It was presenting the scenario of some old black and white Hindi movie being played on my train window as the screen.
…Abdul Wajid Parray
“Hurray!! The college is off for a week again… another strike!!!” shouted one of my peers in a fever pitched voice. “Ho! No wonder”, I answered naively. Following this an idea of captivating the break to visit a friend in Delhi poured into my head. So I rolled up my sleeves, packed my backpack and planned to leave in the wee hours the next morning by a passenger train.
The short night span passed and I got up at 4’o’clock in the morning, earlier than the rooster`s call announcing the crack of the day. Ho! I regret it was the murder of a darling dream. Nevertheless I dressed up and headed to the railway station.
In the twilight I could squinty see the train standing firm on the platform as if waiting desperately for my arrival. As I boarded the train, it started moving with its whistle blowing hard as if saying good-bye to the few people standing by and wakening up the sadhu babas and beggars sleeping on the platform.
The train was almost unoccupied but soon people started getting in and multiplying at each of the enumerable stations between Kurukshetra and Delhi thus filling the train to its fullest.
In order to kill the time I tried to doze for a while. To facilitate a good slumber in presence of strange annoying sounds of chuckling, mumbling, muttering, backbiting, gabbing and fighting, I inserted the ear-phones into my ears and played on some lulling tracks.
Two hours passed as such and as I sighted outside the window I found the glorious sun was rising from its slumber, cracking the day with its incredible light multiplying all around thus killing the darkness. A giant striking outline of the Sun in the east was giving the gloomy cane fields a solid color complexion.
Next I thanked God for I had successfully passed half of my journey time comfortably via my slumber. But as I opened my sleepy eyes, to my surprise I found myself in a jam-packed atmosphere with only space less enough to move my head either right or left; pathetic!! To add my amazement further I found some guys, despite of the coach being dangerously over-loaded, playing cards with fun. I wonder if it was their daily routine... Ho!
For a change I looked through the window to rejoice some scenery outside alas! It was nothing but a filthy fouling crap or people looking for a space to excrete their waste away. Zounds! What a terrible smell. It smelled worse than the worst thing I had ever smelled. Even more disgusting part was the scene presented by the graffiti on the walls outside and the hoardings advertising the “aphrodisiac curatives” with weird names like Dr.Bengali, Japani Teel... Yuk!!
Despite of this ugly part, my train experience had some pretty nostalgic elements as well. Enchanting and highly enthralling villages outside with young lads playing hide and seek behind the outsized heap of pasturage was presenting the scenario of some old black and white Hindi movie being played on my train window as the screen. Ha-ha it was really entertaining.
On the whole it was a journey full of drama, excitement, action, comedy and yes of course the pain. De-boarding the passenger train and simultaneously boarding a metro was the thing that underlined the whole story as something that’s out of ordinary. It was like transcending all of a sudden from some iron age into the modern hi-fi era...BANG!! Both the environments were totally opposite; the passengers, their opinions, their dressings and their behavior, it was all poles apart.
On one side the crowd in the passenger train I travelled by consisted mainly the riffraff Haryanvi faces; potbellied uncle-jees, Sari wore women veiled in purdah and young village teenyboppers imitating their favorite Bollywood icons with their spiky hair flooded in hair-gel…Ha-ha. On the other hand the Metro crowd was more like some “sophisticated” elites; the ladies who lunch, dudes carrying hi-fi gadgets and young lads reading the newbie love novels, the “Chetan Bhagat stuff” catching my eye…Ha-ha-haa. While on train, my ears were puffed with pure Haryanvi jargon that I could hardly understand whereas the metro was airing sounds of people trying to anglicize their English speaking accent to sound more pompously gobbledygook...Huh! I felt uneasy; both the times.
Soon after my eventful journey I reached my friend’s place and rested myself well on bed, looking amazed and recollecting things in order to find answers to my bewilderments that are still puzzled!!
Author: Abdul Wajid Parray.
Engineering student at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra Haryana.
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