Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hubli to Mumbai

"Introduction to ASP.Net - Professional Edition" read the front cover of the book. I was staring at it and thinking if i should really pack it in my already overflowing bag. "Dont waste time. Its already 5.45 and train starts at 6. Hurry up." That was my Mom. I could not really make out if she was shouting at me or advising. Parents usually leave you confused if you are grown up. Anywayz didn't have time to analyize. Throwed the book on the bed and hurriedly put on my shoes. Taking Mom's blessings i climbed down the stairs. Naresh was waiting for me on his enfield.

Train had already arrived. I searched for S2 compartment and rushed into it. In the crowd located seat number 9 and pushed my luggage under the lower berth. Was releived to be on the window seat. Meanwhile naresh was busy talking to his friends who had arrived to hubli on the same train. Now i knew why he so readily agreed to drop me. Few meters away from them there was a young couple. I instantly recognized they were bengali. Young lady was upset and her husband was consoling her. We could easily make out they were newly married. Naresh came up to me, said bye and gave me that 'Nothings free buddy' look. I took out a 500Rs note and handed it over to him. "Love you bhai. Take care and ...." i did not care to hear much.I already had the list he had given me earlier in the day. Train moved slowly and inside the compartment all very settling down.

Train reached Belgaum. I was wondering why synthia killed mr and mrs Ernsts. Afterall she was their only child. "vada paav, Vada Paav". "Sir bisi bisi grama garam vada paav". "Hath rupaay sir". I was more intrested in synthia than anything else at that point. Not even hunger. If atall i had to i could always rely on avalakki packed by mom. Nothing could have made me keep "Detective" aside.

But as is the custom i was wrong. Two ladies ( no not beautiful ) in their mid 40s stormed into the compartment. One was holding the reservation ticket and searching for their seats. They found the seats ( 12,13) and made themselves comfortable. I could sense rudeness in the air. I went back to synthia. But the loud voices of the ladies forced me to forget synthia for a while and see what was happening.
Apparanently the ladies had occupied the seats of a elderly couple whom i had not noticed earlier. ( i was falling in love with synthia and love is blind J ) There was confusion. The ladies were shouting at the Grands ( old couple ) for their lack of responsibility. The Grands were not ready to give up the seats claiming they had the right reservation slip. I offered to mediate. I checked both the slips. I knew what had happened. I went to the door and doing a stunt ( i love doing that on trains ) checked the reservation chart. The Grands were right. and the Ladies were too.

I came back and informed the ladies that their reservation has been upgraded and they were allocated berths in 2 tier AC coach. This was new scheme from railways. Being born in railway family and after spending 90 % of my life till now in railway house and trains i did have some knowledge of railway updations.

The ladies didnot beleive me and were still hurling abuses at the Grands. Few others joined me but to no effect. From the adjacent berth the bengali gal came up and tried to convince the ladies. May be thats the effect of Regionalism the ladies gave attention. The ladies were from Ahmedabad and come to belgaum to visit their daughters studying in Gogte college. ( I often visited belgaum. Only if the Bengali gal could make those ladies cough up few details. Was disappointed as usual).

We explained whole scheme to ladies (we should charge railways) and told them they can go to AC coach and relax. But the ladies were reluctant. They said "Abhi aap logon ka vishwas kaise karen. Wahan jane ke baad berth nahi mila tho. Apna tho paise waste jayega na. Hum kahan soyenge.". I was getting frustrated. And regretful i offered to mediate. My synthia was waiting. Meanwhile TC came and the case was taken to his court. He gave glance at the Grands, delcared seat belonged to them and rushed off. He was followed by people who didnot have reservation and wanted him to adjust some empty berths.

Even after the declaration by TC the ladies were reluctant. All started getting frustrated. I took the luggages of the Grands and asked them to follow me. They were shocked. I told them to trust me and said "Sahukarre.. nimge ac daga malgisthini.. banri.. yak bayi ketge madkonthiri..". The Grands were comfortable and while returning to my seat i sought out the TC and informed him that the parites involved in the litigation had exchanged berths. He didnt care.

By the time i returned back to my seat the ladies were beaming with smiles. They were happy at their victory. Finally i could go back to synthia. Before i could find out the reason the lights went off. Fellow passengers wanted to sleep. Cursing the ladies i went to sleep.

It was 7.30 when train reached Dadar. I woke up. Whole night i was thinking about synthia and felt bad for her. I also pitied her for what she had to undergo as a child. She was victim of child abuse by her father.

Hey did i tell you lights in toilet are not switched off in the trains??

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