Chronicles of a Train Traveller
Its 5 in the evening. Too late and too dangerous to take a fast train to Andheri from Churchgate. The train fills even before it stops to unload at Churchgate. And in Andheri, it is impossible to get down in one piece, even if that is managed, you are sure to be molested, pushed, pulled, felt, scraped, bruised and in general harassed. But well that is life.
Anyway, my best bet is to take an Andheri bound slow train, which has not been filled to its capacity even before it stops at Churchgate station. As I have pointed out before, to capture the coveted seat
better named as Queen Anne's Seat, I always hop onto the compartment before anyone else can. Similarly today as the train chugged in and slowed to a gradual halt, I held out my hand and grabbed the center pole. As i heaved myself ahead and placed one foot on the footboard, another female slammed into my hand and placed both her feet on the footboard, wedging my foot almost off the board.
"Aunty", I said, " just one minute."
"No" She screeched, "I will get in before you."
"NO NO. I will go first"
By now the train had halted fully and people were poring in from the other side. I was balanced in so precariously that if the woman did not stop ramming full force into my hand I would fall off the only foothold I had.
Exasperated I tried to reason out, "Aunty, you go first, I don't care, just let me balance both my feet on, then you go in first."
"No I will go first you remove your hand" she continued screaming right into my ears.
"Yes aunty, but if I let go of the pole, I will fall off the train."
"No i will go first"
My friends had caught up by now, and were.. what were you guys doing?? I dint hear anything from any of you all this while. OK this is normally coz I'm the first to hurry up the train.
After confirming with T(Miss earphones) on the phone I have found out that while this discussion was going on she and Pt were both repeating everything I was saying to the woman. T also adds that she was glaring away to glory at the female since it was obvious that I was trying to be as polite as possible while the woman was atrociously rude.
Well the woman refused to listen to anyone and finally pushed me away and rammed on thrusting my hand to the side. One would have thought that the fog in her brains would have cleared once she entered into the compartment, before me. But no.
She marches inside and turns around and hurls out with her foul mood at me.
"I am you mother's age, you should know better than to talk to me like that"
"But aunty, I was letting you go in first anyway. All i was asking..."
"No asking shasking. You can't get into a compartment that way"
"But all I was saying is that I needed to get my footing.."
"NO. YOU CAN'T DO SUCH A THING.."
"But will you understand what I was saying?? I just wanted to get my balan..."
"I don't care. You girls.."
That was quite enough for me. Also by now I had noticed that this was one of those trains where there were two of the Queen Anne's Seat, and since the stupid woman had not noticed that yet, the seat was yet unoccupied. I steered my friends towards that seat and turned back and told her,
"Well that was the main problem, you just dint get it that I was trying to let you only go first, I just needed to place my foot in."
I heard her muttering about how these girls don't know how to talk with women and as such generally complain to thin air coz it looked like no one was paying attention to her. More like snickering at her.
As we plonked ourselves in the coveted seat, Earphones gave me a pearl of wisdom from her infinite collection. She declared, "She has a crumbling marriage and is removing her frustration directed at her husband on you. Even her children don't listen to her anymore." And then she shook her head sadly, connoting, What is the world coming to.