Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the ladies compartment

traveling by the local train in Chennai is real bliss. no traffic hassles,no break downs, no ticket passing...and the best part is that it is fast and prompt.

ladies compartment in the local train has its own charms. in the morning hours, you can see the working women doing everything-except bathing and relieving themselves, in the train.

some of them dutifully comb their hair...at the extremes even with special lice removing combs. the poor co passengers often sneeze themselves to misery because of this. and you know what is the worst part? a woman combing her hair and a women eating her breakfast sitting next to each other.

talking about eating, Chennai women aren't yet overly comfortable with the concept of using spoon for eating. so, they eat with hand. most often you can see fingers from two to three hands wriggling together in the same tiffin box. so, after eating, they migrate either towards the entrance or near a window, skilfully unscrew a bottle open with one hand and wash the other hand-in a MOVING train. most of the window seat passengers experience a mini drizzle many times in the course of their journey because of this. and for your information, these women also wash their mouths.

another important and indispensable part of the ladies compartment are its vendors...that too the gypsies. with a dress that is half way between a sari and hair that is coloured brown-courtesy the Chennai sun,dirt and lack of oil, these women sell coloured beads,safety pins, clips, bands, key chains and and an assortment of other items which you can buy for rs.5 to rs.20.

with a baby slung on their shoulder, they often makes agile jumps in and out of the train...when the train is about to leave the platform. their arrival is often heralded by a powerfull smell, even before they start hawking their wares. handing out the chosen items to the customers, they dig deep to retrive their money pouch-often placed in strategic places and give out the changes. wow...ultimate shopping experience.

if you feel hungry during the travel and u are not the type to carry tiffin box, dont worry. a wide range of eatables-from popcorn to papaya can be brought in the train. the skins of peanuts, oranges, bananas and a variety of other fruits provide a bright and peppy decoration to the otherwise boring steel flooring of the train. most of the accidents in a ladies compartment occur due to the lethal combination of high heels and banana peels.

but the most testing part of train travel is the way the ladies stand at the entrance...even when there is enough space available to do somersaults in the aisles. with a mini war raging between the boarding and departing parties, where women transform into wrestlers and shove at each to get into the compartment, these stupid,commonsenseless creatures stand at the side of the entrance...happily watching the ensuing commotion with a grimace plastered on the face.

with only 20% of the total breadth available, a great deal of pushing,shoving,stomping, whacking and what not occurs among the pasengers. when you see a dishevelled women with her hair sticking every which way and her dress looking as if it has been just retrived from the drier of the washing machine, please dont screw up your face in contempt. she is a victorius woman who has managed to escape unscathed at her destined station.

ah!! the joys of train travelling are so numerous. you have to accept the fact that travelling by train...that too in peak hours teach you some important survival skills, increasing your ability to face this mad bad world with confidence.

7 comments:

anu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anu said...

hehe.. good 1..!!

Subash said...

raw and rustic style of writing interlaced with humour ...good one :)

aswin jayaraman said...

Many of us do travel in local trains.But rarely are we so observant about things happening in this detail.Cheers.

sundeep said...

he he he ..... Nice writing with humour.. why don't you write about in a general compartment..?

Evangelist. Leo Arun said...

Hey.. I could feel you sensation on this blog and also the way you have enjoyed it... keep up this good work..

Krishnan A said...

nice, pls visit general compartment also