Monday, May 31, 2010

Railway Tickets: Everyone should stand in the queue

I don’t think I should write anything about the overcrowded local trains in Mumbai. It’s already told many times before, and I don’t want to sound repetitive. The issue I want to bring forth is the difference in people’s behavior in first class compartment from that of the people traveling in the second class compartments. This is hard to digest, but if you travel in the second class compartment, you enjoy certain facilities which never appear in 1st class.

If you see some people hanging outside a 2nd class compartment, don’t be disappointed. Some people will still pull you in, and share the little or no space with you. In 1st class, when all the seats are occupied, some people stand near the entrance to stop others from entering. They will deliver dialogues like “there is no more space inside.” When they find anyone not dressed up properly, they announce “this is first class.”

Every compartment in the local trains have two long seats where almost 7 people can sit and each of the rest of the seats can allow 3 butts to be rested on them. However, in the second class if it is crowded, four people adjust in the small seats and 8 to 9 people adjust in the long ones; in 1st class, this will be the 8th wonder.

Though the people who travel in the second class exhibit so much of benevolence and adjustments which bring in extra revenue for the railway department, the administration has been very unfair with them. The dept. doesn’t provide separate counters for issuing passes. You will find passes for both the classes being issued in a single counter. On top of that, you don’t need to stand in the queue if you are opting for a 1st class ticket or pass though others, sometimes, stand hours in the queue.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Humanity is above Regionalism!

Today I understood the meaning of “a window seat” in a Mumbai local train. I saw him (the person who made me understand) sit near the window and shouting continuously “I want the window seat.” I wondered what exactly he was talking about. “How can someone be so absent minded”, I thought, considering the fact that nobody was responding to him though he was abusing everyone.

I wanted to know whom the fellow was abusing. With further attempts, I found a middle aged person seating in front of the “abnormal” fellow. He was too calm and too composed.

I stopped looking at them, and went busy with my phone. Suddenly, I heard a noise similar to that we hear while shutting down a window. I looked back. The “autistic” fellow had closed the window so that the air would not blow into the train through the window. And now I understood everything. The fellow I considered “autistic” actually was a “fundamentalist” – condition changed, but he was still a patient for me. I understood that the seat on which the patient sat was not considered as a window seat as he was facing the opposite site of the direction the train was moving towards. He was upset because he wanted to get heavy blow of air to hit him, which could happen only when he could sit on the so-called “window seat”.

"Maac**d, B**c**d.."(I don’t remember the other words as I was introduced to them for the first time). “Get out of the train. I feel like murdering you people. God knows where you come from. Shit, I don’t find a single fellow from my community in this compartment. It’s all because of you people.”

During all these abuses, the victim opened the window. The patient went on abusing more and more. After a while he took a pause, and started again. “Will you just shut up,” said a gentleman. “Why the hell you are abusing since so long,Maac**d“ and all of a sudden the patient’s voice sounded like that of a adamant kid. “I want the window seat., that’s why I am shouting,” the patient said in a very low vice. “Shut up”, said the even more angry gentleman. Then prevailed a deadly silence in the compartment.

When I got down, I looked at the patient. He was sleeping peacefully while around 100 people were standing and some 8 people were hanging outside.