Friday, November 14, 2008

One night in the genral boggie

190 bucks... from bangalore to pune... a small paper slip for the general boggie!!!! heavy pouring from the skies above and no availability of food... aha... sounds great for an adventure....aint it  :)

The engine was whistling, announcing its departure from platform number one towards north, and there i was standing on the station.. trying to figure out which way to run, Down the platform towards left or right (Can never figure out which way they attach the general boggie and what is the logic behind). Well thats not a concern actually because you have plenty of help available there... yup right ... coolies.

Well i got to know that the general compartment was attached to the extreme last of the train, and aha ..i was standing in the extreme begining of the train. Shit!! what a fate. Anyways, have to board the train, so no way!!! Run dude run... because u cant board any other boggie... they arent interconnected. Have you ever wondered, when ever you want to run on the platform, it becomes so damn crowded and if you run... girls on the way think that you are some kind of a monster running with an intention just to hit them. Well i dont give a damn!!! Have to go to pune, what so ever happens.....
What so ever happens.... haha dude... welcome to the general boggie.. have you ever seen a compartment so full, that it looks like a beehive. aham aham .. more than a 100 ppl!! and another 200 bags!!! aha .. where am i?? Wish this wasnt the real world, just an illusion!! Well anyways get in dude!! you have to go to pune!!!
As soon as i got into the compartment, the very first thing which you generally look is a place to sit, the story was a little different here. I started searching for a place where i can actually keep my feet without jumping onto someones tummy or worse someones *****. Right from the seats to the floor to the bathroom.. (Yes even bathroom) were fully occupied. And yes the place where you keep your luggage was occupied too. Some workers were sleeping there itself .. tying them selves to the hookes in case they fall down from that tiny place. I wish i had taken a pic at that time so that i cud have copy pasted it here....   :-P
Aha!!! Its india, a group of aunties... started fighting which each other over a small place, place which was hardly anything for even a kid. Hmm .. the uncles (Probably their husbands) also jumped into the fights. And the entire boggie was full of noise filled with some kannada slangs and some hindi bhaiya style.."teri maa ki.." and similies. And now makes the entry the king of the jungle -- a fat ugly policiya.
"Oye kya problem hai... why are you fighting...  "
"blah blah blah blah... and more blah"...  (Sorry i dont know kannada!! This is what i interpret out of it)
The police man dragged one man out of the boggie.... and the other police wala.... looked at me!!!!
"Come... on!!! what did i do!! I just entered... and i havent even got the courage to fight for a seat!!!" thought poor me!!
"Sir!! aap yahan bethiye" and he pointed at the lil minuscle place which was a proper seat in that compartment.
"Sir!!! Did he call me Sir!!! heheheh ... i think i was the only decent looking chap in the compartment!! Sir!! hehehe Well ok i dont mind sitting"
that place was good enough for atleast 30% of my ass to accomodate. well u sit there, you can expand later... :-D . Did i tell you that this place was the second floor. aham.. not on top of the train, but the upper berth!! there was no middle berth!!
The berths were wooden with those slots in the middle which provides a wonderful oppurutnity to slice a sword or rather a piece of wood through them. Leave it there is no point cribbing about it.
There comes my wonderful book .. inscrutable americans...Sleeping at that hour was desirable but not feasible if you understand what i mean!! i spread my legs on the other side and i ended up receiving filthy looks from the lady with a dozen kids at that other end. I dint have a choice, except for falling down to the ground floor. So i stayed like that, hoping nothing would happen. I openend my book to concentrate, and there were a bhaiya jee to my left. He asked me to keep my luggage( excuse me it was just a small bag) under the lower berth. Saala ... has he gone crazy or what.... this is indian railways .. moreover this is a general boggie... and a night journey, if you trust anyone here, u might end up loosing even your chaddi, forget about the bag itself. So i gave a filthy look back to him... he dint ask me again!! I think this was the communication mechanism in the train.
The train started.
1:30 AM. some deserted station, every body in the boggie was more or less awake. it was a little tiring to sit on that wooden platform hung at a height of 10 mts from the ground with your legs in the air.
The kid sitting opposite to me was crying for the past half an hour. It had become a white noise for me, since i had been listening to it for a long time. Anyways......
"I am hungry!!! what the f**K!! If i get down a million zombies will start fighting for the seat and i wont even get to sit. Moreover there aint anything on the platform outside to eat"
You know what, you dont even see the pantry guys in the general boggie, I dnt know whether they think that we are properly fed with food or are they scared about entering in that fish market. Plus point is that you dont even get to see any begger or any hermephro looting you for money..... They know they cant expect anything from this compartment neither they will get out even if they gather the courage to get inside. :-( Anyways there was no point thinking about all that right now. I just looked outside.
Wow... this kid is there outside selling vada pav!!!
"Oye!! 2 vada pav dena"
"5 rupaye bhaiya"
"yaar tu 100 rupaye lele .. lekin abhi kuch khane ko to de...  " thought myself
He passed those vada pavs through the window, and i somehow managed to get them. The train started from the platform.
The kid sittin next to me stopped crying mysteriously, i dont know how!!
"Shit he is eyeing my vada pav!!! GOD anything but not the vada pav :-("
I took one bite from the first pav... but cudnt gulp it ... sad!!! i had to give him one of those.
I just prayed to god that the other 11 dont wake up. And the God although crazy .. listened to atleast this one. :-)
I just finished the first hundred pages of the book... its kinda difficult to focus on the book too if you are hungry!!! I noticed that we are at some other station!! It just meant a few moments of peaceful time when there was no movement. There was hardly anything one can do in such a situation.But guess what happened at that time....
Yeah baby yeah!!! ppl from my berth got down at that station. and i was relaxed that there were only three at my berth now... i dreamt of sleeping ... wat a wonderful thought it was... unless the train started moving...
The goddamn kid was awake!!!
the lady was having a tough time handling him!!! i dont know who was suffering, the lady started beating him like anything, slaps slaps and more slaps... I think her idea to stop him from crying was to beat him to death... and he screamed higher and higher...
"Akka!! ise mujhe pakdayein"    (Hand it over to me) we had some place at our berth!!! atleast i thought so!!! I received filthy looks from the berth mates..  remember the unsaid communication. Well it stared another set of activities...... The kid was a trouble creator.
I placed the kid one person next to me, we had some empty place there. He slept and the time bomb was triggered.
The time was 4:30 AM, and i was reading about the letters the hero of the inscrutable americans used to send to his brother, the incsrutable americans, when i heard some one from the lower berth, asking someone to close the window. The windows were closed. I looked down.
The person next to the window was all wet with the water, and he thought that it was raining outside. Windows were closed...  And i traced the source of the water!!!! The stream stopped at the kid... !!!! 

The kid had peed on the poor man!!! and the scene was one hell of it!!! The guy was half asleep and still thought that it was the rain water!!! Till the time he woke up and realized what he had been enjoying.
And there was a huge scene after that. The kid woke up and started crying again. And the entire lower berth had started shouting!! The guy had become a symbol of disgust and everybody moved away from him, atleast he enjoyed getting full space after that. Some ppl brought some newspaper to put on the berth and the others simply shifted away. The guy started shouting at the kid who was already crying. The lady picked that kid and took him to the orignial berth where he belonged. thank god no one asked me who kept that kid there.
It was a little sad for that guy, but a little funny too!!! :-D he got down at the next station somewhere around 6 in the morning. We had entered maharashtra.
The best part about maharashtra is the activeness u see there. The more sluggish karnataka is, the opposite is maharashtra. Sun arose from the east, anyways i dint notice where east was... i just saw the sunlight coming through the windows. Awesome it was... an adventorous night was coming to an end. But there was a huge journey still to cover.
Another 10 hours... and the sunlight had just come into the chamber. And the train had taken a halt at this station. Some other janta got off the train. and i was relieved to see one complete seat available on the ground floor. It was the single seat at the other side along the passage. I was quick enough not to miss anything this time. Believe me i got the the seat and i was glued to it for the next 10 hours. Anyways that is a separate story. 

I got a vada pav again at the station, thank god they have vada pav everywhere in maharashtra. They live on vada pav it seems... anyways who cares, i got the best and the fresh vada pav along with a piece of the magazine which told me how to make my lips more lustful!!! My inscurtable americans was already over. So wanted to get something worth reading. So i ran my local search on the platform through the window. There was a stall which had some chacha choudhary stuff and some cheap murder mysteries.... i thought newspaper would be a better option, provided i get something which wasnt in marathi or kannada!!! All is well that ends well... i got a paper, The train started.

Another 4-5 hours passed with the normal stuff... chit chat!!! and some kids crying and some mums scolding and some dads chewing tobacco.. and ppl staring at each other.

The train finally stopped at sholapur. It was a major halt. My eyes were kinda burning with the sleeplessness. But the scene was kinda strange outside. Our boggie was a little away from the main station. Last boggies arent lucky enough to get a place in the middle. Well anyways .. the thing was.. there was a bunch of guys ..all "mawwali" types, and they were dressing up like the hermaphrodite ones....  i guess the whole thing is clear to you all. And the three of them moved towards the other compartments... i guess the general boggies arent promising to them....  Its kinda sad that certain people can immitate anyone just to make a few bucks. And they bring bad names to others.

And there i saw a small kid selling some guavas. And he dint get any customer as far as i noticed him. He went out of sight after that. What does it tells me!!! Is the world really a place for hardwork!!! I just wish that those guys they get caught one day and get their real place. 

But it wasnt all .... The sholapur station was full of strange things, It had a different culture, scorching weather and all togather seperate cunning people. Very unline the bangaloreans who are extremly simple and straightforward kinds. The other side of the boggie.. on the track opposite to our platform, there was a huge crowd, and i could see some police men there. The ppl inside were talking to each other. It was as if some person had committed suicide on the railway track. There were some ppl on the other platform watching the dead body there.... It was an extremly sad site, Dunno it was a suicide or rather an accident an unpleasent one. But i started hating that station for the poor feeling it gave me. I dont know whether it was the station or rather the general boggie which exposed me to all these things. Had i been in an AC one, i would have slept my way across the journey. 

The train started. There were another 3-4 hours left now!!!!

I was wondering the whole journey why i dint meet people who chatter like anything and the journey just passes. God is omnipresent. I was heard. The person opposite to me was looking at me for a long time. He took the initiative.

"Where are you going"
"Pune ! What about you!!"


It seems as if he was an army person atleast that is what he told me. And then began some stories of how they have conquered some places, and some stories of how we explore bangalore and how we conquer the projects in the company. He was glad to have met me. I dont know why but i was a nice person to him for some reason. May be he wanted me to eat some sweets from his box which were mixed with some kind of stuff, so that he can steal my bag and run away. Wow... But there was hardly anything in my bag. A towel and some clothes.

Anyways nothing happend. And we reached some place close to mumbai, i wanted to wash my face, and the person helped me block my seat for the time. After that face wash i felt light and fresh again. And we ordered some more vada pav and tea from the station and had it. It was a good session which we had and it was full of stories and stuff. The journey from sholapur to pune was a little quick, everyone was awake, the voices and noises were no more than a white noise at the far distance to me. I was accustomed to it. I saw tat poor dad who was sitting on the floor and gave the only little seat to his 8-9 years old boy. How he took a vada pav and shared it with his kid and both were happy, unlike we IT junta who cribb on the best food in the cafetaria. How the heat dint affect the people, where as we ppl crib for the AC in our offices. The only difference i saw in us and them was they had a purpose behind the journey where as we loose that target and just crib for anything literally everything which comes our way. Sorry but you should read "Alchemist" once to understand this thing. 

Anyways the destination had come, We took a halt outside the pune station. Have you ever wondered, it isnt difficult to wait if the train stops anywhere in the journey, but if it stops before the final destination, just a km away.. it becomes very difficult to bear wit  it. Kher it was time to say good bye to that army guy. And to the entire general boggie, to the father and the kid and the entire place which was like a colony in itself. Platform number 4 had arrived. And i picked my small bag, everything still intact.

"Bangalore se mumbai jaane wali gadi "UDYAN EXPRESS" apne nirdharit samay 4 baj kar 30 minute par platform number 4 par pahunch chuki hai" 

Great to hear that... great it wasnt late. I stepped out the train and walked towards the overbridge to go to the main platform. I dint feel hungry this time neither i had anything else in my mind. I reached on the top of the overbridge... and looked down... 

the train had once again started.


  1. dude.....gr8 narration nd not so adventures journey....i know this was not ur first time to pune....what about others....when are we going to read them.... time whenevr u r planning to try general boggie again...tell me few days...i will send some more aunties with lots of kids in same that some kids can sit at ur place...nd some can eat ur food.... :P

  2. cool yaar ...awesome mix.........

    best thing i found is ur expressions..u really very well expressed ur each n every feeling....very clearly.......nd i could remember my days....related to this sort of.....

    u r really expressable..nd have wonderful realistic imagination

  3. hehe.. thanks for the wonderful comments both of you!!!

    General compartment is a colony in itself, where the communication flows in a seperate way.

    i realized it when i got a chance, i know some ppl who went through such a journey till delhi from manipal..... imagine what all stuff they wud have to undergo....

    and ankur dude... tu itni aunties kahan se bhejega... tere itne contacts hain kya dude.... :P

    kuch bhi torture de but not the food... its almost impossible to get away from ur seat and get something to eat... not the food please.. :D