Sunday, October 12, 2008
A Train Journey
I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about my train journey to college. This is about one of the incidents that had happened during the journey. Before going to college, I had travelled by train only a few times, that too when I was very young. At that time, my parents took care of the entire things. Well, When I started going by myself, I was ignorant about a lot of things. It's not like bus journey, where there is only one class, you buy a ticket and can travel by that bus. In a single train, there are different classes, right. Well, I knew all that, but since I was a daily scholar, I took what is called a season ticket, which is, for six months and since we take it for six months
continuously, we have concession in the fare also. But, the problem is you cannot travel using season ticket in most of the classes and I didn't know that. I was alone on my way to college and my knowledge was that, except the AC and reserved compartments, I can travel in any of the others.
And the other main thing I was unaware was that, in not all train can we travel using this ticket. I normally went by a train which starts at 6:20 A.M. One day I was pretty early at the station and I saw a special train there, with all posh seats, cushions and all. I thought, why should I go in that crap train, I may try, for a change, this one. By the looks, I knew it was not meant for me, but the excitement, as always, got me into the train LOL. But, I was cautious enough to ask my fellow passengers about what I knew. I asked, whether it is a first class compartment or a reservation and he said it was general.
So, I was excited for a new experience, when the train started moving, but it soon turned into panic, when I saw the TTE(Train Ticket Examiner) came checking for tickets. I don't know why, but I had this wrong feeling inside me, that some thing was wrong.
And so it happened. The TTE came to me and asked for ticket, I gave him my ticket and he was surprised when he saw it. He frowned and looked again, then asked for me to pay a huge amount. Guess what? I didn't even had a fraction of the money he asked. I said I don't have any money and he caught me by my collar and was decent enough to bring me to another compartment where there
were no passengers and started threatening.
He said "give the money or I'll take you to the railway police". I said I have no money and he got more angry. He thought that I was a cheater who travel by train with out taking tickets. To be honest, I definitely thought I was going to the police station and I wasn't a bit afraid of that. I had no choice. I thought, they are not going to eat me alive, then so be it. I just stood there, calm, saying nothing, doing nothing as though nothing has happened, which made him only angrier. He caught my bag and threw it on the floor and asked "what is in it?". I said, my books. Since, I didn't do it on purpose, I didn't feel ashamed and kept a cool face.
He seemed lost, since what ever threats he made, didn't have any effect on me. He was simply yelling like "This train is not for beggars, I'll take you to police, Take off your shirt". Believe me, he actually said those which I still remember. How can I forget those? LOL
Well, I finally said, I didn't do it on purpose, I didn't know I couldn't travel by this train and he replied "Yah, you can tell that to the police that you didn't know and you are studying in KG". So, he had to do his job, right, so he finally said, go and get the fine from someone you know and give it to me when I'm back. I said I didn't know anyone, he pretended not to hear and went. Huh? Guess what I did, I went back to the compartment where I was seated and sat there as though I went to the toilet :). Well, the people seated next to me knew what had happened and asked me about it and I said I had to get these much money and they told me to give what ever I had, to him and that'll do. But, my pride didn't allow me to do that 'coz I had nothing with me except the bus fare.
After sometime, he came back and saw me seated there and took me with him. He waited near the door and was writing something. As you may know, here the doors of the trains will be open all the time except the one's in AC compartment and he was there standing near the door. Trust me, I actually thought about kicking the guy out of the door. No one was there in the compartment. But, something deep inside me prevented me from doing that. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here to tell the story.
After that he sat and asked me to sit beside him [Huh? sympathy?]. You know what he asked? "so, you really didn't know about this?". I lost my control and said "What the fuck was I telling you about all these time?". That was it. He didn't say a word. He asked about my address and took my ID card and told me to write down the address. 'N he said "Tomorrow morning at 6 you should give me the money or else I would report it to police". Well, I said yes and that was the end. After half an hour I reached the college and the day went as usual, with lots of fun.
Tell you what? Neither did I pay him the next day nor did I see him after that, but after a few weeks, I got a notice or warrant or whatever you call it, from the railway court demanding me to pay the fine or ....you may fill it up. So, I went to the railway court and paid the fine [had to answer for a lot of questions there]. Thus ended the story. That was a nice experience for me, when ever I get into a train after that, I remember him. I haven't met him after that. But, I would like to thank him for not disgracing me in front of the whole people or I would have actually kicked him out of the door. :)