Travel travails… (Part II)

Warning: Read Part I first!

‘Sweating like a pig’… Do you know what that phrase means… I know it and I know it far too graphically. It was 11am of a very humid Mumbai morning and I was drenched… I did not sweat as much even when I was giving my board exams and while reading my physics question paper I realized that all questions seemed alien to me…But then I am getting ahead of myself here… let me recount what happened in my journey… The guy who had previously asked to exchange seats with my friend was back with a new DEMAND…

I have never been posh… but what with the appraisal and all I was feeling like a million dollars… I had carried shorts and changed into them from the rather uncomfortable jeans that I was wearing (ofcourse I had double checked that Sush was not in any of the compartments – including the two tier AC compartment) which was a core part of my ‘shining armor’ (read more about the shining armor)… 15 minutes had passed hence I had resumed watching Mystery, Alaska and that ‘guy’ asks… “Bhai saab, would you happen to have an extra pair of shorts…?” I looked at him… I didn’t know what to tell him… then just when I thought of giving him a treatment similar to the one that my friend had given… he adds… “You know these terecot trousers are not very comfortable… there is no breathing space…” Obviously this guy was not aware that there is such a concept as ‘too much information’… It’s moments like these when you realize your true love… blogging… There was a guy asking for my shorts, I mean my honor was at stake and all I could think about was how good a post this would make… go figure…

The friend came to my rescue… he quickly interjected saying… “How much is your gold chain worth?”… Finally he slept off on his berth forming a deathly grasp around his luggage…

Before sleeping off I had set up an alarm to wake me up at 5am… I slept fitfully fully aware that the demon in that man sleeping across my berth might rise again… I guess I must have been a good boy and all and maybe… just maybe God was happy with me and I would not be the butt of his ire… Exactly at the hour I was thinking about all this He (GOD) was thinking “I don’t need to punish him… he is going to Mumbai, in wet blistering Sun, hoping to meet a friend who is not going to make it… I don’t need to punish him anymore…”

You know how it is at weddings right… you meet some new people and try to cram all their names in the face recognition software in your brain and the software works overtime to keep up with the first few and you overload it with some more… then there is a crash! Suddenly I found myself laughing at couple of jokes by a person who seemed vaguely familiar… He was a friend of a acquaintance who was a friend of my friend… I struggled, stuttered, fumbled, trying to recollect his name and I was pretty sure it started with a ‘Tan…’ and so I surged ahead with “Good ones, Tan…” He cut me off suddenly saying “Vikas” and in unison as it came out as “Good ones Tan Vikas”, an aunty sitting next to him blushed and walked away… 3 hours later while traveling from Chembur to Mumbai Central practicing ornithology from the sweaty comfort of a non-airconditioned taxi I blushed when I realized why she had blushed…

3:45 – Chembur Railway Station

4:00 – Taxi to C P Tank

5:00 – C P Tank

5:10 – Flying visit to Aunt’s place

5:35 – Taxi from C P Tank to Mumbai Central

5:45 – Train leaves in exactly 25 minutes; sweating profusely

5:57 – Mumbai Central; fantastic babe, lost track of time…

6:00 – Mumbai Central;

6:05 – Ticket window

6:07 – Tickets in hand running towards platform 4

6:08 – Lots of female travelers; oops wrong compartment…

6:09 – Settled is a cubby hole of a seat… my home for what I thought would be 3:30 hours but actually for 4:45 hours…

Observed in a recent bus travel [Off Topic]

During my travel from Baroda to Ahmedabad I took a luxury bus (in another time I would have emboldened and expanded Air Conditioned with TV that works…) as I climbed aboard and walked towards my seat I noticed a beautiful 30ish woman sitting in the seat next to the one that was supposed to be mine… I said a silent prayer… She looked at me, her brow creased, she turned back to the guy sitting behind her… whispered something and the guy started shooting daggers at me… I was rummaging my mind to understand what I had done and I inconspicuously checked if my zip was open… Relieved that nothing was out of order I sat next to the guy who had by that time switched places with the lady… he also had a child, sitting in his lap, who seemed to be almost a 10-year-old…

I settled in the seat which was a window seat with cool breeze in my head (thanks to the overhead AC duct that was broken and could not be closed…) The TV was switched on and it appeared that the conductor/helper was trying to start a movie… I said a prayer…

But it seems that the new pirated DVD was not working so he put in an old movie probably from the 80’s… I resigned to my fate and watched it… There was some dialogue “main tumhari izzat lootunga…” and the following conversation followed…

10-year-old: "Daddy… err… what is the meaning of Izzat lootna?"
Daddy: "Umm… err… talking to women impolitely and without any respect."
10-year-old: "Oh. So it has nothing at all to do with the fact he just ripped her blouse off?"
Daddy: "Of course not…"

This is why India is at 1.2 Billion now… prayers have nothing to do with it… Promise.

Update: Part III coming shortly…

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