Monday, April 14, 2008

a divided platform

there were riots on platform one, the train was headed to darbhanga.

and a hush(almost) on platform two, the train headed to trivandrum.

two civilisations jostled for space on that one platform.

and george checked each garbage bin on that very very long platform.

he needed to get to the end of the train, the one where people walk in politely, imagine that they alone will occupy that berth they have paid for, and see no need to scream at the foe at their elbow and the friend at the other end of the platform.

but he walks through that part of the platform where they scream at the foe at the elbow and to the friend at the other end, where they know that the berth assigned to them will have to be fought for like its the last remaining thing on earth.

he deposits his parents' suitcase where it needs to be and realises that his spectacles have fallen from his pocket...on platform one.

we walk back that long long platform, on the side where the police wield lathis and randomly hit out, sometimes for sport, sometimes in self defense, sometimes to ensure that the 18 people stuffed at the door dont spill out.

i roll my eyes. he scours the floor for his spectacles. and then peeps into EACH AND EVERY DUST BIN, just in case someone dropped it in for safe custody? or to keep the platform clean?

16 comments:

Space Bar said...

:D what to say now...it's surreal!

Mukul said...

whoa.. sounds awful and i have to travel on that line to UP by train soon..

thelastbyte said...

is it awful if I confess now that I miss travelling by trains in India? Mostly in Kerala, during the monsoons.

--
Null Pointer

SUR NOTES said...

space bar: surreal? or absurd!

mukul: have fun, reminded me of the train trip to kalpi- p and i huddled on the top berth in the heat of april, for 30 years. i shudder when i think of it.

thelastbyte: train journeys in the monsoon, any where south of maharashtra, bliss! :) i am a north indian, and i say this with conviction!

Banno said...

Reads like a film. George is such an optimist, what else!

Dhanno and I are going to take a long, long train journey soon. Mumbai-Delhi-Guwahati. And back. While Teja takes a flight.

But we shall be of the other civilization, sure that our seats are kept for us.

dipali said...

Phew!
The mind boggles.

How very optimistic of George:)

SUR NOTES said...

dipali: optimistic? or insane!

banno: have a good trip. and you come back with many many films and stories - we are waiting eagerly.

Sloganmurugan said...

Hahahaha! Very familiar scene. It's the same when the LTT-Coimbatore (via b'lore) train leaves Kurla. There's usually a train from Gorakhpur, I think, on the other side. Providing entertainment.

SUR NOTES said...

i know this train. i know this scene. for years i took this train to b'lore!!! but then my focus was on my berth, and tried to shut out the chaos.

dipali said...

Sur: Insanely optimistic!

NainaAshley said...

I had heard crazy stories about trains in Bihar & UP but never expected this in B'bay. Of course I hardly travelled by long distance trains so wouldn't know. This sounds crazy! And you travel in such chaos with Sanah in tow? Vow I bow to you!

surgeon said...

he searched for his glasses in dustbins??????
he searched for his glasses in dustbins????!!!!!
I can't get over it.
photographic evidence hai kya? :D

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SUR NOTES said...

surgeon: yes, he peeped into each dustbin. no, he did not rummage through it, but he did peep.

on good days, i realise i am living with a person who gives me total entertainment. on bad days, and there are many, i could break that head with one swat!