Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Great Indian Train Chat


You may not be able to make much sense of this blog if you have been traveling in AC/First class . This posting is for those whose main ally during train travels has been sleeper class and the enjoyable train chat that comes along with it. Most of the time I found myself incapable to participate in them but even being a mute spectator was a good experience. What I wish to do here is to recollect major topics that you will find in almost in any train chat.

The first and foremost is politics. People are always discussing who is going to win the elections, how much is the moral bankruptcy of politicians, how pure leaders were in good old days etc. The good/bad part in there is no dearth of ideas, I have found people supporting military rule and others praying for a leader like Hitler

Another is the national pastime; cricket. The common factor I observe is that cricketers need to be criticized. People form mutual cribbing society, I will criticize my favorite, and you crib about yours.

Now comes the turn of railways. How trains are getting delayed, what were the perfection of railways in good old days and the conspiracy of railway staff to stop their train to bypass some other.

Along with it there is population. People are never so concerned about population than they are when they see the crowd in trains. They spell the doom of India within years. The most neutral topic can be weather, for e.g. to start the conversation ‘Bahut garmi hai na aaj’. Many other come to my mind like reservation, scandals, great old Indian culture, movies, declining morality etc but I will leave them for the moment.

The beauty of these is they show me the real India, and its multiple colors. I can see India that is multicultural, its citizens who are naïve yet caring, people supporting Hitler yet crying in saas bahu sagas, people who are basically democratic, knowing the art of bonding with strangers, sharing almost same ethics and values. A journey in train can be a journey of the nation.

3 comments:

Shailesh said...

I have always been one of the initiators and active participant of this Great indian train chat in all my journey's.

Its help out to know each other and also sometimes you are to gain more than what u really contribute.

Rahul said...

yupp u r right
these train chats are so amazing

when i went for intern in France and during the train journeys across many nations in Europe. i missed these train chats a lot
trains look damn dead .. no life
every one with a lap or an ipod. busy with his own

Amazingly same is teh condition in the AC compartments in Indian Trains... this I realised when i took the Shatabdi from Delhi to Kanpur (sponsored by the French Embassy)

All through my life .. I have loved these train chats and have been a part of many of them too:) can' help . I talk little too much :)

Anurag Srivastava said...

@both Shailesh and Rahul:So this is somewhat all of us have enjoyed :)

India is amazing, the real India and not of AC/First class ;)....