Friday, February 17, 2012

Bhartiya Rail ki AC Bogie

I am no more prone to suffering from persecutory delusions than the next man but I think I have chalked up enough terrible experiences in my dealings with the Indian Railways to merit a deeper investigation as to whether somebody up there sits smiling maliciously from behind his steepled fingers, while devising increasingly arcane schemes to make all of my train journeys a living hell. But since the lady at the Grievance Redressal counter was far too busy discussing the trials and tribulations of one of those indistinguishable good bahus,  no doubt inflicted by a suitably invidious in-law with the appropriate background music and dizzying camera zoom-ins to boot - I decided to turn to my own vast cornucopia of experiences with the Indian Railways not unlike the buffet list of tortures a decent self respecting vamp would cook up outside of Geneva Convention guidelines.
To the non believers among the readers, who deny the existence of said grievance redressal mechanism, to them I say - You say you've never seen one! Goodness! My dear chap, you just take the rickety stairs up to the East wing and right behind the 'under renovation' sign, you will find a panel, speak the secret password , travel through the alligator  infested waters of the secret tunnel and should you survive the resident zombie rat population, you'll find yourself there. Pick form 6B- tough luck if they are out of copies, make copies in triplicate, and submit your grievance form along with two recent color passport size photographs- ears sticking out, of course- and attested copies of your testicles' X-ray, in triplicate.

Mind you, this is not going to be a tirade against the dubious field placements of F20-F30s on the reservation charts. That epic saga must unfold. It is not simply the matter of me being allowed to exist only in that unique polygonal space that disallows any direct exchange of pleasantries and/or spiked drinks or a direct line of sight for  any and all personable females who might share the same decade of birth. If the matter stopped there, you wouldn't find me delivering curses , starboard centre and port. After all, I have gone through entire years staring wistfully at the lovely lady on the adjoining balcony without so much as a nod or a 'What Ho!". surely this lack of F's in the immediate vicinity for a mere 24 hour journey is matter of no great consternation for a bumbling nincompoop like Yours Truly. But it's when my feelers detect malicious intent, borne out by the rampaging herd of ageing mastodons  flock in my compartment as if I were handing out free denture sets.Of course, the mini planetary system, replete with tiny , insolent hovering satellites has dibs on the window seat and the lower berths and capable young men like myself ought to pay for them gorging on fried junk, by settling for the top bunk or worse yet, that apallingly horrendous construct, the 9th Tier, deserving neither head space nor leg space, just hanging in there in No Man's Land. Initially, I thought "Isme jaroor videshi takaton ya phir mao-vaadi sangathanon ka haath hoga", the foreign hand that wished to get me to use their airlines the next time, or the leftist revolutionaries who declared class warfare from their unreserved seats in the General Compartment. But this conspiracy theory was soon discredited - my flights and my sleeper compartment journeys have been no better.

But this is not going to be THAT tirade. This is going to be about the nasty little satellites that meteor-strike away any peace and quiet train journeys are famed to provide.

To be continued.....