August 29, 2005
Train Notes.... where are you from ???
And here we go again... On boarding the train in Cooch Behar.. I have a somewhat old passenger(OP).. coming down and sitting opposite our berth... One by one the passengers come by and start filling in the train.. I watch as a smart man (DOC) comes and seats himself... bang opposite me.. He sizes us up and then smoothly takes out his mobile and starts talking... Another gentleman quickly makes himself confortable and starts talking on his mobile.. ME( wondering) : Technology has taken over even a place as small as this.. Suddenly I was bombarded with mobile ringing here and there.. ... and it seemed to me that everyone was talking at the same time... OHHH.. after what seemed like an hour I looked at myself and well just for timepass took my NOKIA 3230.. BUhahahah!!! the smart man opposite eyed my cell very covetedly... while I talked to my aunt... now that shut them up alright ( EVIRL SMILE) OLD MAN to the man on the side berth: So where are you coming from ? Man on the side berth: Cooch Behar ( with a polite smile ) OLD MAN: oh so what do you do.. ? Man on the side berth: I work ( looking sheepishly around at so many other people who seem to be listening to the conversation.) OLD Man: I understand work but what work ? Man on the side berth: ( a little irriatated but out of politeness) I am in Finance . OLD MAN: Oh there is a treasurer there... ?? Man.... : ( finally getting fed up) Yes I am working there, posted in Cooch Behar, going to visit my family.. and then coming back.. I like working here.. blah blah... ( then goes back to his magazine OLD MAN ( looking at us furtively) Rocks: Not aware... possibly dreaming of Jeeps and Bikes.. Me : Putting my nose up to avoid any questions... bury my face in a magazine.. OLD MAN to the person next to him ( lets call him A) : What will happen to this country A: ( somewhat politely ) yes ? OLD MAN: You know this Rajniti doing Brashtachar.. ME: ( all ears set to listen to an interesting discussion) It is to be noted that in Bengal it is the THING to discuss politics to break the ice.. all the souls seem to unite in cursing the government here... OLD MAN ( after his political discourse..) to A : So where are you from ? A: I am from Cooch Behar OLD MAN: What do you do ? A: I am a Doctor.. OLD MAN ( very proudly ) : Oh yes.... you see I was in the Health too.. I retired.. A: Oh yes .. how nice.. OLD MAN: Do you work or do you have a practice.. A: I do both.. in Kolkatta. OLD MAN: Oh ... OLD MAN ( looking at us furtively) Rocks: Jeeps , Bikes, Sleep, Bangalore in his thoughts,... now he is drooling over a Hummer in the Magazine.. . ME : Bury my face deeper in the magazine.. GOSH Amir Khan had an an illegitimate baby... BIG News... Kareena coming closer to Shahid after the kissing episode... well whats new... ( UGH if only i could take my face beyond the magazine) Rocks ( all excited) : Tells me the specs of HUmmer.. I jump with relief and we engage in an animated conversation about F1, Jeeps, SUVs, Italjet. A: All curious but maintaining his silence.. OLD MAN: Peering at us through his glasses... more curiouser... Me slowly realising that we were acting like specimens in the BHODRO dabba... so I go back to the filmi ruminations.. Where was I ? Ah Corsets are in fashion... now .. A: getting bored... singing nice songs by himself... Partly it was to avoid conversation with the old man... ME: Closing my eyes and listening to the music.... pretending to read... thinking to myself.. A has got a nice voice..And the train goes CHUG CHUG to his HUMM HUMM.. Old man makes a big deal of him wanting the lower berth .. no matter what... Night falls and after a lot of whining to the TT, he gets his lower berth.. Tall man C comes with friend B to sleep... they make a huge noise.. seem to be good pals.. nice to see them bantering.. methinks.. OLD MAN looks them over curiously... and tells them a long story about him wanting to exchange his middle berth for lower berth and blah blah... B says fine.. before he could finish .. and promptly arranges for the night... C suddenly comes over and curses * SHAALA* and jerks WHATCHAMACALLIT towards me thinking that I was asleep ME ( affronted ) Eije DADA... Ki Korchen ( What are you doing ) B ( cooly as if jerking pests at fellow passengers was no big deal) : Ki holo ( what happened) ME: Jaake aapni Shaala bole jhakda dilen... ota to amar gaye porlo. Ektu dekhe... please... ( What you called Shaala and threw it fell on me... Watch it please) B: O ota kicho na... ( that was nothing) ME: Rolling my eyes... but decide to bury my nose into a book... OLD MAN: watching this very intently with peering eyes... All the co passengers go to sleep... my brain also stops observing... In the middle of the night... I see Rocks getting up for his nature call.. Next I see some Hijdas crossing the bogey... Rocks comes out and spies them now knowing that he has the invariable habit to get caught in sticky situations... decides to go back to the toilet and wait for the mandli to go by... After some moments he comes back relieved and tells me this story later in the morning... to my great amusement... Next morning: We were conversing in Assamese and English and in West Bengal Assamese is what Tamil is to Karnataka.. Rocks is spending his time snoozing while I gulp down tea from the hawkers that pass by.. I also see people buying lot of stuff from the hawkers.. and then go back to reading my book.. OLD MAN desperately wanting to talk.. catches on to B ( c's friend ) who is awake and chirpy: So where are you coming from.. ? B: From Dhubri OLD MAN: I was also in Dhubri...See when you want tea you will never get tea.. . B : Oh I had mine... OLD MAN: You know the sheets that we sleep are never washed... how can you all sleep like that ( after he has had a good night's sleep) B ( who was traveling for the first time was quite stunned) : Yeah ( with a worried look) OLD MAN: Yeah where will they have the time to wash all that... they just fold and give it back to us... B : Quietly listening and suddenly gets up to wake his snoozing friend... desperate for diversion.. he decides to go for a walk... then.. ME: rolling my eyes... SIGH Rocks and me keep talking about this and that... Now it is to be noted that Rocks though familiar with the Bangla language cannot speak properly. Observe how he carries on a 5 minute conversation with only single words... I found that pretty amazing Suddenly OLD MAN seizes chance and catches on to Rocks. OLD MAN: So where are you coming from ? Rocks: Cooch Behar OLD MAN: Oh you have relatives ? Rocks : Mesho ( Uncle) OLD MAN: You from Assam ? ROcks : Bangalore OLD MAN: What do you do ROcks: Service OLD MAN: So what does your mesho do ? Rocks: Retired OLD MAN ( not yet giving up ) : Hmmm Oh I might know him .. tell me his name Rocks: N Chakravarty OLD MAN: Where does he stay in Cooch behar ? Rocks ( now at the end of his vocab) : Rani ...( MUMBLE) ... Mumble ME: ( having had enough... smiling to myself at the Old Man's Persistence) : Ranibagan and my uncle is from Shillong. You might not know him... OLD MAN: (Getting a small start at hearing me speak... ) OH ... we are reaching Sealdah ME: yes we are... Suddenly the old man sees A hurriedly .. getting up on one socked leg and pulling his bags and rushing out.. OLD MAN to all of us: You see you see ,... how "bhodro" ( decent) society fellas behave.. he is a medical.. profession.. has a practice and yet does not have any social hygiene..how dare he put his put up like that... there is no decency... this is what is bringing down the society... yada yada yada ... blah blah blah... ( and this is the person he had the longest conversation with during the journey ... who bothered enough to talk to him about his profession and politics... go figure the human mind.) Suffice it to say that ME and ROCKS and all the co passengers.. were never too relieved to see the Sealdah Station I guess.. PS: this post is not to offend any Bongs.. this is to please be taken in the spirit of humor...
Posted by Pallavi at 8/29/2005 05:31:00 AM