Thursday, October 8, 2009

Train Trip to Home

This is the only year when I have made so many trips to home since I moved out about thirteen years ago. The one last week was by train. Here is a little account.

I book my tickets in second class. I favour being close to the elements more than closed comfort of an air conditioned coach. That dog peeping out of the car window will agree. But this one time I was thankful to God (and Laloo Prasad Yadav) for the upgrade. I boarded the train and in a minute I knew that next 36 hours are going to be painful. The whole bunch of people around, well, sucked. Especially this lady with holier-than-thou written across her face. Just as I was steeling myself for the torture, a man comes claiming my berth as his. Now this is the thing with Indian Railways, they tell you that trains are your own property. And you have to fight for your property. That’s what I did. But after a little scuffle that ensued, one gentleman suggested that we should look into the berth chart. Only one passenger upgraded and it was me! You buy a lottery ticket just for the sake of it and hit the jackpot! With a sigh of relief, I picked up my backpack and ran. This was only second upgrade in my long life and countless journeys. First was on a flight from Dallas to Detroit.

First couple of days were uneventful except the fact that it was hot. It was hot like crazy! And humid! I remember that around this time we used to take out the warm clothes from the trunks and air them. Begin October, we started wearing them. Believe me, global warming is real. Weather cycle is screwed up all ready. I wonder if there will be a sequence of changing seasons at all by the time I am old. And then I went to Madhubani where it was hotter, despite being closer to Himalayas. This is one place where I always like to go to. My earliest memories are of this place. I probably didn’t understand the world better, but as far as I can tell, the best days of my life till today were spent there. Like always I went to see the house and the locality where I spent my early childhood. Its amazing how much, yet how little things changed in all these years. Oh, by the way, I went there to initiate the process of getting uprooted forever. I just hope that I get to go there again and in leisure.

No upgrades now and just as well. A group of youngsters travelling back to join the colleges after the vacation were my co-passengers. Unaware, apprehensive and still confident about what lies beyond the college gates, in the corporate. I enjoyed it every bit without trying to level their expectations. Not that I would have been able to, their energy and enthusiasm was infectious. Since I am vaccinated for every kind of infection, I slept like dead for more than 24 hours. Whatever little time for conversations I had, people invariably asked me where I am studying, when I finished school, etc. Not just one guy, but many. Not that I am not used to this. Every single pub in USA refused to serve me without seeing my driver’s license. Waitresses flirted with me like I am a teenager. I used to wonder if they were blind. There I was a 6 feet tall man with long hair and beard and weighing close to 200 pounds. More like a construction worker than a teenager. I never thought this would happen in India. And I am sure as hell not sorry for it this time.

I reach here at seven, at nine-thirty I am at work. Only to be greeted by a super funky policy change. That is coming next.

1 comment:

tarana said...

ur writings are hilaious..i must admit..waiting for the next....


Related Posts with Thumbnails