There are groups where people pretend to be from South Kolkata/Dilli. Why are there no groups where people pretend to be from the mofussils? Somewhere from Hooghly, running to get the 8:18 Bandel-Howrah local, missing the train while stopping on the overbridge stairs to catch your breath, cursing everyone because the next train is at 8:45 (if you are not going to Howrah/Liluah) while that shrewd person on the platform flashes a wicked smile at you because s/he is going to Howrah. You get up on the 8:45 pushing people and pulling someone’s long hair while threatening that beautiful woman with a freshly shampooed free flowing hair that you would make it a point to chop off her hair the next time she leaves it untied, and shouting at the top of your voice to the woman who sells junk jewelleries on train, bargaining, and people like me who buy the same jhumkos over and over again unable to even bargain, and then buying handkerchiefs (gents’ handkerchiefs) because we sweat a lot and the fancy ladies’ handkerchiefs do nothing, and then we quarrel and listen to quarrels, and listen to people talking about how school has again asked for 1000 rupees for nothing, and someone complains about growing old and her friends cheekily suggest her to go for another child since she is stil menstruating, another girl discusses how she changed at least 20 physics tuitions during her +2, another says she is screwed by taking up English Honours, and someone opens a book, and another woman who is a banker says she is anxious after 4 in the evening thinking about what she will cook for dinner at home, and someone plugs an earphone and listens to Anirban Bhattacharya’s Sati Shobhona on Sunday Suspense for the 25th time, and it’s Howrah Station then we brave the crowd where we don’t actually have to walk, we are just pushed forward by the crowd, and then we take a bus, and get elbowed, and then finally reach our destination. Breathless. Just like a paragraph without full stops. I am tired of the i-diva pretensions, but perhaps I’ll never be tired of train journeys, but I hate bus journeys.

This piece was actually written as a Facebook status sometime in April, 2020.

 

#localtrains #commute #buses

 

 

 

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-30 at 9.43.14 PM.jpeg
On a sultry summer afternoon at Chuchura station (in the district of Hooghly, West Bengal), sometime in the cursed year of 2020. Image source: Myself.

 

 

 

 

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