NRI

Google fb32x32 twitter linkedin feed-icon-32x32

The Train Travelers Guide To The Country

The Train Travelers Guide To The Country

November 09, 2011
Jayanth Tadinada

If you haven't traveled in Sleeper Class, you haven't seen India!



I hate buses. I would rather spread a Times of India near the toilet and sit on it in a sleeper class compartment all night without reservation than travel overnight in a Volvo bus where they give complementary mineral water. I am like that!

Airplanes are buses that fly which makes the experience a lot worse. The whole excitement of embarking on a new journey usually dies a premature death on the way to the airport latest by Security Check.

Trains on the other hand are wonderful. The ride is consistently smooth. We can roam around or lie down comfortably or stand by the door. We get to see the beautiful country side, meet interesting fellow passengers or just sit by the window and read a book, share food and life stories with interesting strangers and a lot more! Okay, that was the best case scenario in a train journey. But, let’s face it. Not all train journeys are that magical. Here is how an average train journey is...

The Five Minutes of Hope

All Indian males aged 17 – 29 almost religiously practice this ritual. Five Minutes of Hope symbolizes one of the ultimate Indian fantasies – (No, not Savita Bhabi) Falling in love with a hot girl you meet in the train! It has happened in a couple of movies but other than that, no one has ever seen that happen.

The ritual starts exactly five minutes before boarding the train when the Indian Male realizes that the probability of meeting a hot girl in the train and falling in love with her is non-zero. This non-zero probability, even if it is one in 10 billion, excites the Indian Male.

He floats in a dream sequence imagining how he could do the whole “How I met your mother” thing with his children. The ritual ends when the Indian Male looks at the reservation chart pasted near the entrance only to find some old people and other Indian Males like him in the vicinity of his seat.

Reservation

I am sure you must have noticed while you were traveling overnight in sleeper class that people around you have dinner as soon as it gets dark and by 7:30 in the evening the middle berths would be up, the lights would be off and most of your fellow passengers would be pre-snoring. (Proving that if you take the TV out of the equation, we’re all still cavemen)

One time, it was only 7 PM and a fellow traveler, M54 wanted the middle berth up! Mildly peeved at the prospect of having the middle berth hanging on my head all evening, I once asked him how he managed to sleep so much and so early.

He replied, “Look son, when I bought a sleeper class ticket, I reserved the whole berth. I want to utilize it fully”.

I tried to explain that his reservation has been fully “utilized” the moment the Oriya chap sitting in his seat graciously made place for him as soon as he entered the compartment with a reserved ticket!

I don’t want to waste my reservation”, he sternly replied.

It is very hard to argue against the Indian Paisa Vasool logic. The gentleman was hell bent on treating reservation like real estate that needs to be fenced and protected. India must be the only country where reservation can be “wasted”. By 7:40PM, everyone in the compartment was ready to sleep! May be that is the reason why the compartment is aptly named “Sleeper Class”.

The Kindly Adjust Family

The Kindly-Adjust family consists of the father M33, mother F29, two kids – M6, F3 and grandma F61. And the whole family put together has one confirmed berth! But they’re a family and this is India where family comes first. Social protocol dictates that you renounce your berth rights, go stand near the door and "kindly-adjust"!

M33 rushed in carrying a lot of luggage and ordered everyone to move their legs keenly scanning for space to put the luggage. He pulled out a huge suitcase from underneath the berth and asked, “Whose is this?

Mine!” I replied.

M33 gave me a brief condescending stink eye for using up almost half of the space under the seat. Yes, a how-can-someone-bring-so-much-luggage stink eye coming from a person who brought 12 pieces of luggage, 4 extra people and a huge bag of grain that is too big to fit under any seat!

F29 being the good Indian wife she is, obediently stood behind her husband carrying little F3 in her arms, occasionally criticizing M33’s sub-optimal utilization of limited luggage storage space. F61 agreed with F29’s opinion from which I inferred that F61 is F29’s mother and not mother-in-law as I previously assumed.

Meanwhile M6 being charming little fellow he is, has already started plotting an Occupy Window Seat campaign. The window seat – after all is his legitimate right by virtue of being small and only six. With such nefarious designs in his little mind, he approached me with his most innocent face and asked in his most innocent tone what book I was reading trying to strike a conversation.

Five minutes later he was sitting on my lap looking out of the window and waving to strangers. Who knows, he has probably set his eyes upon his next conquest already – the chocolate bar in my bag!

The rest of the family sat on the opposite berth while other co-passengers did the needful and “kindly adjusted”.

The Train Traveling Wife

Right opposite to my lower berth sat F27, a young mother traveling with her baby probably going back to her husband after a brief stay at her parents’. Traveling alone with the baby, the parents and the husband are naturally concerned about F27. The end result of this concern is an incoming phone call every 10 minutes from the husband who asks her which station has passed by and if the baby is still asleep.

I can’t say much about the stations but the baby would’ve been fast asleep (instead of going “wuah wuah *sniff* *sniff* wuah wuah” on an infinite loop) had the father refrained from obsessively calling to enquire about her well being or had the mother possessed enough common sense to put her mobile in silent mode. (Parenting Tip: Even babies hate listening to the same ring tone every ten minutes!)

Motherhood being such a demanding task probably left F27 too tired. She too, like the rest of the sleeper class people of the country, fell asleep by 7:30PM probably dreaming about her doting husband who would come to receive them next morning without brushing his teeth wearing a sleepy face, an unkempt beard, an old T-shirt and unwashed shorts swinging his bike/car keys impatiently with his index finger eager to carry luggage while nursing that hangover from his brief stint at bachelorhood after such a long time.

The Lonely Techie

M26 is found in the trains only on Friday nights and Sunday nights. All his journeys are short weekend trips to his hometown from Bangalore/Hyderabad where he is a software dude. No one knows when M26 got into the train. No one knows much about M26 because he rarely interacts with his fellow travelers.

But what we know is that as soon as he enters the train, he tiptoes his way onto his upper berth (the preferred berth of choice) with his laptop bag (which also contains weekend clothes stuffed into it) and sits there alone.

The moment the train leaves the station, M26 begins to feel bored and restless with the dull pace of life. M26 is a very private person with his own private Internet connection. He opens his laptop, connects to his office VPN and checks email once again. After the usual status updates on Facebook and Twitter, he moves on to checking out the girls from various matrimonial sites his father has shortlisted for him. This activity bores him too. After all this is what he has done in the office all day!

M26 is restless again. This time he takes out his earphones and continues to the watch that latest (pirated camera-print) movie he has left midway last night. This goes on for about an hour after which his laptop’s battery gives up. He curses the laptop, eats the pantry car made egg biryani and starts forwarding goodnight SMSes before falling asleep.

If it is a day journey, he gets down with his DSLR camera with extra large lens and heads to the door. He carefully chooses his spot and begins to click the cows, the trees, the fields and occasionally, some poor people who live in the slums along the tracks in black and white mode!

M26 doesn't get the results he desired because the moment usually passes by the time he finds the button to set the f-number. After pondering for a while, he declares that sunlight is not appropriate for photography and retires to his upper berth and begins to take a few pictures of his own fingers in macro mode. Satisfied with the results this time, he packs his camera back carefully waiting to get back home and upload them on Facebook so that his friends can “Like” it.

M26 is one of the few people to have mastered the art of traveling in sleeper class without making eye contact with anyone!

The Sound of Music

Note: For best results, imagine David Attenborough reading this out for you.

Out there on the side-lower berth is The Dude. The Dude is no ordinary dude. He is the remarkable DesiDude. Unique to the heartland of this country, DesiDude usually spends most his travel time (literally) hanging out (at the door) with fellow DediDudes feeling the fresh air, enjoying the scenery and occasionally passing comments on girls who use the toilet.

But this particular DesiDude was traveling alone. He realizes that there is little he could do at the door without his mates. Luckily DesiDude has his very desi-looking Chinese mobile phone with questionable battery life and extra loud speakers. And so the DesiDude volunteers to be the TJ (T for Train) for the evening.

Life as the TJ doesn’t come easy this time of the day. DediDude now faces the daunting task of livening up the evening for his fellow sleeper class citizens. DesiDude is fully aware of the calculated risk he has taken. One wrong song and he’ll have to face the deadly stares of his irritated co-passengers – a mistake that could cost him his (cell phone’s battery) life.

DesiDude starts off slow and careful belting out sad “melodies” from the eighties and early nineties sung by an exceptionally high pitched female voice and/or Kumar Sanu. The cheap speakers resonate in the melody producing a dull buzz in the background which sort of makes it up for the complete lack of bass. As he gains confidence with each song, DesiDude carefully moves the playlist into his favorite genre – the latest Dhink Chak Gult hits!

Photo credit: Daniele Sartori


138 Comments

  • Kushal
    By
    Kushal
    12.09.13 10:21 AM
    Really well written especially .. Lonely techie and .. sound of music.
  • Rajeev
    By
    Rajeev
    03.07.13 11:20 PM
    hey ! nicely written..
  • Sankha
    By
    Sankha
    02.06.13 06:44 PM
    Loved reading this.. fantasctic and very nice observations :)
  • Lani Calma
    By
    Lani Calma
    02.06.13 11:23 AM
    Wow!!!! Thanks for the wonderful second hand life experience thru this story. I love it and it I really want to visit India .
  • Sheela
    By
    Sheela
    01.06.13 04:40 AM
    Loved reading this, brought back memories of my train travels - being an F6 in the family, the F29 in the family, the F27 in the Train travelling wife, F26 in the Lonely techie, travelling with an M54 and seeing many TJ's. There are more that could be added but these similar but diverse fellow people come with their own stories.
  • Nitesh
    By
    Nitesh
    31.05.13 11:52 PM
    Awesome post, just awesome, never read anything like this before. i hate travelling in first class. I fall in the category of Five min of hopes and lonely techie :D
  • Shreekant
    By
    Shreekant
    29.05.13 11:41 AM
    Nice article. Well put. I thought the 'Five Minutes of Hope' and the 'Lonely Techie' just describes my train journey. :D
  • shivaraj
    By
    shivaraj
    02.05.13 03:14 PM
    Nice dude.....very interesting and more color full description.

    Regards,
    shiv
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    01.05.13 02:23 PM
    @Naman,

    You could write your own experience of Indian train journey and entertain us with more accurate and actual facts.

    I would enjoy reading.
  • Naman
    By
    Naman
    01.05.13 12:52 PM
    Although I found some characters quite realistic, what I didn't like was how you tried to form a narrative out of different characters you've met!

    I can tell you almost as a matter of fact that trains in India is where you experience a minuscule part of diversity which exists in all over the country!

    And no. There is no such thing as average train journey in India! It must be that you might not have traveled different routes spread across the country. From gundas who force you to sit throughout the journey(because they don't have reserved tickets) in Bihar to the much more sensible people who board trains throughout the country side in Northern and Southern parts to many other states! It's just different!

    The view you ended up giving was what most of the middle class/upper middle class NRIs would love to see. Peripheral, urban/semi-urban and one which would once again help them confirm the so called 'Indians' as nothing but money-minded and meaninglessly conservative people who cant handle western values. Although its true that such class do exist, its just not what India is all about!

    This geographic region has history spanning thousands of years with its own twists and turns finally ending up in the hands of colonialists whose conservative Victorian values and various other things not only fu**** culture which was existing at those times but also complicated things even more. (And no I'm not a nationalist. Curious and open mind is all I have) What we see has lot of history and what I'm trying to say is stop being so peripheral. Damn it. As a student of history it makes me feel so pitiable about you people not because you all don't have the knowledge about past, but because of how happy you people can be by being ignorant.

    It is basic quality of any observer/artist to have an open mind when he/she observes something. You need not end up reading history but what you can do is to remain non-judgmental about things you've seen. For how 'You' have seen is not what it might actually be.
  • Saurabh
    By
    Saurabh
    25.04.13 06:45 PM
    Awesome post. Reminded me of every time I got into one of these.

    Must say there were 2 more categories:

    1. A Group of girls (usually on a trip to or from some talent hunt)

    2. The "not old enough to travel alone teenager" - a kid who is travelling alone and his/her parents usually find a family travelling with to take care of him.
  • Rajat Jain
    By
    Rajat Jain
    25.04.13 12:14 AM
    Fantastic!! This makes me miss traveling in trains (well, traveling in sleeper class to be precise. AC coaches are a big bore!) all the more now!

    Though I have to point out you missed the VVVIPs. Even more IPs than the politicians. The "taali maar do haath veera taali bajjegi" people. And the priceless change in reaction of people in the compartment once the VVIPs take over a compartment, and the huge sense of relief once they are gone!

    In fact, the different type of reactions made by people to ignore these VVIPs is an entire research topic in itself!
  • truth Speaks
    By
    truth Speaks
    23.04.13 05:49 PM
    Bingo...its exactly word to word I always feel about the Indian Railways. I sincerly second the very naration about travelling into sleeper class. I always have had the simmilar experiences and I happen to be F25 with no or less eye contact with the fellow passengers :P
    beutiful pc of writing...i can actully visualize every word written here!
  • Vishwas
    By
    Vishwas
    23.04.13 01:54 AM
    Sweet write up. Very well summarized the whole scene. Kudos to the writer, I some how feel the write up would not have taken up a lot time, because if you have experienced it then it just flows.
  • shuvo
    By
    shuvo
    22.04.13 06:44 PM
    AWESOME BHAI .. IRCTC FLAVOUR. Dont under estimate the 'M42-Knows Everything', 'M37 - M42 Knows Nothing' and 'M39- Both of them are Right' free of cost entertainers.
  • Syed
    By
    Syed
    22.04.13 04:54 PM
    Lovey - I have had experienced all the sutuatiosn mentioned - ofcourse with a blend of all including the Desidude to M26 guy ;)
  • Amol
    By
    Amol
    22.04.13 11:44 AM
    Well=written, truth of every single train running in the Incredible India! Kudos to the writer.
  • Sanjay
    By
    Sanjay
    22.04.13 11:21 AM
    Brilliant Article...............
  • Jeevan
    By
    Jeevan
    22.04.13 10:54 AM
    I'm a M26 in this article.. Loved it..
    :-) :-P
  • Karthik
    By
    Karthik
    22.04.13 08:54 AM
    Haha, so true. Well written piece. May be you should try covering about uncles who take away your lower berths citing health issues.
  • faiz the music
    By
    faiz the music
    21.04.13 03:35 PM
    brilliant..love the satire
  • tanya kumar
    By
    tanya kumar
    21.04.13 02:16 AM
    ...but still it's very well written and so real
  • tanya kumar
    By
    tanya kumar
    21.04.13 02:14 AM
    so true and lively!!
    but the write up definitely missed out not just the families' allu puri and bitter gourd but also the middle-aged enthusiasts' loud conversation on the favourite topic- 'indian politics'
  • Uttara Chattopadhyay
    By
    Uttara Chattopadhyay
    20.04.13 04:32 PM
    Awesome one.. :)
  • Rahul Prasad
    By
    Rahul Prasad
    20.04.13 02:58 PM
    Awesome post. The one regarding first 5 minutes happens to me everytime :)
    Even if the probability is next to zero.
  • Hitesh
    By
    Hitesh
    20.04.13 02:25 PM
    Hahaha .. Too good
    This line made my day : "M26 is a very private person with his own private Internet connection."
  • Shilpa G
    By
    Shilpa G
    20.04.13 01:12 PM
    great narrative account :)
  • Faisal
    By
    Faisal
    20.04.13 12:45 PM
    Awepost post dude! Honestly, I can very well relate myself with the 'Lonely Techie' which you have mentioned above :)
  • Nilesh
    By
    Nilesh
    20.04.13 12:16 PM
    Awesome blog.. Loved reading it.. All characters are very very real.. :)
  • Rinkush
    By
    Rinkush
    20.04.13 11:57 AM
    Awesome Post.....Great
    :)
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    20.04.13 11:03 AM
    As always your posts are great treats. I really don’t know how I missed reading it in 2011 when it was first posted. It was so long ago that I last travelled in an Indian train when I was an M6 with my parents and the window seat was my birthright and I wished the train never stopped.

    The ingenious Indians are great inventors of survival modes. It’s the portable sleeping berths that really take the cake. This can only happen in India.

    http://indianfunnypicture.com/2013/02/train-journey-in-india-funny-indian-jugaad/
  • Atul Jain
    By
    Atul Jain
    20.04.13 09:11 AM
    You forgot to mention the family which carries a 4 course meal and eats that with great detail and relish.
  • chandan
    By
    chandan
    20.04.13 06:32 AM
    Dear Peta,
    This blog is so lively. It was like I am traveling sleeper class now.There is no journey better than Train travel. However You missed something. You forgot explain how the family open up their food which they bring from their home just to eat in the train. Some family even bring food for 2 days if a train journey is for that much of time. It will make u even hungry seeing their food. The Puri, alu dum, achar etc.
    Sometimes the techie guy like me face real problem. The M6 sometimes very friendly to play games in his Ipad or Iphone.And he enjoy it so much that after that he do not agrees to give it back.And finally the F29/M33 has to intervene. Then M33 would ask how much did it cost?
    M33 would have a prime duty to fill all his water bottles when the next station comes. So he will be standing there at the door before the train comes to the next station.
    If you are travelling in Bihar and UP, then the daily office goers will come with a general ticket and sit on ur reservation seat as if they have made the reservation. They will ask you please move to the side. There will be a group of them. After sometime they will start playing cards there.

    I have also traveled a lot by sleeper class while I am traveling all around India.
    Thanks for sharing this article

    Regards,Chandan
  • paresh pagnis
    By
    paresh pagnis
    20.04.13 03:16 AM
    Like to add the teasing eunuchs you meet before the night comes, targeting the ugly M2x calling them shahrukh and rahul
  • Prashanth
    By
    Prashanth
    19.04.13 11:40 PM
    Missing this awesome experience of travelling in sleeper class in India....Completely agree with the story.. its the same experience which I almost had when I was a frequent traveler from Bangalore to Hubli, Hyderabad, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Shimoga, Davangare, Chennai were the favorite destinations and most frequent ones. I hated to travel to Mumbai by train.
  • shiv
    By
    shiv
    19.04.13 11:18 PM
    great!!!! I loved this.
  • Pulkit
    By
    Pulkit
    19.04.13 09:56 PM
    Absolutely love this!!!!
  • Binjo
    By
    Binjo
    19.04.13 08:57 PM
    Incredible India! I love this.
  • Pranay
    By
    Pranay
    19.04.13 07:39 PM
    awesome dude
  • Sameera Bharadwaja
    By
    Sameera Bharadwaja
    19.04.13 06:34 PM
    Nice job! :)
  • Surya Prakash
    By
    Surya Prakash
    19.04.13 06:28 PM
    Excitingly enjoyed and experienced the article. YES It happens !!!
    And All the best to the author. Want to see more from him/her in future. Nice explaination and easy read !!!
  • King David
    By
    King David
    19.04.13 05:58 PM
    Reading this post again after a year and a half. It still gives me the same feeling of train travel. As I just did one yesterday night.

    And the line on M26. LMAO !!
  • Deepu Selvaraj
    By
    Deepu Selvaraj
    19.04.13 04:06 PM
    Hilarious post.. ;)

    M26 is one of the few people to have mastered the art of traveling in sleeper class without making eye contact with anyone!
    LMAO..
  • ziya
    By
    ziya
    19.04.13 03:30 PM
    its Awesome...!!!
    TJ and Questionable battery life...:)
    cool stuff...!!!
  • Rahul
    By
    Rahul
    19.04.13 02:37 PM
    beautifully written !
    depicts the typical indian train journey !
  • saikiran
    By
    saikiran
    19.04.13 01:10 PM
    Its really an awesome narration!!! Perfectly moulded all the characters!!M26 is superly defined!!!!Kudos man
  • Vishal Gupta
    By
    Vishal Gupta
    19.04.13 12:52 PM
    Awesome dude! Hats off!
  • Mohit Mundhra
    By
    Mohit Mundhra
    19.04.13 12:48 PM
    Awesome post... :D Could have included a description of toilets in the coaches as well... That would have completed the description.
  • Chaitanya
    By
    Chaitanya
    19.04.13 11:57 AM
    Marvellous. Enjoyed every bit of it :). "Those five minutes of hope" .. I do it every time :P.
  • rajinikanth
    By
    rajinikanth
    19.04.13 11:55 AM
    very very good...I really liked it
  • Preethi Sundram
    By
    Preethi Sundram
    19.04.13 10:11 AM
    Lovely piece of writing....enjoyed reading it every bit!!!:-)
  • zafar
    By
    zafar
    19.04.13 09:57 AM
    Absolutely hilarious..! I could remember the likes of all characters, especially the techie and the DesiDude! Keep writing please..:)
  • Mathivathan
    By
    Mathivathan
    19.04.13 09:33 AM
    Each one of the train travel i had came back rushing to my mind.
  • tushar
    By
    tushar
    19.04.13 08:53 AM
    read good blog after long time... enjoyed.. :)
  • jayesh
    By
    jayesh
    19.04.13 07:05 AM
    Thanks jayanth for this beautiful portrayal of Indian Railways for a MXX! I loved the way you described the typical passengers and their expectations.

    It transported me back a couple of years - the good old days when me and my friends (All M20s) used to undertake day long journeys in Indian Railways. Each journey would start with that "Five minutes expectations" and would end with the same feeling - "theres always another time".

    Thanks again for the article!
  • Sahil
    By
    Sahil
    18.04.13 10:13 PM
    Amazing article.
    Could connect with almost every bit of it, especially the techie part.
  • Vishnu
    By
    Vishnu
    18.04.13 10:06 PM
    Amazing article and very much relatable. :)
  • shivaram
    By
    shivaram
    18.04.13 06:34 PM
    Veryy well written! Great observation :)'song selection[TJ]', awsome mann.:) continue writing more stuffs
  • Balaji
    By
    Balaji
    18.04.13 04:53 PM
    Too Good :)
  • Kiran
    By
    Kiran
    18.04.13 03:45 PM
    Interesting article. Very nice observation. Initially I felt lazy to read after looking at the length of the article. But, once I started reading, I was glued to it. Keep it up!
  • Gaurav
    By
    Gaurav
    18.04.13 03:09 PM
    Brilliantly written, loved the narration.
  • Dony Paul
    By
    Dony Paul
    18.04.13 03:05 PM
    dude..........r u a MALLLU??
  • Unknown
    By
    Unknown
    18.04.13 03:02 PM
    agree with it all!! perfectly written up but common no proper ending.. it was going on sooo well didnt feel like it had ended.. :)
  • Capt Pravin
    By
    Capt Pravin
    09.04.13 12:32 PM
    Its light and having literary value as well. Good composition.
    Keep it up.
  • HusMus
    By
    HusMus
    14.08.12 05:43 PM
    Superb, absolutely brilliant. I loved the way you called people with F27, M26 etc. Very Indian Railwayish...Most of these things either I have done myself or have seen people do it countless no. of times.
  • Manasa
    By
    Manasa
    22.07.12 11:35 PM
    Well, you think the girls don't have the same five minute hope?
  • Antarik
    By
    Antarik
    05.01.12 02:19 PM
    Wow! Awesome description. A few days back I wanted to do a similar story, but just couldn't come up with one good enough. And now I came across this one, and I just have no words! Wonderfully described! :)
  • Asok
    By
    Asok
    04.12.11 09:26 PM
    The David Attenborough Narration was Crack!!
  • Karthik
    By
    Karthik
    01.12.11 01:59 PM
    very nice narration.
  • Sowmya
    By
    Sowmya
    30.11.11 11:09 PM
    Hey nice post....Brought back a lot of happy memories of long train journies...Very well written and an easy read:)
  • Tabs
    By
    Tabs
    29.11.11 10:26 PM
    You have described Indian Railways to a T. The Indian male fantasy thing made me laugh. When I fly, I always have hope to meet some cute guy at the airport or in the next seat. (Actually a friend of mine, did meet his wife at the airport, when his flight got delayed.)
    But the people you described in this article really look like a lot of folk I have seen when I have traveled in trains. Though there are also the stare non-stop types, who just cannot stop staring at you. Guys passing comments to girls using the loo (seen that all the time). Gossip aunties (seen that). Families that have berth for two but 5 or more people (seen that too). I hate that 'please adjust' mentality. Seriously, unless its an emergency I don't see why everyone else should adjust their seats for people who failed to make a reservation or have a confirmed seat.
    Great article! :)
  • keerthana
    By
    keerthana
    25.11.11 11:19 PM
    Have I ever told you that I love you?..if not, here it is..you are too good :D
  • Sourav Roy
    By
    Sourav Roy
    24.11.11 07:48 PM
    Jayant,

    Welcome back to the-NRI :) Well, this goes down in the list of my favorite articles. One of your wittiest ones till days. It was good. Pretty pretty pretty... pretty pretty good ;)
  • Rituraj
    By
    Rituraj
    22.11.11 07:10 AM
    Well man, you just changed my mind (I was in dilemma to take train or flight for My friend's wedding) and here I'm - Train all the way. I want to experience it all again :)
  • aamit wraj
    By
    aamit wraj
    19.11.11 11:52 AM
    And for that "The Five Minutes of Hope", I cant forget many of them frantically scanning the reservation charts for F16 (to F22) with Falcon attitudes to Lock(heed) the eyes !!!
  • Shariq Khan
    By
    Shariq Khan
    17.11.11 03:43 PM
    Can't agree more with you Jayanth. A beautiful narration.
  • Ayan Khasnabis
    By
    Ayan Khasnabis
    17.11.11 01:33 PM
    Nice piece Jayanth. Thoroughly enjoyed.
  • Deepak
    By
    Deepak
    17.11.11 12:00 PM
    Thats a nice description of the experience one has in sleeper class.

    Myslef had to adjust for ladies and elderly men by shifting to upper seats...

    Train travel really is great fun!!
  • Bronwyn
    By
    Bronwyn
    16.11.11 03:04 PM
    I loved this, Jayanth! The character illustrations are fantastic. It reminded me of a piece I wrote about who you can find in an Indian domestic airport:

    http://littlebirdbombay.com/2011/10/02/foxy-air-hostesses-%E2%80%9Cbijnissmen%E2%80%9D-and-tourists-in-ali-baba-pants-the-indian-domestic-airport/

    Thank you again for this hilarious train commentary!
  • omkar
    By
    omkar
    16.11.11 01:51 PM
    It gives actual scenario of a Train journey! superb post !! I would like to read more stories from u !
  • India Escapes
    By
    India Escapes
    16.11.11 12:30 AM
    Traveled in the sleeper 10 years ago, can still completely relate to the whole scene. A very well written and funny post.
  • Pooja
    By
    Pooja
    14.11.11 04:47 PM
    Awesome Awesome Stuff !!!!!!
    the true Sleeper Story of the Indian Railways .......cud not stop laughing !!!
    Keep up the Good Work !!!
  • Akhilesh Kumar
    By
    Akhilesh Kumar
    14.11.11 12:51 AM
    Awesome post really enjoyed each and every line.It conforms to real scenario of sleeper class..! :-)
  • Madrasi
    By
    Madrasi
    13.11.11 02:52 PM
    wow...... I nearly had an experience of the train travel....superb post!!!!
  • NJ
    By
    NJ
    13.11.11 01:48 PM
    Nicely-written!

    Maybe you'd like to check out what it's like travelling daily in crowded local trains in a city down South?

  • Ramakant
    By
    Ramakant
    13.11.11 08:40 AM
    Nice narration style. Enjoyed reading the post. Train journeys are certainly better than bus journeys.
  • prashant
    By
    prashant
    13.11.11 04:03 AM
    It was really a nice written piece with each person defined minutely and i think is also observed minutely. Great work.
  • Sitesh
    By
    Sitesh
    12.11.11 04:36 PM
    This is awesome stuff. Never came across this before. Completely enjoyed.. especially 'The Five Minutes of Hope' !
    Keep up good work :)
  • Dinesh
    By
    Dinesh
    12.11.11 03:39 PM
    Hey da, u are awesum. Had flashbacks, after reading this stuff, one important part could have been considered though. "the eunuchs" .....:p
  • Robert
    By
    Robert
    12.11.11 12:48 AM
    ha ha ha..nice observation, I had travelled three years on all weekend's bangalore-cochin and trust me ive seen people like this and have been through the five min of hope which as said never happened. :)
  • Pallavi
    By
    Pallavi
    12.11.11 12:38 AM
    you took me down nostalgia lane.. :) I love train journeys.. :)
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    By
    Jayanth Tadinada
    11.11.11 10:09 PM
    @Meera: haha... upper berth ayyaswamys asking me to throw tea cups and orange pips... happened to me! Cannot believe that I missed it :)
  • Meera Sundararajan
    By
    Meera Sundararajan
    11.11.11 04:30 PM
    Really good! I haven't traveled by train in the recent past so some of the types elude me - though I can easily visualize family of 5 with one confirmed berth. There is a south Indian version of the upper berth occupant- he is called "Upper berth Ayyasamy". Never comes down. Even asks the lower berth occupants to throw out his orange peel and pips :)
  • aativas
    By
    aativas
    11.11.11 03:30 PM
    Very realistic indeed!
  • Maitreyee
    By
    Maitreyee
    11.11.11 01:57 PM
    Nothing like train travel..good one this. Thanks
  • Nikita Vhora
    By
    Nikita Vhora
    11.11.11 11:59 AM
    Such truth! Loved it! :)

    “Look son, when I bought a sleeper class ticket, I reserved the whole berth. I want to utilize it fully”. Hahahahhahahahaa
  • amith
    By
    amith
    11.11.11 10:49 AM
    Nice thoughts and a good article...
    I realize i was late (again)...
    and...I'm sure dat M26 was a part of autobiography...:)
  • yd
    By
    yd
    11.11.11 09:51 AM
    Brilliant man :) loved reading through it.
  • Ram
    By
    Ram
    11.11.11 01:28 AM
    Awesome....loved it. U jus explained perfectly about me......M26
  • Avik Saha
    By
    Avik Saha
    10.11.11 11:55 PM
    Nice read!
  • Prabhakar
    By
    Prabhakar
    10.11.11 11:03 PM
    It's Awesome....Really amazing description...remembered the days when I used to get to the upper berth immediately after the train starts...
  • Puru
    By
    Puru
    10.11.11 10:57 PM
    Awesome ! So well written that it can be easily identified with. You have a great sense of observation. BTW am the M26 from IT :D
  • Rohit
    By
    Rohit
    10.11.11 10:41 PM
    Very good observations.
    People interested in Indian railways would love to visit the below site.
    www.irfca.org
  • Ankita
    By
    Ankita
    10.11.11 10:38 PM
    Awesome... Loved it!
    Dude include one more category.. A group of M>45 discussing almost everything under the Sun... people, politics, places, religion, new generation, blah blah blah :D
  • honey
    By
    honey
    10.11.11 08:54 PM
    good one :)
  • Jyoti Swaroop Repaka
    By
    Jyoti Swaroop Repaka
    10.11.11 07:15 PM
    Wow... this post made my day !!
  • Raveena
    By
    Raveena
    10.11.11 06:23 PM
    You make it seem like train journeys are only about the people. You forgot to mention the stale food and the things that fly right into your face from the open windows in sleeper class. For your next post.
  • Writerzblock
    By
    Writerzblock
    10.11.11 05:05 PM
    ROFL! That made such a delightful riot!!!
  • Abu
    By
    Abu
    10.11.11 04:45 PM
    Trains are wonderful to write blogs too... I've written many of them while traveling (typical M26 that i used to be minus the laptop)

    Nice post :)
  • Amit Agarwal
    By
    Amit Agarwal
    10.11.11 04:16 PM
    Superb article dude !!
    Keep up the good work !
  • Kirklops
    By
    Kirklops
    10.11.11 03:43 PM
    Ah! 5 minutes of hope. You hit that one right in the head. Hope next time I'll have the Infinite Improbability Drive to help me out.
  • Ranjith
    By
    Ranjith
    10.11.11 02:51 PM
    Good one.
    I have experience in-fact still coming across every point you mentioned.
  • sarah
    By
    sarah
    10.11.11 02:00 PM
    well train journeys definitely bring in their own share of amusement and experience if not a hot chick/guy by ur side :P
    Even I wrote something similar post my mumbai trip way back in Jan. do check it out if u find time - http://www.sarah-malik.in/2011/01/of-trains-and-passengers.html

    PS : urs is wayyy better than mine :D
  • geetS
    By
    geetS
    10.11.11 01:35 PM
    nicely penned :) likeddd it!!
  • Kalyan TJ
    By
    Kalyan TJ
    10.11.11 01:02 PM
    haha enjoyed reading every bit of it..!! superb
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    By
    Jayanth Tadinada
    10.11.11 12:36 PM
    @manishreddy, @Akash Goel and @aditya: Thanks a lot :)

    @Devashish: woah! man, you've given me enough material to write a sequel for this post :)

    @Rahul: Thanks :)
  • HImadri
    By
    HImadri
    10.11.11 12:19 PM
    Its very thoughtfully painted with all hues and tinges of life. Jayanth i appreciate your creativity, its not just a travelogue but a provoking art that creates an alfresco of the country...from M54 to M26, it sounds so interesting, reminds me of those JNU days when i traveled to my hometown with reserved ticket but was thrown out of my berth or was compelled to share it with someone of my age as the poor fellow couldn't manage a reservation. How vividly you brought those fond memories to life. Thanks once again for such a marvelous masterpiece.
  • Ambika K Sudhakaran
    By
    Ambika K Sudhakaran
    10.11.11 11:09 AM
    Loved this written well with your wit on your sleeve!
  • rahul aggarwal
    By
    rahul aggarwal
    10.11.11 08:40 AM
    i generally is not very supportive when it comes to travel in trains in India but i remember one incident while i was travelling from chennai to delhi .. almost 1.5 days journey and by the time i got out of train .. i lost track of time and stillness!!!

    my mind/body was still in continuous momentum geared by 2 days of travelling in train...

    and that was my first and last experience :P

    regards
    rahul
  • Sriram
    By
    Sriram
    10.11.11 06:46 AM
    I can totally visualize all those characters ;) Damn good writing jayanth.
  • Rahul
    By
    Rahul
    10.11.11 06:25 AM
    if you did realize my mistake... I meant, I love travelling in the "sleeper class". :)
    Or may be I meant, I love the "sleeper class".
  • Rahul
    By
    Rahul
    10.11.11 06:23 AM
    Really nice article. Mentioned here are many reasons I love in the "sleeper class". I read it and felt as if those were all my words, that went unsaid until now!!!
  • Avinash Vem
    By
    Avinash Vem
    10.11.11 05:12 AM
    And on friday and sunday nights - double-capacity packing of the sleeper bogeys and TC moving along swarmed with 10-15 people throughout the night.

    Captured the essence of the Indian train journeys. Awesome
  • Devashish
    By
    Devashish
    10.11.11 03:56 AM
    Very well written :)
    Have you noticed a few M20-25 who are too cool to travel in a sleeper class. The change into their bermudas as soon as the train starts and plug in their earphones (unlike our desi dude). A bunch of college guys wander from one end of the train to another to spot the next Maal.
    Some dudes who think you're not masculine enough if you board the train before it picks up some good speed.
    And yes, once in a while you'll get that nymph that you always fantasized about. :P
  • aditya
    By
    aditya
    09.11.11 11:28 PM
    Awesome post dude! Loved it..
  • Aakash Goel
    By
    Aakash Goel
    09.11.11 11:25 PM
    Brilliant article. I am usually a M21 lonely techie occupying whatever space I have to adjust in.
  • manishreddy
    By
    manishreddy
    09.11.11 10:05 PM
    brilliantly written. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • manishreddy
    By
    manishreddy
    09.11.11 10:04 PM
    brilliantly written. Loved it.
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    By
    Jayanth Tadinada
    09.11.11 09:22 PM
    @Vimal, @Kislay: Thanks :)

    @Harry: Wow.. great to know that you still remember even though I have written after almost a gap of one year! Thanks a lot!
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    09.11.11 09:11 PM
    Firstly wellcome back JAYANTH after some time away. I like your bold honesty and observation. I have read most of your articles here, and relised you don't do sugar coated.

    The part I liked most was, when I was trying to sound like DAVID ATTENBOROUGH while reading the article, the only problem was, I don't have his deep voice.

    I still prefer the flying bus even with the security issue. Nice one dude and once again nice to have you back.

    HARRY
  • Kislay
    By
    Kislay
    09.11.11 07:22 PM
    Nice one G2. Funny as always and true to the word :P
  • Vimal
    By
    Vimal
    09.11.11 06:50 PM
    Very nice article!! Where is the +1 button?
  • Jayanth Tadinada
    By
    Jayanth Tadinada
    09.11.11 04:47 PM
    @avalok: haha.. thanks. This is a very common indeed. They also ask you to exchange your lower berth with some other lady's upper berth.

    @Naresh: Thanks. Looks like I can do a sequel to this post from all the ideas and observations everyone is giving :)
  • avalok
    By
    avalok
    09.11.11 04:32 PM
    Good fun and pretty accurate. Its been some years since i travelled by Indian Train. May be I will do it soon just for the experience,,,BTW there is another annoying thing,,,If you happen to be traveling single invariably you will be approached to "exchange" seats with some family guy. Last time I travelled a young gentleman sitting next to me asked me to exchange seat with his wife who was sitting right behind me. The train journey was only a few hours (Bangalore - Chennai),,I pointed this out to him and told him there is a slim chance of her being abducted..the passengers in the compartmet joined in the laughter,,
  • Naresh
    By
    Naresh
    09.11.11 04:23 PM
    Wonderful read :)! Another lovely piece from you.

    But, did you not forget the numerous ticket less travelers paving up and down the floor behind the TTE ? :P & not to mention the hawkers ? :D
  • gtoosphere
    By
    gtoosphere
    09.11.11 04:08 PM
    @Hyma: Thanks :)

    @A Singh: Indian Train Bingo is a wonderful idea... Let's try to make one soon ;)
  • A Singh
    By
    A Singh
    09.11.11 03:57 PM
    Absolutely brilliant!

    You omitted one category though - "Clueless Tourist / NRI", who has little understanding of Indian train etiquette. However, with this handy guide I will now be much the wiser. In fact I look forward to playing Indian train bingo on my next journey:)
  • Hyma
    By
    Hyma
    09.11.11 03:11 PM
    good one...saw some of my thoughts mirrored :)

Leave a comment