Holy Cows! How can they? Their working hours might annoy even nocturnal birds, but they stay healthy, calm and poised. Here i am feeling all fuzzy, kind of inebriated and hallucinating as i am writing this after a night shift. I have been pushed to the dark night world where the shrill whistle of trains, lousy humdrum of passengers and dull buzz of spooky night creatures abound. So, here is this moony's checklist of staying awake all night at work-
Try focusing! As minutes tick past midnight, your monitor definitely appears blurred, your keyboard resembles a cute love cushion and your swivel chair envelopes you in a close cuddle. Don't fall for that! Try to focus. Concentrate. Look at the nearest gentleman typing away like mad. You might even hallucinate his balding upper cranium a crystal ball. Try to read your future. Or better still, if you work in a passenger system like poor me, fun is on hand! Compare and contrast the specimens on view. Take your own sweet time, peer at the checked shirt, long uncut nails and bloodshot eyes. May be your distant forefathers appear on the vanishing checks on shirts. Who knows, you might even attain Nirvana fo-cussing(!) and cribbing on the gentlemen who rostered you for the night!
2. TAKE A BREAK
You are- after all, human. Nothing wrong in taking a break. Get up from the chair, walk to the loo, spend a few..ahem..precious moments half asleep inside and emerge from it in a brisk walk. Wander from one seat to the other. If it is an all women shift- Ladies, start your tongues wagging. And mind you, don't spare anyone, including the boss. As juice overflows from the grape vine, you may even feel intoxicated with all the "who's sleeping with who" stories. And by the time you feel you are satisfied with the well deserved break, you can take your next sojourn.
3. GINGER CHAAI
Have a cup of ginger chaai at 2 am! The hot and spicy chaai can work wonders to keep you awake. Take a small walk to the nearest tea kiosk, even if that means trampling on a sleeping army of tyrants who refuse to budge a millimetre in their sleep. And oh, be careful in not slipping on the banana peels and kids' piddle that threaten to drown the entire station! Revel and rejoice at the coocoo sounds, the erratic and annoying shrill whistles of engines, watch fist-fighting families and just relax!
4. PICK A FIGHT
Still feeling dull and sleepy? Why worry? You can always pick a fight with the passenger. Ask for change. Never pick one with the 'i know all, you know nothing' types. Your prey will land straight at your counter with a 500 rupee note asking for a platform ticket. Thank Heavens! You can spend the next fifteen minutes asking him for a three rupee, ten rupee, fifty rupee or even a hundred rupee. He is definitely not going to have any. Watch him hunt for the non existent change in his pant pockets, shirt pockets, wallet, 'secret' pocket. Send him scurrying for change. He will be back after ten minutes having gulped down a glass of typical 'railway' special watery coffee or tea that might give him a happy gala time in the morning loo! Still unsuccessful? Always try to issue ticket to the second lady in the queue, wearing that angelic smile of yours, when the first lady hunts for a change. A full fledged cat fight- guaranteed!!!
Night shifts at railway stations can be extremely stressful, if there are trains all night and if we end up with a CM who refuses to reduce bus fares and a PM who refuses to increase rail fares. No one can ever know how refreshing it is to see your relieving clerk arriving, in the backdrop of early morning sun-rays that filter through the window panes. Ha...there arrives the next slave;)
P.S.- Gods must be crazy and i must be extremely bitchy while writing this post:P
P.P.S.- I wish i had leprosy, i hate it every time a bugger rubs hands when handing over money! Or can anyone suggest a hand mask resembling a leper's hand?
P.P.P.S.- Dedicated to the counter clerk Mr Sound Gopal who seldom gives tickets but keeps rambling on and on and on. Next night shift, i might hack you to death, MIND IT!!! RASCALA!!!