I recollect the artifacts of a so called unscheduled, unplanned and unexpected train journey to Chandigarh. The purpose of the journey being esoteric and generic. This incident storms back to about some 6 months back. Well, it so happened that I got continuous leaves for some 3 - 4 days from the Embassy. I dont know from where this idea occurred. When my mind clings on to something ..Thats it..am dead.. all set ..Go! I desperately long for train journeys and desire deeply always as I write most of my poems, German translations of classics, experiences etc..during awesome train journeys. Plus you get to meet so many actors in the system that evokes thoughts and negate mind impoverishness.
I reached the New Delhi station at around early morning 6 a.m. Ok. I have got miself here; how do i proceed, i thought. I saw train Himalayan Queen lined up. It would leave in another 10 minutes or so. I felt the adrenalin rush all of a sudden. I hurried to the reservation counter and asked for a 1st class reservation ticket. The elderly women sitting in the counter gave me the most wierdest look possible. "Abbey, jaake koi general le le..koi reservation viservation nahi milega abhi.chal.."( Hindi - impolitely she says to get lost..lols..tats te crisp..am too lazy to literally translate it..) She said it with enormous thrust and ofcourse rudely. Here I go, managed to get a general ticket and got into a stinking local compartment. The train took off (lol..) on time..I was sitting opposite to a Tamil Brahmin family facing them. The family consisted of grandmother ,daughter, hubby who was an erudite and their teenage daughter who looked pretty nerdy, a carbon copy of her father. She had a huge round specs, perhaps the mass of which gave her nose a tough time. "That nose has developed msucles holding that specs for years", I whispered. They noticed me right from the beginning and wanted to start a conversation i suppose. Mean while I received a call from mi amma. After hearing mi malayalam finally the learned father asked me as if he is convinced " Going to Chandigarh ya..?" I said "yes." He continued, " Are you going to meet your friends?" I replied "Not really, Just roaming around."
"But why in a general compartment? There is a shatabdi express after half an hour later. You could go in that with peace. I counter questioned him even before he could finish " I think I should be askin you this. You are travelling with your family, not me." He gave a pale smile and I smiled back for courtesy purpose. At this point of incidence, mi mind created a hypothesis about this man - Lets assume that this man is a damn miser unleashed... During the course of my journey, I saw him purposefully denying the requests of his wife, daughter and grandma concurrently on buying eatables. He refused to buy a cardbury chocolate that his daughter yearned, a cutlet to his wife that she has been demanding since the train embraced Sonepat station and some masala stuff for the old Grandma. In his dire exasperation he even yelled at them. Now I confirmed my hypotheis - that this man is a damn super mega miser unleashed...I am a great fan of Cardburys diary milk. I couldnt control the drooling effect. I bought one and marched towards the compartment entrance. I thought,may be I'll have a better view of the scenic beauty and inhale some cold air. More importantly I sould eat it with all the liberty I can enjoy.
As I moved, a second later the old Grandma followed. She started talking to me in Tamilayalam ( Lion share of Tamil and minority malayalam words mixed...like Aviyal; a malayalam mix stuff made with all kinds of vegetable available on earth).Her eyes were stagnent on my Cardburys. "My Grand daughter also likes Chocolate" she said..To be honest, I hate to share my chocolate with anyone unless untill that person matters so much to me. Hmm..I asked.." Patti..Koncham chocolate venamma..?"( Its Tamil..Need some chocolate, Grandma?) Even before I completed this sentence She snatched half from me. I didnt like this childish instinct; ergo, I had to respect her age (after all during one of our conversations she said.." you are a kid, not even te age of mi son..)
I would wind this up after narrating a touching scene in this whole episode. Remember the better half part of the chocolate the Grandma snatched. Ya...Now see wot she does with it.. She takes it and delivers the same to her grand daughter. Grand daughter accepts it with out any element of even wot we call textual hesitation. I have shared my Cardburys diary milk chocolate with quite a handful of people; nevertheless they were close to mi heart one way or other. Lets reach on a consensus - I think this is the best chocolate sharing I have ever witnessed and experienced discounting an inexplicable ecstacy floating some where in mi mind...even at this moment when I write this... Some profound attachment resulting some contigent affirmation...OOPs..i better Halt...