Story of a lost journalist

November 4, 2009

I am a train-hater

Filed under: Daily Rot,Personal — Cris @ 03:16

(Dated 3rd Nov 09)

Yesterday I went to Kollam.
I had nothing against Kollam and I had nothing against trains – till yesterday.
In fact I used to love trains – to sit in the aisle seat, and let all the wind hit my face, to try to catch up with the fast-passing trees and houses and people I see outside, to look way down the depths of the rivers and ponds on the way. Well all that is history now!

I am a new person. I declare myself a life-time train-hater. My duties include putting my tongue out and making faces at every train I see, yelling loudly to not hear any train whenever one passes, and other things which I have to think of.

The history now.
Train 1. From Trivandrum to Kollam. You take ticket, you get in, you sit down, you show the TTR your ticket. And instead of a friendly smile and sign, what does he do? He says “290 bucks”. “Eh what?”
“You paid 25 bucks and you are sitting in reservation class. That will cost you 290 bucks.”
Everyone is now looking at me. Their eyes said: “This girl has got in without paying money? Thief girl!”
I close eyes and say “Adra Cadabra melt”. I open my eyes. Darn I am still solid. I look for the nearest window. No use, I couldn’t jump. The 290-man is still saying 290. “Come here” he says and asks me out of the compartment. Sheesh, it was ultimate naanakedu, embarrassment, humiliation – call what you may. I just want to disappear as I walk away, not looking at anyone.

Train 2. Journey back to Tvm. I find the last compartment this time (being told that is usually the 25-bucks-one), even though I am running late. I find that this one is blocked from the others and the seats are all taken. Sigh 1.5 hours of standing, but it had to be better than humiliation. Hah indeed! Comes the TTR again. Why were these people born! It seems I have climbed to a compartment reserved exclusively for the disabled. It seems it is criminal for anyone else to be there. I could hear them questioning, rebuking and cursing another traveler in typical police curses. This is scary. My turn would soon come. Some ladies who seem to be in a similar predicament, come to me. They understand I climbed not knowing anything. They say “We are all getting down at Varkala. Mole, you too get down there and run to the next compartment ok?”
So we execute Operation Escape@Varkala. They hide me between them, giving me cover and I run as soon as I get out.

You would think that’s the end to a troublesome day. But there is more. Auto1. From railway station to home. I wave at one, it stops, I get in. The policeman who is in charge of the autos at the station suddenly stops this one. “Take it away” he says. He then sees me and barks “You – get out. Hah I said get out! (irangan, irangana paranje)”.
I didn’t understand what the problem was. I get out. Another lady comes running from somewhere, jumps into the auto and the driver takes off in full speed. I am left staring at nothing! Luckily, this world is blessed with kind ladies. This time a younger one in an auto stops, seeing the troubled me. She offers me lift and asks why I was asked to get out of the other auto. It must have appeared I was some suspicious character!

I don’t know what it was that went wrong with my “stars” yesterday. But I am telling them to not ever go to that position again!

A dedicated train-hater
(I know the auto-incident too had something to do with trains! It must have been the smell of trains from the station!)



  1. hee hee

    I am glad you didn’t have to travel somewhere farther like Cochin. You would have certainly become a train-terrorist and planned bombing trains!

    Comment by Don — November 4, 2009 @ 06:59 | Reply

    • @Don, I am a peacemaker. I will do all my protests by decent acts like face-making and booing 😀

      Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 20:09 | Reply

  2. If you had taken a sleeper class ticket you can travel in reservation compartment, it may cost you around 60/- else u are supposed to go by general compartment.

    Dont you understand you have no right to disturb a reservation compartment passenger who may be travelling from Trivandrum to Delhi and you ordinary passengers all enter reservation compartment with general ticket, in fact below 200 km even sleeper class tickets should not be issued for long distance trains. But in Kerala Railway is linent in this matter.

    Information is power and when its available you have not collected information and blame

    Comment by Aarushi — November 4, 2009 @ 11:15 | Reply

    • @Aarushi, first of all, it was written in lighter vein. It wasnt meant to be a note of blame (and I hear the train is understood to be a non-living being. Maybe it wont mind)
      Secondly, I am sorry I “disturbed” the reservation class people – that was the least of my intentions. This was the first time I travelled by self in train, and I didnt know how to distinguish between a gen compartment and a reserved one (forget that I didnt even realise I was a gen class passenger!). Admittedly, my mistake – I should have equipped myself with these details before going to the railway station. Cause there all I said was can I have a ticket to Kollam. I got one, and I climbed to what looked like a gen compartment with lots of empty seats. Will take care next time, and be informed 🙂
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 20:19 | Reply

  3. He he.. I hope you get the idea about train1 incident after Aarushi’s comment 😉

    And the smell of the train – It’s so true! I _used to_ prefer the bus to avoid smelling like the train (ഇരുമ്പിന്റേയും തുരുമ്പിന്റേയും മണം).

    Comment by Syam — November 4, 2009 @ 18:31 | Reply

    • @Syam, yes I do. I am defeated in my one-man fight against a whole world of train-lovers hehe. The smell of train was err again meant to be a joke 🙂

      Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 20:20 | Reply

      • Your one-‘man’ fight? I knew there was something to the new name! :p

        Comment by Syam — November 4, 2009 @ 20:23

      • @Syam 😀

        Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 23:12

  4. I hope you refused the offer of the lift from the 2nd auto-lady.

    Comment by Nish — November 4, 2009 @ 20:13 | Reply

    • @Nish, uh oh. Err mm ok I did not refuse. No tellin Mom!

      Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 23:06 | Reply

  5. Hey u disappeared from your domain n came back here? Do you know how I discovered you? Someone thought I’m the author here also (in addition to my other two blogs) and contacted me to include the link to their blog directory. So I came here to check who is writing like me 😉

    Comment by Dhanya — November 4, 2009 @ 21:51 | Reply

    • @Dhanya, I thought I gave you this new url! So sorry if I didnt! You are one of my most valued blog-readers :-). And really? They thought I am you? 😀 Wow I must be a nice person too in that case!

      Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 23:07 | Reply

  6. Cris,In ur auto case,in tvm station it is prepaid auto get an auto u hav to stand in a Q,it seems u dirctly got n to 1.
    To distinguish between general class and reserved compartmants of a train
    1,the reserved ones will have numbers S1,S2(sleeper1,2) like that and general class will be marked UR(un reserved),
    2,usually most of the trains have 4 general class compartments,2 in da front end n 2 n da bk end.and 1 more compartment z tr reserved exclusively for ladies.the general composition of a train will be 4 general clas 12 sleeper clas,4 AC clas.1luggage cum brake van
    3.In day time trains like parasuram,venad tr r more general class,but in janasadabdi u hv only second clas tikts.
    4.In all mail/express trains you can travel in reservation compartments during day time upto 8pm by taking second class sleeper sitting ticket,which will cost you more than da genrl one.(for eg.tvm-kaymkulam gen tikt z 36,in second clas siting it is 72 rupes) reservation compartments of trains originating from tvm usually reservation seats gets filled after kottayam or ernakulam,so there will be enough seats for ur journey till kollam.
    And finaly, u were asked to pay 290 rupees but wit ur general tikt if u hv approachd the TT to change ur tikt into sleeper class,he would hv done it by chargng da extra amount,
    Hope nxt time u wl hv a subh yathra,
    Regardng aarushi’s comments ,did cris disturb any passangers,she entrd into a compartment whr tr wr vacant seats,
    about peopl travlng in kk,aarushi must note that kerala generates maxium income in passanger earnings over southern railway.those who travel here takes tickets if it z general r sleeper,when da same kerala express enters north india people with fire wood,and goats enter da reservation coaches,without any ticket,dont u find any prblm with that?
    Aarushi,u must travel thru bihar atleast once to understand the great indian railway,
    Aftr tat only u shud blame da short distance passengers travelling by sleeper tikt n kerala,
    U shud also tel me da logic behind puting al da reservatn coaches vacant without issung sleeper tikts,even aftr knwng that the seats will be filled after 200kms,and at da meantime people r findng difcult to keep tr foot n general class,
    if u r alotd a single berth n a train it doesnt mean that the entire train is yours.

    Comment by svs — November 4, 2009 @ 22:19 | Reply

    • @svs, thank you so much for that comment! Really, thanks for taking the pain to write everything in detail. I shall not make a mistake again 🙂

      Comment by admin — November 4, 2009 @ 23:08 | Reply

  7. hahah LOL ..i thnk its high time to instill some REAL sense onto u … just kidding ,…
    good read …i was in splits readin this …:)

    Comment by Aneesh — November 6, 2009 @ 23:44 | Reply

  8. alla, enthina aaa autoil ninne criskiye erakkiyey?

    Comment by themargi — November 7, 2009 @ 23:45 | Reply

  9. hee hee Cris!
    you had me in raptures by your” sticking the tongue out and making faces at trains”.
    girl, you make delectable reading!
    your innate ability to turn the mundane into something hilariously joyous, at the drop of a hat is incredible. Hats off to you mother of all girl-bloggers 😉 (anila and nimmy has paid homage to you on their anni posts.) keep on inspiring!

    Comment by muralee maadhav — November 12, 2009 @ 04:24 | Reply

  10. hi cris
    have mentioned you briefly in this post ;

    enjoyed this post. can relate to it, having commuted for 5 years bet kochin & Ch’erry, Kochin & Tvm. u have inspired me to write abt my commuting days, which i have done, but it is incident specific.

    Comment by kochuthresiamma p j — December 11, 2009 @ 06:59 | Reply

  11. ക്രിസ്, പോസ്റ്റുകൾ പലതും ആസ്വദിച്ചു വായിച്ചു. ഇതാണെനിക്ക് എറ്റവും ഇഷ്ടമായത്.

    Comment by ആഷ | Asha — January 15, 2010 @ 20:29 | Reply

    • @Asha: Thank you so much 🙂

      Comment by Cris — January 17, 2010 @ 00:48 | Reply

  12. Please don’t blame the poor trains for the ignorant, uncivilized behavior of the so called educated, cultured humans. Trains are doing the great unselfish Karma Yoga service. Blame the manner less human savages.


    Comment by Indian Railways — May 27, 2010 @ 11:44 | Reply

    • @Indian Railways, Amen.

      Comment by Cris — July 16, 2010 @ 01:04 | Reply

  13. I know the reason why u had to get out of auto. In some railway stations,there is a facility called prepaid auto. You get a coupon at the prepaid counter,mentioning the place you want to go and then u pay the autorikshaw the correct charge as per rules. Usually, a policeman is appointed to look after that the autos take people wherever its written in the slip,rather than denying small trips.
    You might have jumped into a prepaid auto and it ws then he caught you.but definitely his act is rude,cultureless and least appreciated.

    About the train incident, I would say that its your mistake. When you get into sleeper class coaches,u need a reservation or a sleeper class ticket. For general ticket holders,there are 1or2 coaches each at back and front ends of the train.the coach for disabled will be marked as ‘DISABLED’,its different from the usual general compartments. And again, I should mention that majority of out Ticket Checkers are rude and misbehaved,just like the policeman and its high time railways look into that matter.

    Dont worry..!! You’ll be fine with trains 🙂

    Comment by Arjunlal — January 2, 2011 @ 14:00 | Reply

    • I know it was my mistake :-). I wrote it in lighter vein and hence the train becomes the villain.

      Comment by Cris — January 4, 2011 @ 02:20 | Reply

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