Train journeys are so much fun, especially if like me you travel alone. You can sit reading a book or plug in your headphones and tune out the world. Another awesome thing about train journey is the opportunity to observe the world around you, the people who are waiting on the platform, the hawkers, the passengers, and the railway staff..
Many a times I tend to reach ahead of time, and will sit/stand near the train watching people around me. Some have a calm energy while others are nervous and fidgety, some prance about while others worry where their seat will be, and then there are those who are on the phone giving running commentary as they walk towards their compartment, down to the crowd related details and what they drank or bought. It is quite amusing, and entertaining.
Decided to do a series on this.. Here is the 1st one from a recent trip….
This time, I was on a passenger train, an overnight one at that. Since it was a last minute booking, I got the absolute Last Side Upper seat, and well the train was full, so I had no choice. I was used to upper berth, just dint like the last one cos it is right next to the loo and the door, which people tend to keep slamming every few seconds. Sigh..
I settled into my seat, and dug into my box of salad that I had picked up earlier that day. I looked around and noticed a family of four make their way in-2 small kids, and 2 big suitcases. They settled in and no sooner did the TT come bearing news that they had been upgraded to A2. Poor guy had to lug the bags down 4 compartments while his wife sat with the kids and then they all left. Soon after came another family, a large one of about 9 members [ yes, i counted] included 3 kids- 2 girls and a boy. I figured one guy was the kids’ uncle, cos they were close to him and kept asking “mama for the phone”… One girl was whining to her mom that she had tamil exam the next day and dint want to go to school.
The boy kept running up and down, bare foot that kinda got me telling him to wear his footwear as the train was dirty. They were all from Tirunelveli, and kids were going bonkers over the mobile phone that the uncle was holding out. There was another Malayali family in next compartment who got close to this lot and during dinner time they all shared food. [no I did not eves drop, they were loud enough to be heard and seen]
Around 9pm, at the station a girl hopped into the train with her father and took the seat next to mine. She was going to her college [Ayurveda college] at a town near the final destination. She asked me where I was from, where I was headed and how come I was alone [sans family].
This girl and the older girl from the other family started chit chatting with me.. They were both amazed that I was travelling alone and that too for a holiday where I was gonna be alone.
Girl1: [from the earlier family] asked – unga daddy irukkara neenga pora edathula ? [was my dad waiting for me at the destination]
Me: no no, nobody is there
Girl 1: Then you have friends who are there?
Me – No, it is just me
Girl 2 [the other one travelling alone to college]- From Chennai you are going all the way to a place to be alone.. ?
Me – yes. I do this regularly and enjoy it
Girl 2- Your daddy lets you go alone far away?
Me – Yes.. I don’t need his permission anymore..
Girl 1’s mom – You really travel alone?
Me – Yes i do 🙂
Girls and the mom – wow, first time naanga ippadi oru ponnu paakkarom [ first time we are seeing a girl like this].. they then share this ingo with their spouse/family who then smile at me and say “enna kannu, yen ma thaniya pora.. [why child, why are you going alone?]
Me – Pudichirukku [Cos i like it]
Girl1- *continuing with puzzled look * So, who is there where you are going?
Me- Nobody I know.. I go spend time on my own and come back to chennai..
The entire lot smiled and just shut up.. guess they were lost and dint know what to make of it..
# I realised they were unable to wrap their head around this concept of a girl travelling alone to do a holiday alone and was happy about it..
Ever had any such instances?