Cacophony… The Joys of Travelling in Sleeper Class
Well for those of u expecting fun, forget it and just read… One train, innumerable events, one but needs an eye to capture every little detail that happens in everyday-India. a ten rupee note snatched by eager hands brings me back to my pen & paper (well it was 2 sisters singing along for alms). Welcome to the world without Facebook, Orkut & even e-mails, where millions still live & thrive on basic necessities ( I despise that guy who tries to access mails over his/her cell phone or worse laptop… its still India & I am happy that signals frequently ‘get lost’. ) In fact it creates a scene from a surreal world, like ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy. Lying down on the upper berth (for those of you who don’t travel by train, I am not going to explain, find it out), I have a bird’s eye view of 3 compartments (again find it out if you can’t understand). Right in front of me are loads of luggage & crouching below are 2 couples (i.e. 4 persons) with one ‘joy of their life’ each on their lap, all on one berth. Well now for the reason why i started writing this article, on my right one person just lied down after hearing an overheated & overstretched in time & space argument between an arrogant T.T.E (female) & an equally adamant passenger. Make that a group of 2 each & imagine the cacophony considering the fact that ( am not racial, its truth) ‘normally’ Bengali converse in a ‘silent’ manner ( if the words normal & silent retain any of their original meaning I would be surprised). In fact I did try to act Big Brother by bribing a meagre 20 bucks to a group of eunuchs to end the argument but to no avail. In any case I would have to part with it. Coming back to the person who was trying to sleep, he protested so loudly about the invasion of privacy by the T.T.E. team that he infect invaded mine. Remaining right side belonged to a ‘civilized’ family. But I imagine what explanation would she give to her daughter if she asks about the couple of young ladies who came a-begging along with a shrill song & the incoherent beating of tabla. Their tired eyes & faces say it all. I fork out another 10 rupees note to save my eardrums. This too is India & in spite of the ‘economists’ view’ do you really think more money can change anything???