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Monday, 7 November 2011


A train journey has something very special. A train compartment may transform itself to a meeting place where people meet, talk and get along, without losing anonymity factor. Yeah, a Social network on wheels! For some it’s a club to play cards or a reading room or a home away from home. What do I like about train journeys? Obviously it’s the many friends I made in the train and some of those grew beyond those railway tracks. The greatest thing that was obviously those hot chicks I loved to head on make short acquaintances. May be my youth is no longer young, I behave as if I am retired. Else I would have started ‘art of mouth looking’ gurukuls all over the county and have arranged a few ‘sri’s, swami and dev around my name.

But still there is something that won’t change. An observer will be a mouth looker forever. Actually a pragmatic mouth looker is called an observer. But this time in when I boarded I was no more interested in going for the chicks, but was in no mood to reject the lady luck if it decide to take my side. I know it’s really stupid to reserve train tickets for a day train, which will peg myself to a particular seat and may be among a boring company throughout the journey. But time and convenience forced me to seat no. W37 (w for window) of the penultimate compartment of Jan-shadabdi express.

It was a humid afternoon, I had to wait for an hour (just because I was early) which gave myself a shield of sweat over my skin. The train reached the platform No 5 in time (trust me!). I entered the train with scanning eyes and found my seat and it’s the worst seat to get in a compartment. It was the first seat near to the door separated by a barricade. I wiped the dust away along with illegal occupant of my precious side seat. I occupied my seat and a stinky smell occupied my nose. A pair of socks is the stinkiest bio-weapon of the sub continent, now somebody has placed it along with a pair of shoes under my precious window seat. I had a journey to make. I was struck by realization that there is neither a Kejriwal nor a Kiran Bedi around to talk ideally and extremely for me, no Prashant Bhushan will file a PIL for me. No Hazare will utter the f word for me.( that’s the way DNA loves to call fast) Only option left to me was to stretch me backwards and sleep. I followed it suit.

I had just caught sleep when I started hearing a fierce debate on changing political scenario. It was directionless and unproductive, naturally half awake I looked for a remote control, only to realize that my fellow travelers are leading the debate. Not even Markandeya Katju could save me from that mutiny in that air already polluted by the socks. I felt sad; for every one sad there is music. I plugged my ear phones into my ears, started listening to the Coke studio India songs (obviously pirate downloaded!).

I was left with my songs and scenic beauty of nature which ran away from my windows. Music gave me the deafness, which could alienate me from the noisy pandemonium. Somewhere the train stopped, many people entered, two good looking girls too , they looked like first year engineering as their body language recites. They found a seat for them in some rows behind. I was left with the music again.

Next station came, two girls boarded the compartment, and they showed their ticket to my co travelling Arnab Goswamis and claimed their seats. Smell of socks gave way to the smell of perfumes. Instead of debates, I got two mobile phone operators to share my seat. Both of them were Muslims. After a dozen of phone calls they got settled to their seats. They hanged thick cover of snacks in front of me. It was perplexing, I rarely found any college going students board with a big snack bag for a 4 hour journey, they looked like final year engineering students with their body language, so last minute preparation and no planning will be at the helm. Then how they came with this much snacks?

Girl who sat near to me was around 5’ 10’ tall, not so good looking, bit fatty, bit of caring type and very strict about neatness with skillfully polished nails. the other one seem to be of richer with two mobile phones ( one 2nd hand mobile to use and a smart phone to be kept in the bag), had a laptop bag in hand. She had fair round face with chubby cheeks. her looks would have more than 75% from MalayalIs. They too smelled the socked, after first round of investigations they concluded I am behind the foul smell in the seat. I was tired and didn’t find them as an interesting company to mingle with. So I decided to stick to my ear phones.

I got interrupted by the tall girl; she was trying to say something. I unplugged the music from the ears.
Are you a MalayalI?
Are you W37?
No, I am Aby.
I mean your seat!
Hehe! Yeah, I am W37.
Would you mind sitting to seat no. 40, since my friend’s brother is about to board from the next station?

I looked to that seat on the left, it wasn’t a side seat! I gently said no, citing I want side seat. Then I felt like a few bulbs are put out in her face. I thought after should I change the seat for them? Shouldn’t I as a gentleman facilitate a good environment for the meeting of brother and sister? But I felt it’s better to stick to my precious window seat with my two female co-travelers. Let the brother take seat no. 40!

Why did she want to meet the brother in train? Why is she so eager to get a seat for her friend’s brother? My skeptical mind arose! It can’t be her brother, can it be? Anyway I must wait to know the truth. The next stop came; the girls stood up and went to the door to welcome the brother.

Then it was the entry time for the brother, the tall girl who sat beside me went to seat 40, and the brother occupied seat near me (no. 38). A well shaved face with thick moustache, not handsome yet good looking guy around 24, then the short girl began narrating the story of the travel. And she showed her friend who had to move seat 40 due to a heartless mean me. He sharpened his eyes and moustache to the maximum to give a look at me. Now it’s certain I am trapped between two love birds.

Two seats on my left has transformed from a heated debate centre to a park bench for lovers within a short time. Then it was the time for their intense love. She opened her large bag of snacks, thought it was a huge bag she had kept her miser signature on the budget of shopping. Then for about half an hour, their intense love was with the food. There was only sound of their crunchy bites much to put my poor stomach in great agony.

Then their love reached a new level in her smart phone. Her boyfriend was busy checking the contacts on her phone. I don’t know yet what prompts a boyfriend to do that. Then they were busy going through the photos. Then she opened her laptop and started talking about her project and complexities that came her way. Being considerate about her friend, she handed the laptop to her friend who was doing solitary punishment in seat 2011 and started watching a romantic flick.

Meanwhile I had run out of songs and battery in mobile phone and the shades of light dimmed to welcome the night.  Our lovebirds have moved their nest in to his laptop. My spying genes started activating. At first it was his resume that was being scanned. it was hell of bio-data resembling the menu of multi- cuisine restaurant(stop naming the platforms the name of food stuff!). But some other things came out while peeping into the laptop screen. He has abbreviated his name to a romantic hero who sank to the depth of the ocean while saving his love from a sinking ship.( narcissism has to be applauded when  the name Ja***** .C.K is turned to Jack!).

He probably met this particular girl among freshers in a ragging session by all Romeos of the campus. Usually done by rounding off all cute girls in a batch. I kinds remembered many Romeos I met in the campus. He resembled much like a guy who tried the trial and error method to woo all Muslim girls in the campus until somebody found his love. The guy on my left still had the pride the senior than the affection of a boyfriend. While on her eyes there was respect to him and gladness to be with him. Was that love? I don’t know. I have seen many loves within the campus failing due to the girl’s early marriage. Also found those senior-junior affairs bloom into marriages; though the latter evidently lacked cordiality. May be the marriage life doesn’t demand cordiality that much.

The girl’s excited voice and his over serious voice indulged in conversion for a while. Meanwhile they got calls from their respective homes and attended the calls after making sure that each other has got a closed lip. Same time her friend has got mad by getting bored at seat 40. The stop was about to come. He took out a large bag of snacks to her. It had some expensive snacks in it; my eyes got a glimpse of it to hurt the sentiments of my hungry stomach.

The train reached their station, all three of them left, leaving the whole seat for me; I stretched my back again in search of my lost beloved sleep. I closed my eyes dreaming about someone new to mouthlook.