Saturday, January 16, 2010

Creeps On A Train

Okay so my mother doesn't want me to be spoilt. Therefore, she books me in the 2nd class ordinary compartment from Bangalore to Chennai everytime. I honestly don't mind. It doesn't make much of a difference. I get into the train, sleep, wake up at something like 4 am; and voila, I'm home!

But sometimes my train ride isn't particularly simple or pleasant due to the presence of one or more of the following entities:

Very common, usually very large, sometimes very sweaty and always very male. Snorers have a way of making at least 3 compartments reverberate with their nasal melodies. Usually, when the sound is uniform, I manage to fall asleep. But sometimes, if you're unlucky, little snorts and grunts in various pitches will escape this man, causing you to jerk out of your sleepy state. I want to suffocate them with a pillow or something.

Why are you on the phone all night in a train? And how do you manage to have phone reception in a moving train? Beats me. I just hate you. I don't care if your Mama's wife is acting strange around your grandmother; or if Santosh's girlfriend gave you the stinkeye; I just want to sleep. I hope your phone battery dies. I hope the person on the other end decides that they don't like you anymore. I hope you run out of credits. I hope your phone falls from your hand and ricochets off the middle berth and flies straight out of the window. I really do.

Really, it is exactly what it is. Those brown insects with antennae. Anyone who knows me would know that I'm deathly scared of them. I'd rather pet a lizard than even look at a cockroach. And when they're in my view when I'm on the train, I can't sleep. I know how easy it is for them to climb/fly up to wherever I am and tickle me with their leggy, antennaey grossness!!

Mothers, your children know how to fall sleep even though they may be just 12. You needn't wake up all the time and ask them if they need water, an extra sheet, snacks, a pillow, your bag, a book, a goodnight story, etc. Really, don't worry about it. These mothers are usually accompanied by a child who doesn't really care and doesn't really want to be seen with the mother anyway. Why do they bother?

It's very rare that I'll befriend someone on a train. Fraands will try and make petty conversation. Ask you where you're from and what you do. I've often given false names and such like to ensure that these people don't stalk me in my sleep.
Fraand: What's your name?
Me: Sh... yla! Shyla!
Fraand: What do you do?
Me: Study.. B.B.A.
Fraand: Ohhh... Why are you carrying a book on the Indian Contract Act?
Me: Oh.. I have one chapter form that *fakes a phone call* Sorry, I need to take this!
The trick after that is to get off the fake call and get on your iPod making sure that there is no time in between for the fraand to make conversation.
This is usually encountered more in day-trains.

While there are other caregories, [like Pundits who I find very puzzling. They've actually managed to scare my aunt off a train], I will stop here. Simply because the people who watch you while you sleep, don't deserve any space on my blog. That's how much I hate them.


  1. Hey Sharan

    remember that your mom and I travel an average of 100 nights a year multiplied 15 years! thats a lot of nights! youve missed the Marvadi/Guju/Rajasthani marriage parties and the corporate gumbals going on their offsite, the school/college study trips...we are lucky if we manage to sleep 50% of the time! I loved your blog!

  2. let's not forgot the concerned aunty..

    "beta how old are you ?"
    "20 years aunty ji"
    "*gasps in horror* and still not married ??"

    "it's cold in the compartment isn't it ??"
    "yes auntyji"
    "are you sure your pants are thick enough to keep you warm down THERE ??"

    I could keep going ALL day... meh

  3. Hi Sharanya,

    Loved this one! I dont do as much "training" as NP and your mom but i know what you mean - thankfully the fraands and the cockroaches dont bother me as much!

  4. @ NP: Lmfao... I hate the wedding parties... and corporate jing bangs! SO true...

    @ Weirdo: his woman on the plane; I had to sit with her from NY-Brussels and Brussels-Chennai. She killed me by telling me about how she got her 18 year old girl in boston married to some dude who was still just a student/intern and hence they were struggling with money... But she still wanted me to get married.

    @ Hari Uncle: The fraands and cockroaches neglect you because you don't possess my good looks and winning charm... KIDDING
    Will take a look at your blog!

  5. Hi Sharanyaa, you are talking about 12 year olds. Remember the young lad of 25 pampered by his mom the whole night asking if grandma applied the fairness cream and yet remained dark? Hmm at 12 midnight? Not to forget Ohio le Arun and the GK testing on if Chennai was the Dakota of India etc. Simply loved your blog. Keep writing! And of course the pujaris who smiled away each time I opened my sheet to breathe in the 'fresh air'.

  6. May I please add the "EATERS" ? The ones that keep eating and that too at like 11 pm in the night! These then diligently go and buy more eats and make the whole place a mess!

    Oh and the "BERTH-HOGGERS"- those that occupy your seat JUST BECAUSE you have a lower berth or a middle berth. These species then pretend to sleep and when woken up shout back claiming its their seat

  7. Oh as much as I like my Sleep, I have also enjoyed the disturbances :) Like a music troop traveling alongside, school excursions, conversations from employees who have lost their job. An old father going to meet his son and the emotional journey. I even met a client during a journey once :) Not to mention getting know some hot models. My view is that train journey is pathetic, especially after a sleepless week and when you just want to rest. But fortunately, most times I have always found something very interesting to remember, learn and share from a journey! And am not sure yet if it is mere randomness :)

  8. @ Faff: My god and the curd rice smell will drive you insane
    @ Antano: You're very very lucky, mon ami. I have had just one co-passenger who was interesting to engage with

  9. it is very nice I enjoyed the cockroach part because a tiny mustard-size bug would really BUG you at home and you'll screeeeeeeeeeech for help! So I wonder who you call for help now! The cockroaches themselves!!!! hahahahahaha--n Shashi and Sandhya