be a drunken ass for many people :S

Hemal Shah said...

nice account of a train journey, pretty eventful i must say... having him stare at your nails instead of face was a funny moment and the chaiwala scene was the funniest.

animesh said...

You reminded me of my hostel days, I did my MCA from Rourkela and journey to Jamshedpur was almost every weekend (LOL, I used to do brake journey to my home town; first brake being at Jamshedpur).
There are plenty of such stories. In fact, every train journey in India itself is a story.
Just like that...

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