No traffic, early in the morning
Moin, my nephew was clipping on his Pulsar
i was behind him
6.15 is my Kovai express
i tried to walk like John Travolta on reaching the station but on the crowded platform ended up walking like Danny DeVitto
half running half walking, lugging two bags and a water bottle.
We indians are movie crazy people
At any given time the ghost of some movie star would be in my body
the longest stay of a ghost in my body was Clint Eastwood's
i'll give you an idea how movie crazy we are.
A traditional wedding of Anu and Satish, sweetest friends, both of them, wedding ceremony was in full swing with an army of pujaris, priests and about a thousand guests, witnessing. Suddenly, some one yelled ' Rajani Kanth' Big time local god like movie hero
That was enough
Everybody rushed to the balcony to have a glimpse of him
please believe me
you have to believe me.
The priests abandoned the bride and the groom, left the ceremony, abandoned chanting of mantras. they too rushed to the balcony for a glimpse of the hero.
so i am on the railway platform walking, running like Danny DeVitto, like an Orangutang
awful coffee you get in the trains........grabbed a good one, and rushed to my coach
When i got into the coach i became steven segal, had a window seat, i insist on it at the time of booking
where is my window seat ?
searching with a hot cup of coffee in my hand and the train started moving
Here it is.
Somebody sitting there, a boy, kiddo, i smiled he smiled back
its ok, i give my window seats to kiddas always
Is that your seat ? a lady asked
No, she did not ask it was more like an interrogation by a cop
yes, its my seat.
well, we have taken it, you go sit over there.
she pointed to a vacant seat in the middle, four rows behind
what arrogance !! oooh !
in such situations i normally scratch my head
i had to give my coffee to this lady, make my hand free to scratch my head.
she may even drink it.
Her attitude ! some attitude, was that an attitude ?
i was already staggering in a speeding kovai exp. i couldn't stagger more spilling my coffee on some poor well dressed soul., Bag and water bottle in one hand and hot coffee in the other
what an attitude !
I saw the vacant seat and i sat there
finished my coffee
she said 'we have taken it, go sit over there'
she did not even say 'can we have your seat?'
I would have said yes please
oh ! forgot to scratch my head. Now i scratched my yeddu vigorously
i never keep such issues pending
just a matter of a few hours, I'll be in Coimbatore
I forget such attitudes fast, didn't want to ruin my journey.
I was on my way to Coimbatore - Pollachi - Valparai then to Manampalli forest.
Five minutes of peace.
Hellow, Sir !
This is my seat, a very soft and gentle voice
i saw a big stomach touching my nose
actually his belt buckle was touching my nose.
red shirt, red shirt ? blood red.
what ? I had to make an effort to see his face,I saw his chin.
Sir, i think this is my seat, he told me very earnestly very softly.
oh sorry !
No unnecessary dialogue No unnecessary dialogue at all
The gentleman was very polite,
definitely not from Chennai
must be from Coimbatore
people of Coimbatore are always well mannered and polite.
Let me give you a similar situation
a guy from Chennai telling me that i am occupying his seat.
' yaaoo, this is my seat ' get up
yenna vovho ? why are occupying my seat ?
it was vacant...
Vaaat ? vacantaa ?
there was no one... i thought.......
vaat ? i thaaat ? thaaattaa ! any vacant seat is yoursaaa ?
where is your seat ?
then go and sit there why are you in my seat ?
yenna saary ?
padicchavanga, Yejjucated peepal (educated people) traveling ticketless and, as if this train belongs to his appa (father), he tells some one else, not to me,
now a war of words would escalate.
This is a typical Chennai behaviour, but this did not happen,
the gentleman was very polite
its ok if was wearing a blood red shirt
any way,i was evicted
that is eviction number 2
Eviction number one was my seat being taken
I am seatless now
I went back to my seat, i am the rightful owner of that seat for a few hours
ha ! I saw bulky old man sitting on my window seat, no boy, probably his grand father.The boy was occupying the opposite window seat, perhaps same family
I crossed these people went right up to to him and said
'get up' ! in Steven Segal style
I did not say 'please get up'
i had to be arrogant to an arrogant family, arrogant response
i had to prove that i am from Chennai
He got up
Eviction number 3
His wife an old stout lady was sitting next to him. She took advantage, she made herself comfortable occupying half my seat
its ok, i need only a few inches. i sat next to her,
got my reserved window seat back
The old man pushed himself and occupied the seat opposite, actually stuffed himself in between.
6 seats 7 people, facing each other, all well fed, on the heavier side, i am the only thin one there.
i studied the geography of the seats now
one mother, two children, one boy, about 9 or ten and a girl, about 12 or13, that makes 3 seats. grand father grand mother, that makes 5.
Another lady sitting in my row, not this family, because they did not offer any food to her,
poor thing slept all the way to Coimbatore, with her mouth wide open.
Now the bulky old man was staring at me,
his bulky arrogant daughter, who said we have taken your seat, was staring at me,
his 2 bulky grand children were staring at me,
i did not know if his bulky wife was staring at me
because she was sitting right next to me,
i turned my head to check if she was staring at me
she was staring at me.
They all must be wondering, oh ! what an animal !!
dreadful looking and so rude !
Now perhaps the old man thought, my wife is staring at this hairy gorilla
you can't trust these women, my wife may fall in love with him
they may elope as soon as we reach Coimbatore
they may both jump off at Salem itself and elope
why take that risk
he got up, evicted himself, eviction 4
and told his wife to get up,
she got up, eviction number 5
and the old man sat next to me.
Old maami, His wifee was safe now
bad idea pal, in Bruce willis style. i did not say that, in my mind, i said that in my mind
she stuffed herself right opposite
now she could easily fall in love with me without straining her neck.
We can now both dream of singing duets running around the trees in pouring rain, changing costumes, yellow trousers green shirt red shoes, old maami doing thyee thakka, and me the gorilla in the park running behind her with a bunch of bananas in my hands,
oh no, let her dance in the rain and sing
but i'll wear a rain coat and run behind her,
i don't want to catch cold
was she still staring at me ?
I didn't know as i was looking out
had my iPOD on by then.
Arakkonam gone, 7.30
Now lot of action, everybody was moving
they were taking the breakfast out
tiffin boxes and one giant hoptpot.
idli and molagha podi, some reddish chutney
victoria falls coming out of my mouth
naturally, they did not offer one bit to me
they ate it all
i checked, all finished, no left overs finnnittto
they ate everything, all idlis gone, this is how they are all on the heavier side.
jog jog jog, i would have told them, drink a lot of water.
Now washing of hands.
All left one by one.
The girl took advantage and sat on the opposite window seat which was occupied by her younger brother.
Now the boy threw a fit
he plonked himself on her sister's lap and was digging his elbow in to her stomach trying to push her.
Stop fighting the mother ordered.
She had enough
they were fighting over something or the other right from Chennai central.
Now the mother odered her daughter to move and let the brat take the window seat
the girl was evicted
eviction number what ?
I am losing track of all the evictions
I was watching all this.
The girl was very sweet, though bit on the heavier side, wearing Bermudas, lovely eyes, now wet with tears
I hate that
I really hate that
i hate when stupid mothers favour their sons
wanted to kill that stupid woman
I evicted myself, eviction number ? never mind
told the girl to take my window seat.
she wouldn't take it, she wouldn't move, looked away
ok, told the boy to take my seat, so that his sister could take the opposite window seat.
just look at this, the old man who was sitting next to me pushed himself on to my window seat
i snapped at him 'move' . Like Schwarzenegger i did not say 'please move'
MOOOOV , I bawled at him let the boy sit here.
i get pretty nasty sometimes
He was clearly scared of me.
he moved, the boy evicted himself and occupied my window seat.
the problem is not over
old maami, my heroine, pushed herself and occupied the opposite window seat.
the girl was still in tears
they all had pepsi
girl refused, perhaps she was sensible or angry
i did not yell at the old lady
i am supposed to be her hero
i just pointed my finger towards the girl and the window seat
she got the message
they were all scared of me. i AM scary indeed
she evicted herself and let the girl take the window seat.
the boy had a window seat
the girl had the window seat.
Now I am seatless
So many were standing
the girl looked at me
i smiled, she did not smile back
massala dosai from the pantry car
they all had masala dosai
just an hour ago these people had so many idlis
idlis after idlis
idlis after idlis,
never ending idlis, out of a huge magic hotpot
and they finished them all,
i saw the mother washing the hotpot an hour ago
they were buying everything from the pantry car that passed by
food pepsi maaza potato chips every thing.
At Jolarpet the kids were cribbing about something
both were whining
whats their problem ?
they both had window seats
What do I do, what do i do ? said the mother slapping her forehead
do you want me to go out and get you ?
the train stops only for a couple of minutes.
the mother was exasperated, holding her head in her hand
What do they want I asked
she looked at me completely defeated
they want comics she said
What comics ?
i'll get you in Salem i said
none offered me a seat.
a couple of hours passed,
i was standing enjoying music
they were eating oranges
the train was entering Salem
i asked again what comics ?
the mother said, no sir please don't take the trouble sir,
she says 'Sir' oww !!
what comics ? i asked the girl
her eyes lit up
Tinkle she said
hokkay i'll get you
Sir the train stops here only for a minute sir please don't go out sir
i said i am fast then i looked in to her eyes and like Jim Carey , Ace Ventura style I said ' i am fast I am VERY fast '
Poor harassed mother, its ok if she ate 12 idlis and two masala dosai, poor thing
i jumped out before the train came to a halt
started running on the platform
asked a porter where the book stall is
stupid book stall was on the next platform
ran 200 meters dash, found the book stall
do you have tinkle ?
he pulled 2 sizes, one magazine size one book size, thick one
give me both
how much ?
i paid him
i saw the train moving
where is my camera bag ?
how stupid of me
i left it in the train, my return ticket money cameras every thing was there in it.
i always do such stupid things
i was running like mad
'uncle uncle uncle' the kids shouting, they were waving at me helping me to identify the coach as it crossed me
got in to the moving train in to the next coach and walked back to my coach
why you took trouble sir, i could have bought them at coimbatore sir
i said the kids want them now, NOW in the train, not in Coimbatore i said, wondering how little these parents understand their children
how much sir ?
please ! i said
no sir, no sir, please tell me sir
i refused to accept money
i was still standing
its ok, Erode-Tiruppur-coimbatore
just a couple of hours,
iPOD on, The Doors ' this is the end ' playing
the boy was reading the comic munching potato chips
the girl was reading the comic munching potato chips
peace at last
not for long
suddenly the boy snached the book size tinkle from his sister's hands
she snached it back
they kicked each other
now the mother says, give it to him
the girl wouldn't
this woman was favouring her son again
i can commit a murder, i just wanted to stangle this stupid woman
'give it to him' the mother yelled at her daughter
the girl threw the book size tinkle at her brother
again she was in tears.
i did nothing, i did not say anything' not a word
i just took one step forward and removed my ear phones
i just stood there glaring at the mother, ear phones in my hands, my gorilla face close to hers
'give it back to her kanna', the mother said
the boy looked at me
he gave the book size tinkle back to his sister staring me with hatred
Now the mother, grand mother grand father were staring at me, all of them full of hatred
this is the devil who started the war
The sleeping lady was still sleeping, her mouth was wide open
i went back to my music
Mark Knopfler and James Taylor were Sailing to Philadalphia.