Monday, 13 June 2011

Autobiography of little things...

The dull roar of the air conditioners irritate me and the chill inside the office makes me feel numb. I sit atop  the marble counter top, flipping in the stale dirty air. Warily i view the surroundings. The counter clerk in Enquiry counter yells at the top of her voice to the old man across the counter. He peers at Madam through his scratched and foggy bi focals, trying to decipher her speech which i bet he could not hear. He appears to be  in his late seventies, all wrinkled and worn out. The Madam's tone has now almost reached supersonic decibels and i twitch my body hearing the ruckus she is making for just a few questions. All the poor old man wants is a senior citizen ticket in Pallavan Express to Chennai in S5 coach with boarding Srirangam, Window seat, facing the onward direction, opposite the sunlight, not near either the lavatories and seat among families. Why can't all trains have S5 coaches alone? Or will it not be better if there were no seats from 1 to 15 and 100 to 108? Phew! I myself am tired when Mr Old man leaves the Enquiry Counter to book a ticket in the Senior Citizen counter.      

Thank God, he is gone, i let out some air and wait patiently. The next one in queue is this gentleman who is restless. He moves his right hand to his mouth and ....oh no, not me and not again. He licks his tongue and reaches to lift one among us. My neighbor who was so far watching the drama silently is picked up by Mr Licker who spreads voluminous saliva and edges past the counter. I cross myself mentally, thanking God that i was not picked by Mr Licker. A beautiful teen in her jeans and worded tee stands next. I get the whiff of her mild perfume and inhale it happily. She starts her volley of questions to the clerk and i can see Mr Impatient standing next to her use the situation to his luck;) He snakes his hand from behind the unsuspecting teen and reaches for my next neighbor. Awwwwww...i send a silent Prayer above, Please God let him not lay his hands on me...dirty hands. He picks up my neighbor again and i am indeed relieved.

He stands near the counter and starts writing. His blue ink pen must have been a gift of his great grandfather from his great grandfather. It refuses to even scratch. He picks on the pen nib with his finger nails and tries writing. Again, no luck. Now Mr Impatient becomes clearly agitated, he flicks the pen and his right hand. Slop...the blue ink lands as an unceremonious patch on my unlucky neighbor in Mr Impatient's hands. I pity the poor fellow and await my turn. Now comes Mr Late who rushes with a gush of sweat and heat. He has probably missed his train and would want a cancellation, i think to myself. He picks up my neighbor in the front row and drains all his sweat on him. Poor neighbor...Dear God, let me not end up in the hands of Mr Sweaty and Wet- i think to myself. Who will be my Picker...i wait in silence.

This is the turn of Mr Earbud. He asks a few questions to the clerk, picks up a few of us and sits in the last chair. He must be very free, i muse to myself. Much to my chagrin, he starts to tear, roll and insert my neighbor in his left ear first. Mmmmmmmmm....i can see how glad he is, happily housekeeping his right and then left ear. Poor neighbor, she is discarded and the next neighbor is taken up for the ear- warming ceremony!

Mr Boozey arrives staggering. He is so drunk, he can't make out who is standing near him. I try to control my laughter, but sorry, Boozey doesn't help me. He picks me up and asks the clerk- " Zhoud i bill up a bom?" Poor lady, she can't stand the smell of Boozey, she covers her nostrils with her kerchief and says a meek yes sir. I sit silently watching what Boozey is going to do next. Apparently he is in no hurry, he is feeling jerky. I can see his eyes swim and before i could escape- Wham! Boozey does his job right. His timing and aim is perfect and i am done with. End of my life, AMEN. I am the most ill treated and damaged property in the Indian Railways. Yes, you guessed me right-


  1. *laughing* you certainly do enjoy your work with the side attractions :D

    Have a stress-free week ahead

  2. Hilarious description of various specimens of passengers by a reservation form.I could not resist the smile.You have a high sense of humour witha fluent pen.

  3. Hilarious...! You are obviously a very observant person even when you are busy dealing with your cutomers. Next time I want to book a ticket I will watch out- who knows,,, the poor little form may complain about an argumentative annoying lady.. Ha ha ha..

  4. Very interesting, hope you are enjoing your job! I have observed, a room named as toilet, close to the reservation counter is kept closed with a 1934 (AD) model lock! Believe me, I have to get a platform ticket and enter into the station to use the tiolet!

    No way, Mr. Boozy does not have an option to select, other than the place he blessed!

    Better luck next time!

  5. You write very interestingly about such episodes, with a lot of sarcasm and humor. Do you really like your job?
    You have to write about that also, as to how you got trapped in a job with the Indian Railways.

  6. 1.Pallavan exp u had already shared wit me ..those particular sect ...claiming to have son/daughter work wit seceratriat and/or Green card holders.. here Lead character is narrating himself.. nice try,.. and gud ...
    3.If the Reservation form is happened to talk "will surely talk this yaar"...

  7. LOL, yeah, it is certainly abused, a lot. And I was thinking of jumping to the ending line where it was explained what was 'I' because how could a neighbour be picked again and again. Its okay that on a bench we can have two neighbours, but still. Now I see how.

    Witty post.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  8. lols!

    loved the sarcasm and the humour!

  9. scene 1: reservation clerk is fresh from customer service course. a passenger purchases ticket and is short of money. the passenger promises that he will bring money instantly. the clerk is just remembers what was taught in his customer service course. 'help the passengers'. so our clerk politely obliges to the passenger.
    scene 2
    the said passenger did not return even after half an hour. suddenly a vigilance inspector barges in and asks our clerk to tally his cash. our poor clerk narrates abt the shortage of rly cash due to the said passenger . but our VI who has come to 'save' the railways did not agree. our poor clerk was chargesheeted and nive u can understand what wud have happened.

    what will be our clerk's reaction now if another passenger tells abt shortage of money for tickets????

  10. India is full of people with peculiar traits. They are often found on a public gathering like above. It is pain when we are caught in their blatant act and fun when we are a spectator.

  11. Amusing and so witty! Just cant stop laughing...You are one gifted writer! Excellent :D

  12. Dear Ibhade, thanks for the comment, i do love my work;)

    Dear Kparthasarathy, thanks for your loving comment. Glad i made you smile!

    Dear Meera- annoying argumentative lady? Oh my...God save me! Thanks for the comment!

  13. Dear Janaki, thanks for the comment. Yes, i have seen that 1934 AD lock;) Glad you remember things so well...

    Dear Rama, ahhhhhh food for thought! Sure, i shall put a post on how i ended up with the Railways;)

  14. Dear Anonymous. am glad you liked the post. Thanks for the comment mate.

    Dear Blasphemous Aesthete, thanks for the visit and comment. Happy i could keep you guessing;)

    Dear Raampyaari, thanks for the visit and comment!

  15. Ahhh Ramnath, that silly course! You reminded me and am now gonna write a post on ZTS:P

    Dear Prateek, thanks for the comment,

    Dear Arti, glad you loved the post. Thanks for the visit and comment.

  16. Pen is given a golden touch by you, not the pen of the customer filling the reservation form but the pen that writes PNR number and underlines the fare underneath. Good going


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