An insider view of an overcrowded train compartment

Prabodh By Prabodh, 21st Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

Read on to find out how a typical train compartment in Mumbai looks like..

An insider view of an overcrowded train compartment

Before I unleash the insider view, I want to make few things clear––clear for those who will read my blog abroad.

- As you all know, I am an international blogger. That means, I just upload my blog here and thanks to this great website’s international reach, anyone is able to view it anywhere (Last month, I received an email from one polar bear expressing delight over my blogs).
- Since the last six years or so, I have been travelling by ‘local’ trains in Mumbai. They are called so because they only operate within Mumbai and not out-station. These local trains are either 9-coach or 12-coach. They are usually over-crowded and run empty only between midnight and dawn (the period when most sane people are asleep in their homes).
- The local trains do not have automatic doors like a metro. The doors are made of iron and exist since Adam’s age. They don’t move an inch.
- Compartments are either general or reserved for ladies. No matter how enthusiastic guy you are, you are not allowed to travel in a compartment reserved for ladies.
- If you are able to enter the train and get a place to stand, such a train is termed as an ‘empty train’. If a 7:47 train comes at 7:50, it is still ‘on time’. If a 7:47 train comes at 7:44, it is definitely the earlier one that is actually running late, and chances are that you were misinformed by the announcer.

- If you are one of those drivers or guards who drive the Mumbai locals, this blog/story doesn’t include you as part of the insider view. And that’s simply because I have never been able to peep inside your tiny cabin and find out if the train has a steering like a car or a handle similar to a bicycle. So what you guys actually do inside the cabin remains as much a mystery for me as what Obama does in the White House for the whole day.

So here I give you an insider view on a typical over-crowded train compartment.

The Door-blocker
He is the guy who stands on the footboard of the train. In India, travelling on the footboard of a train is (supposed to be) an offence. However, I am yet to come across a case where somebody was booked for standing on the footboard. Alright, so this guy will always stand at the door because he wants to ‘eat’ air while the train is in full speed. He is never bothered about people rushing in and getting out of the train. He simply blocks a corner of the footboard as if his father has bought that place for him. Usually, he will be accompanied by two or three like-minded guys who will ensure that there is only a few millimeters of space left for commuters to get in or out.

The Lovebirds
Every compartment has at least one pair of lovebirds. The guy amongst the couple is usually over-possessive and will try to ‘protect’ his girl from the goons in the compartment. The lovebirds, most of the times, are headed nowhere. They are just killing time because they do not want to go home and watch the faces of their parents who are against their marriage.

The Ogler
This guy will strategically position himself in front of the lovebird couple. He will keep on watching the antics of the couple (such as holding of the hand, playful flip of the hair and/or a gentle touch on the arm). The lovebird couple, strong believer of ‘ignorance is bliss’, won’t bother a damn about it. The girl, especially, enjoys the attention she is getting from two guys at a time and keeps on blushing endlessly.

The Bulls and the Bears
These guys deal in stocks of companies. All that they discuss is money, money and money. When they are not talking about money, they play cards. One of the suitcases serves as the table. One guy would sit with a pen and a paper, and religiously note down the scores. Of course, money is involved here as well and losing half the salary in gambling is considered divine by such people. To earn is human, to give away is divine.

The Techie
Some people like to flash their watches, some like to flash sunglasses. However, there are some who like to show-off their laptops wherever they go. So this techie will start his laptop and check some ‘urgent’ mails. Needless to say, the guy will also own a BlackBerry. He will toggle the trackpad every now and then. The very fact that people are peeping in his laptop gives him a celebrity status.

And finally,

The Seller
While you are about to take a small nap after a day’s hard work, a screechy voice will spoil your plan. That voice is of a seller who has got with himself such stuff which you won’t get at any shopping mall in the world. Usually, all that he sells is priced at ten rupees per piece. Nine of out ten items would be made in China and eight of those won’t even last until you reach home. However, the product will work very well until it’s in the seller’s hands for display.


Local, Mumbai, Train, Travel

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author avatar Prabodh
Humor, Satire

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