Monthly Archives: November 2007

Trains and Me

I think I have finally developed a theory that explains the behaviour of Indian Railways, in particular towards me.
I cant think of any human I know who has been screwed over so many times as I have by the railways. Its just that every time I am about to board , on board or off board a train, something has to happen.
My theory suggests that someone out there is on a terminator-style mission to screw my life. It could be for many reasons. I could possibly go on to become the leader of human’s resistance to trains. I could possibly also go on to become the leader of human’s resistance to robots .. or something that sounds more like a thing that I can really do. Anyway, the point here is ,, that I am sure that I will go to become the leader of some resistance and hence someone has been sent back from the future to screw my present.
If you think that this is highly unlikely .. kindly explain the following facts .. and then try to refute my logic in explaining the fact.
1. Everytime I manage to baord a train, I am surrounded in my compartment by either crying babies, shouting aunties or tobacco chewing uncles.
My Explanation -> This is all an intricate process of mental breakdown introduced originally by Hitler, through concentration camps. While concentration camps are now banned officially, they still exist today in the form of railway compartments. Instead of being in a room full of crying jews , you are in a room full of crying babies. Though I have no hands-on experience of being in a concentration camp, I am sure that the babies cry louder.
Its apparently a well-worked out strategy. The reservation in my compartment is not available to just about everyone. Only the people who are capable of shouting at the top of their voices, and people in possession of weapons , also known as babies, capable of shouting at the top of their voices,are allowed.
2. Everytime their is a delay in the train arrival, I would miss the train by a whisker of a second.
My Explanation -> well, the fact is a little exaggerated, because if my readers remember, I missed a 4 hour late train by 30 minutes in Madhupur. But the point that was missed there was, the stupid train recovered. In my entire life I have never heard a train recover its delay time unless I am supposed to board it.
I think this is also a careful, well laid out plan. Apparently crying babies and shouting aunties are not available at all times to the enemy. Hence he has to resort to making me miss the train instead.
3. If there is a chance for something to go wrong , it would go wrong.
My explanation -> I know most of you would say that the above mentioned fact is a universal fact and does not only apply to the relationship between me and the railways. But what you got to understand here is the probability factor. Apparently the probability of going something wrong in a normal human’s relation with railways is 0.1 while in my case its 0.8 ( I would be really happy to score 80% in anything in life .. but this )
I have facts to support the above statement. Do you remember the time I missed my train from Delhi railway station last Diwali ( I happen to know one reader of mine who definitely would remember that 😛 ), do you also remember the time I missed my train from Madhupur railways station ( I happen to know at least two more people who would definitely remember that 😛 ), while we are remembering stuff .. I should probably also tell you about the time when I didnt get a train ticket in a Lucknow bound train that was empty except for a lone passenger in my compartment the form of a canine. This was long long long back. The TT refused to give me a penalty ticket saying that he wont give me one unless I bribe him with 800 rupees. I dont know about you , but I am definitely not one to pay 800 rupees to spend a night with a dog, whatever gender it is. I refused and the TT said that there would be a checking squad in Kanpur. We argued, with the dog being the sole audience and witness, and I finally agreed to pay him 300 ruppes for a ticket that would have not cost me more than 200 rupees otherwise. Thats not the bad part actually. Late that night , while I was having a hard time controlling my sleep instincts, I was asked to show my ticket by the checking squad in Kanpur. I prdocued the first piece of paper that came within my grasp and was promptly told that this was not the ticket. I woke up with all my senses wide awake and I saw the dog chewing away at what looked like the last bits of my former ticket. I explained to the squad and finally bribed them another 500 to stay clear of any hauling up in the back of a police van.
Sort of a sad relationship I have had with the railways.

Ohh by the way, I just thought of another category of leader I could become in the future. I could also become the leader who revolutionizes the concept of trains, to make them look more like flights. You know, instead of the dirty help boys we have now , how about rail-hostess later on. Also, something like an announcement by the driver of the train before starting and stopping at major stations .. You get the picture .. right ?
Starting Announcement -> “Ladies and Gentelmen .. Thank you for choosing Indian Railways as your preferred way of commute from Delhi to Gorakhpur. The top of the train would be blown up in case of an accident or fire or general derailment to help evacuation. We have tested this feature in Top software companies in India and it has worked almost all the time. In case, this doesn’t work, you are provided with hammer and shovel in each compartment’s bathroom. Kindly do not use these to hit and bury other passengers. Also, since we are a low cost and low maintenance service, in case of water evacuation kindly do not rip off your seats for floating. We would want to reuse them. Thank you, have a pleasant journey .. Ohh .. and by the way .. do we have any electrical engineers in the train anywhere who can tell me what this whole bunch of buttons in front of me do, any help in stopping the train will be appreciated.”
Stopping announcement -> “Ladies and Gentelmen .. We would be arriving in Gorakhpur in a couple of minutes. Kindly make sure that you have all your precious belongings either swalloed or operated into your intestines. The railways is not accountable for any theft , attack, mugging, slaying that could happen here. We try to make our stoppage as short as possible, Kindly jump off the train in case you cant get off in time. We are as surprised as you are to have actually made it this far without knowing how any of these buttons work .. now only If I knew a way to stop this damn thing .. lets see .. how about this red push button thing with skull and bones crossing mark ?? ”

PS -> I wrote all this when I was getting majorly bored in the train trip from Delhi to Gorakhpur. Any resemblance to the idea of logic and clarity is not to be expected under such torturous surroundings. I had a VERY hard time sleeping that night , thanks to the baby who just wouldn’t shut up. I also remember swearing that if I hear his cries for another half an hour, I will either kill myself or the baby – Baby being the easier of the two targets.

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