Well, Indian railways, or rather its commuters never stops surprising me. And true to a tradition of this blog, here’s another one dedicated to Indian Railways! If you are a frequent commuter in Mumbai (which of course means a lot of local-train travelling if you are ‘not elite’ like yours truly), you would be no stranger to never-ending, never-moving queues. And every queue would always witness one woman trying to ‘flirt’ her way in getting a ticket from someone who has stood for 45 minutes and reached the counter window, one guy going right up in front to buy coupons or to update his ATVM card and finally, someone trying to sneak right up in the front.

  1. The first category in the previous sentence usually always gets a conditions-applied ‘Yes’ from a guy, who believes the girl’s going to come back to thank him and befriend him for life. Get real guys – all she was concerned was to get that ticket to run and catch that 8:43 CST fast! It’s not because she found you ‘cute’. She just found you to be the most ‘foolable’ among the lot! Of course, the condition to the ‘yes’ answer depends on whether the girl is young, beautiful and unmarried. The saree-clad fairer gender may not be as lucky!
  2. The second category contains a group of people, who are perfectly within their right to be at the window, or at least the Railways have made it out to be. This group wouldn’t budge under the pressure of those who think they’re breaking the rules by intruding into their territory. However, these guys have to endure these silent curses from people, who by now, with slightest provocation, could use any heavy object they find nearby.
  3. The third category has to be the most irritating lot. If caught sneaking in, and in 9/10 times they do get caught, these guys are recipients to some awesome music, exclusively available from born and bred Mumbaikars. I apologise that none of the lyrics of this music could be replicated here, purely because this is a family blog (or so I think since not even my family takes pain to read this). The music which starts off purely as a melody soon turns rhythmic with its tempo increasing as it goes on. To those who belong to this category – best of luck. Don’t try your stunts in Mumbai!

There are of course others too who could make it to these lists – cousins/distant relatives/long-lost twin of the one at the counter; animals and pests (the real ones) like dogs, rats and roaches, not necessarily to buy tickets; the ones who just got a change coming back to the counter to collect their ticket, etc etc! These reasons should be enough for you understand why I was astounded when I saw a queue being followed religiously – not at a ticket counter, but at a platform itself in Dombivli. Women (YES! Women!) standing in a queue to get into a train’s First Class Ladies Compartment! Yes, you can go back and read that again. Am I in Mumbai? Am I in India? Are things changing? Let me not jump too far!

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