When you’re born and brought up in a city like Bombay, you tend to assume the local trains to be your second home. A good way to kill time on the train is to read a book, which is exactly what I do. But the fast moving Bombay life where a mere application of Kajal can lead to missing the train and as a consequence ruin your entire day is tough to keep up with. On one such hasty morning, I forgot to carry my novel and ended up noticing people on a different level. This is what I saw :-
1. A lady who made a big deal of getting up and offering her seat only to find out that she was getting off at the next station. Such a sacrifice, I tell you!
2. The glow on women’s faces when they have successfully bargained their way into saving 2 bucks on an accessory. Even pregnant women can’t beat that glow.
3. You thought Smeagol (Lord of the Rings) was greedy for the ring? You haven’t seen the ridiculous things women do for a seat. Sure, it’s normal for a woman standing to reserve a seat. But for those who are already seated? – ridiculous! While the window seat is “precious” during summers, it is the aisle seat during monsoon. At least Smeagol was consistent.
4. The lady sitting next to me craning her neck to see how many kissy emoticon I was sending my (boy)friend. Sigh. Tweeting about such women at that time is also a daunting task, trust me! They got their eyes on your phone.
5. Desi soccer moms on the train are the coolest at least according to them. There would be a group of middle aged moms talking about how they enrolled their kids in music class, painting class, swimming class and what not and they described each of them in such excruciating detail that it made me wonder if my parents ever loved me because I never went to any of those classes when I was a kid. *makes a sad puppy face*
6. The “Dolly Parton” impersonator a.k.a women who apply make-up on the train. I have one question for you – “Why can’t you perform this complex activity within the confines of your office washroom and spare us the seductive application of lipstick? WHY?”.
7. The lady sitting next to me (on the other side) literally taking my shoulder for her pillow and dreaming away about someone that makes her drool. How do they make this look romantic in movies, I will never understand!
8. I am hungry like 24/7 but on this particular day I was ‘skip breakfast and lunch ‘cos you’re going to your cousin’s reception dinner’ hungry. And this woman decides to make it worse by opening up her snack box. How dare she?
9. Young girls who talk loudly on the phone are the worst kind, both to readers and non-readers. You spend 30 minutes with them and you know about their sex-life. What is happening to our generation? Tell him the three magical words and I’ll be cool with it but come on, talking about his ‘pendulum’ in broad daylight is just pushing it (no pun intended).
10. Let me illustrate the last one for you in the form of a short story – It’s a rainy day. The tracks are flooded. You wait for the train to arrive. 3 hours later, the first train enters the station. You give people a preview of World War III and manage to get a seat. At the next station, a pregnant lady enters and you are forced by the social norms to get up and offer her your seat. After she gets off, you regain the seat. You feel happy. You feel blessed. 2 minutes later, another lady, after having witnessed your gracious act tells you that she is feeling dizzy and wants to sit down for sometime. You think it’s the universe trying to get back at you for mocking ‘Chennai Express’ and get up. The End.
Every experience has a valuable lesson attached to it. This one also did – Never to forget my book at home. Ever.
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