Days of our Lives!

October 19, 2006

Full Steam Ahead Cap’n

Filed under: Top Draws,Travels — Santhosh @ 9:48 PM

Finally, toward home for almost a week for Diwali. Here comes the train, and here we go. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee…….

In most cases I shared my compartment with talkative aunties, snoring men and wailing infants. This time is no exception. There is no nymph-like specimen in the seat opposite mine, no sweet voice asking if I’d like to share her dinner, no manicured hand holding a Sheldon and asking for my novel (currently reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller), no cultured tone asking for my mobile number. It is the same old tale. Talkative aunties, snoring men, and wailing infants.
Seriously contemplating on sending a mail to Sushma Swaraj on why there are no lady TTR’s.


As a kid I used to watch with jealous eyes and drooling mouth, as my co-passengers (the 20’s guys in jeans and the 30’s guys who did “import-export” business) bought ‘veg pulav’, ‘egg briyani’, ‘tomato rice’, or ”masala dosa”. The exotic title and the spicy aroma was enough to make me think of asking them to adopt me for a day. All this while I had to make do with mummy’s idli-chutney or chappathi-raita. This time around when I was asked if i required food, I jumped up and down in my seat, screaming “Yes! Yes!”. After minutely going through the menu, and deeply analysing the available items vs quatity provided vs time taken, I decided on Tomato Rice. I had a pack of potato chips and couldn’t wait to dig in on the combo. The dinner arrived, the small paper box which held my dreams, with the optional plastic spoon poking out from the rubber band. This was the day I was going to tick off the train-make dinner off my “been there, done that” list. The day of deliverance. The day of sinful indulgence. The day I can hold my head and say, I am one of them. Hmmmmmm. Chumma thookudhaa!!!

psst : I love chips, a pack of Britannia Treat costs 2Rs more in railway junctions, and mummy’s cooking rocks!


Voices in the night
“Ashwin! Come here. Dont be difficult. Are you a good boy or a bad boy?”
A silent smile, as i nestle into my elbow.


More voices in the night
Now from the cabin on the left.
PVT theorem – Mandira $%*@!# (expletives yaar) – Don – exam answers – CPA – Rashi (classmate of the guys talking, supposedly really fair and “structural” and well,….) – some wedding coming up – a detailed analytic discussion of the brands of beer available in Bangalore –
Sachin, Sehwag, India, offspin, legspin, byespin (something like that), Ponting, Lara,….


Something that I notice is that there are a lot of people drunk in the train these days. Almost all are young and well dressed and are in all likelihood software engineers. No, they are no trouble and keep to themselves and their ipods. But they cant hide the smell of beer, can they? Inspite of chewing gum and mouth fresheners, the odour is strong enough to draw looks from experienced noses (for the umpteenth time, NO, I dont drink) and give fodder to the young-rich-drunk-software engineer image. C’mon guys. Let’s not give the fraternity a bad face.


Still not sleepy.
(Remind me to enter this in my PBC assessment – not sleepy till 3am, wah!)
Afraid to sleep now anyway. Mobile ringer’s down, and not exactly hopeful that I’d wake up if the alarm goes off in vibrate. Dont exactly want to wake up in a quaint little village,
for me to fall for this belle drawing water from the well, and she to look down shyfully at this dashing cavalier from the city yonder, do I? Then I’d have to watch the little boy running down the village’s main street calling for the panchayat conducted by the sarpanch (the panchayat’s for me, you dumbos) and I dont want to be tied to the banyan tree as punishment, for my girl to come and free my bonds and my heart, for us to abscond after I bash up everyone.
See, I dont like violence.
So no village belle, and so no sleep as of now.


Dozed off somewhere sometime somehow.
Learnt two things today.
1. There are terms like power saving/cost cutting in the Railways dept too – they switched off the AC.
2. When you sleep on the upper berth of a windows-sealed compartment in a south Indian train inching it’s way through the miles, the alarm in vibrate is enough to wake you (even if you’re having an exotic dream of beaches and sand and Bipasha).


More seriously, the quality of our Railways has improved quite a lot. We’ve come a long way from the days of smelly toilets, dirty basins, unclean berths, rude TTR’s, broken windows, and reservation via towels*. I booked the ticket in tatkal via the net, took a printout, and voila, i have my reservation. There also seems to be a sea change in the recruitment process. The TTR’s are all young, smart, and polite. Three cheers for Lalloo!!!

* reservation via towels – rush to the incoming train, drop a towel (preferably red) through the window on any seat of your choice, hunt out the TTR and pay him 50 bucks for an instant On Demand reservation. If you’re lucky, the TTR would already have towelled some seats and you just need to get to him fast.




  1. Hey dude… U got in to tat train in serach of manicured hands?Man,y trying in railways…?

    Comment by Jason — October 27, 2006 @ 9:42 AM | Reply

  2. Hope – ’tis but a waking dream.;)

    Comment by santhosh — October 28, 2006 @ 12:59 AM | Reply

  3. cool, quite a vivid description…and i guess it is TTE and not TTR…Train Ticket Examiner…”All TTRs are young, smart and polite”…i can only hope that u r not interested in dating them;)..or r u?

    Comment by Anonymous — October 29, 2006 @ 3:28 AM | Reply

  4. @abhieshekyep, it IS TTEbut down here, he’s generally referred to as TTR (dont ask me the reason tho’)

    Comment by santhosh — October 29, 2006 @ 7:11 AM | Reply

  5. Who knows…Even TTR is ok…..i guess?Hey sandy ,Leav out TTRs…try out some KF chicks….next time opt for KF to travel?Coolllll….

    Comment by G4u — October 29, 2006 @ 8:24 AM | Reply

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