If you travel by train for as long as 25 hours at a stretch, you might feel connected to this one. If not, then please read through, you might enjoy..
I meet different kinds of folks on the train. I used to enjoy talking to strangers..but not anymore. I prefer a nice book and music to anything else during my journeys.
Last time I was travelling, I had an amusing encounter with a person, I guess who is one of his kind. I was quite irritated then, but I am thankful to him, he has became the subject of my writing. Call him Uncle ji.
I was sitting alone in the compartment, reading Ruskin Bond stories. Uncle ji came and sat in the opposite seat. I gave him an inattentive look and kept on reading. I could realize the restlessness in him and that he is eager to talk...and here it came " which book are you reading?"
"Short stories by Ruskin Bond".
"Oh ok". With a look on his face that said" Who is he?".
I dint care to answer.
"Where are you going?"
"The last station".
"Oh is it!! What a coincidence!! Me too..wow..great na!"
"Where are you coming from?"
"Alone all the way, that too in a sleeper class bogie?"
Pause. I kept on reading.
Uncle ji resumed again."Hyderabad i know.Golconda is there in hyderabad na. I have been to golconda!"
"Biriyani in hyderabad, its delicious.Have you ever tasted, it is so tasty".
"My friend lives in Hyderabad".
"By the way I will go for a training in 2012, to hyderabad".
"I am a railway officer. There are hundreds of employees working under me.The position I am in now, it takes atleast 25 years for people to reach to this position"
To all this, I smiled.
Uncle ji continued, " You go to any station in Orissa and just say that you know me, and then you u just see how they wil treat you."
I was wondering where is this going... who is he, why should go about telling people that I know him, whom I actually do not know..
He said,"If ever in life you want a train ticket booked from any corner of India, in any train, just give me a call, I wil get it for you, even before 1 hour from departure".
By now, I was tired of smiling.
He dint forget to give his number..and take mine. I gave him a fake number. He said" When i come to hyderabad next time, I will call you. Hope you will recognize me".
I was speechless. And irritated.
Not to appear rude and proudy...I asked a few one-line questions, which he answered as elaborately as he could.
In those 2 hours period, he shared his retirement plans, his struggling days when he was looking for a job, his neighbours,his what not!!!
All of this was okay..but this was really awesome-" Do you think I will live for more than 50 years?"
He was expecting an answer from me.How on earth would I know!!
I did not realise when did i fall asleep...and he kept on talking...
I meet so many people everytime I travel. But I hardly remember any one once i get down from the train.Now I feel that it was the genuineness in him that did not let me forget him.
Wish you were reading Uncleji..