Every time you step out of the comfort zones of your homes and set upon a journey, no matter long or short, there are numerous adventures and experiences waiting for you from which you tend to learn a lot and while sitting in a train from Delhi to Hyderabad, I cannot think of a better way to utilize my time, then to write about this experience (though earlier attempts to write on recent outings to Indonesia, Assam and Uganda were a failure).
Dheeru, PKS and I are travelling for a short trip to Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and as luck would have it, we have our seats at different places. Most of the passengers are south Indians and the three with whom I am sharing the compartment are no exception ( I am sure none of the South Indians will like this post, and to a large extent it can be labelled as racist, but who cares, we Indians is one the raciest race on planet). Although people of different south Indian states vary completely from each other, but like everyone from upper India is north Indian (Punjabi to be precise) for people from south, for us everyone from the down side is a South Indian (Madrassi to be specific), but let’s not get into too many technicalities.
Coming back to my compartment, I am not sure but I guess out of the three, one is a couple and the third one is just a fellow passenger. The husband and wife are talking to each other in their local dialect (which again I am not sure is Telugu, Malayalam or any other) and the third man is just sitting trying to jump into the conversation every now and then, but they are not interested.
It all started last night, when shortly after the train started to move we asked the single man if he will change the seat with Dheeru or PKS. No, was his reply. Not a courteous denial but one single bland no. That’s it. End of the story. There is nothing more to discuss. No problem. It was not strike one. Strike one was when they frowned on our food. I get it, you are pure vegetarian and you don’t like chicken as food. But when you are in a public place you should not frown on others food or make faces. That is rude and insulting. If you have so many problems then book the complete compartment for yourself. If you can’t then just bear with it, and don’t make faces at my food you moron.
Strike two was a little later, when we had our first conversation (before that we tried to make small talk earlier, but they were not interested). They asked us if we have two seats in same compartment and we can move there (hell we will. For one we don’t have seats together anywhere, and two you are no one to tell me to move anywhere). They were disappointed and when we told them we are going till Hyderabad, disgust could be clearly seen on their faces. Damn you bloody south Indians. In my whole life no one has ever given me this kind of disgusted look (not even any of my ex girlfriends when I broke up with them), but this fat-curd-rice eating Madrasi is hating me as if I have eloped with his daughter.
Strike three was at 11 at night, when he wanted to sleep and we were talking among ourselves. We have to sleep was his comment (go ahead sleep then, who has told you not to). Dheeru immediately switched off the light and went to his compartment. Left was PKS and I, and we were talking in very low voice, to not to disturb him (well it may seem I am giving one sided version of the story, but it is pretty much the correct one). Again he spoke and I quote “thoda cooperate karo, hume sona hai. Bahar ja kar baat karo (cooperate a little bit. We have to sleep, go out and talk) we have worked for whole day”. You were working whole day and we have been sleeping. Hell we are the ones who are not cooperating, when we switched off the lights and we are just whispering, and not reacting to your frowning faces towards my food.
So many times, so many people have told me, South Indians don’t like us north Indians, and honestly I have never had any experience with any south Indian before. Come to think of it, except one Bengali friend in school and one in graduation I have never had any south Indian friend in my life. There is one colleague from Karnatka who is nice, but then one from AP is not so pleasant. Anyways, the way this journey is turning out to be, I am pretty sure now, they don’t have very high opinions of us. For one they definitely think of themselves to be superior and are undoubtedly jealous as well.
It seems more of a frustrating narration of a night in train, which happened to be unpleasant. But then again this is the whole point of travelling. You get experiences, some good, mostly bad and yes there is no point in remembering or jotting the bad ones, but then without the bad ones, good ones will never be cherished.
There is still a journey of 6 hours left to be completed, but with all the frustration out there won’t be any issues, atleast not to us now.