I have a bad luck, a very bad luck especially when it comes to travelling. My co passenger is always an oversized aunty/uncle who would occupy half of my seat or a woman with a whining baby. Then comes the seat problem. I hate IRCTC well all of us do, but the reason why I hate it apart from the slowness issue is it cheats me by confirming a window seat. I somehow end up in the middle seat sandwiched between 2 people occupying or fighting for that thin arm rest in between me and them or I end up in the aisle seat where the person sitting next to me will be sleeping all the time and I should help the server remove their plates. Well, I am not complaining here or maybe I am according to you. But my intent here is just to tell you about my bad luck. Not once have I travelled with a hottie, Not once! not even a decent guy so forget hottie! It is like expecting your manager to give you a sick leave even after he knows that you are actually in a movie theater.
So, I had to travel the weekend before the last one and I was sure that I will not get a window seat although my reservation was for a window seat so I made up my mind to meet one of the weirdest characters in the world. I got into the train and had the first bummer. I didn’t have a place to keep my bag. I think half the population in Chennai was migrating to Bangalore everybody had a very huge bag. Apparently, the one who had occupied too much of unnecessary space with just a laptop bag was not ready to adjust. He wanted his bag to be there occupying so much space which included the space that I deserved too. Well, after wasting a considerable amount of time in arguing with the dumbhead (Yes! Dumbhead. Be happy I didn’t use the other D word) my bag finally won a place to sit comfortably so I put it there and checked the seat number. I was sure I would have the aisle seat. I saw the seat arrangements and it said 50 – Window. I cleared my eyes and tried to wipe the sticker on which the seat number was printed and took a closer look at the seat numbers and yes I was seeing it for real, window seat! Voila! But then it was occupied I saw the person sitting in MY window seat, she was in her early 50s or maybe late 40s she was talking to someone on phone in a proper Indian accented English. I called her and proudly said, “50, my seat” pointing to the seat. She said, “Oh! Is it?” I nodded. She had a very warm smile. She moved and let me sit in my seat.
I made few calls while she was also on phone talking about money (in lakhs) I thought she should be rich of course yes! I was judging her by the way she spoke to her friends on phone and also based on her looks. (What else do you do when you had forgotten you headset and MP3 at home?) The train moved and I was silently looking at the sceneries when she slowly said, “The porter said that 51 is window seat.” I smiled. “It’s OK wherever I sit” she said again. By now, I understood that she was not happy about me taking away the window seat from her. I know the feeling I wanted to say but all I did was to smile again. I took out my novel and started reading it while she continued with her phone calls. After she kept the phone she said, “I think you are keeping the book very close to your eyes” I never realized it till she told me. I peeped out of the book and said, “But this is how I read from my childhood” she pulled my book down and said, “read now” smiled and she got another phone. I found it invasion of my personal space. Well, I know that isn’t but that’s how I felt! anyway forget it. They served coffee after sometime, I declined. She said coffee is really good and that I should taste it. When I told her that I don’t drink coffee she was surprised(I do drink coffee but not the one served in the train!). I continuously declined everything they offered in the train and an angry aunty said, “You better eat what they serve next or I am going to feed you” I was shocked. The next move of hers made me go aghast! She got up and asked me take one of her bags. I did. She took out a box that was full of dry fruits and asked me to keep the bag back in the rack. She took few dry fruits and stuffed it in my hand and asked me to eat. I was afraid to decline for she had already threatened me about stuffing it into my mouth. While we munched on the dry fruits she started telling me about her family, the recent surgery she had gone through, got to know about my family and me. She invited me home and by the time I got down I had a feeling that my mother was travelling with me. She was strict, loving, caring and blathered just like my mother. I don’t know if we would find this kind of intimacy in just 6 hours in other countries. Hmm… No! we won’t! It is only in India and that’s why our country is unique and that’s why I love it! Especially aunties like the ones whom I travelled with what do I say! They do sometimes fill the space of a mother! J