As I was sitting with my friends on the Raipur station yesterday and waiting for our train (7 hours late) to arrive I saw a passenger train coming before our much delayed “super-fast” train. I said to my friends how come this happened and an Uncleji came from nowhere, “Yeh special passenger hai, Navratri hai na, Mata ke darshan ke liye Dongargarh jaa rahi hai, superfast ke upar preference milegi”. As those words came out from that awkward smelling ghutka infested red mouth of his I realized that there tonnes of knowledge in this country, especially when it comes to the topic of India Railways.
It starts as a simple thing, by buying the Railway timetable (which I am sure half of these Uncleji’s memorize), but then there is other information which comes only with experience. Topics range from simple delays, food and politics and reaches a different level by touching upon deeper issues like personal hygiene, development and the pluralistic nature of our society.
I have been through a few of these, have you?
Uncleji sitting next to you in the train and reading his newspaper, the train has halted and another train passes by, Uncleji who has multiple explanations of the event:
“Beta time kitna hua hai..Uncleji 2 baje hai…haan to yeh Gitanjali chodd di humse, superfast hai na” or “Beta yeh signal down kia hai, dusre track par 2 baje repair chaalu hota hai na” or “Beta gaiyya kat gayi hogi, yaha crossing par har saal kat jaati hai” or “Yeh Howrah waali gaadi pehle chodd dete hai, ab beta tum hi batao, is desh main rail mantri kaha se aaye hai, bas do rajyo se Bihar ya Bangal, ab waha ki traino ko to faayda milega hi na” or “beta yaha par engine badalta hai na, abhi yard se aaya nahi hoga, to pahle hi rok di” or “beta yaha hamesha ka natak hai, yeh rok dwete hai, lekin chinta mat karo, bahut jaldi cover karegi”
Or Uncleji’s gyaan on other tracks:
“Beta aap kaha se ho…Uncleji Maharashtra se hu, waise kayi jagah raha hu…Maharashtra main originally kaha se ho…ji Yavatmal se lekin waha kabhi raha nahi…arre Yavatmal, waha ki gaadi to Nagpur se kat leti hai, choti line hai, to ho kaha se…ji Jabalpur se…oh Jabalpur se Nagpur fir badi dikkat hai beta, choti line hai. lekin Jabalpur main to Railway ka bada zone hai, bahut accha hua…Uncleji aap kaha se hai?…Beta bas kya bole humaari to poori zindagi kat gayi rail main safar karte karte (I can understand)”
Or on food:
“Chai chai chai….arre Chaiwaale, ek chai pilaao, woh dip waali to nahi hai na….nahi ji taazi bana ke laaya hu…thik hai ek de do, beta aap loge…nahi uncle…Uncleji chai peete hue, accha kia beta nhai li, 5 rs lete hai aur poora paani daalte hai, Chai to beta Nandurbaar station par Chowdhary ki milti hai, Chai ho to chowdhary ki, aur Chai ka majja to humaare jamaane main kulhad main tha, mitti ka swaad hi kuch alag hota hai” or “Beta yeh Pantry car ka khaana pahle se Quality main kaafi improve ho gaya hai, Chawal bilkul Dubraj use kar raha hai aajkal…Bhaiya nan-veg main kya hai aaj, anda curry milega…haanji milega…thik hai, Pantry main Ramesh hai? Usse bolna Sharma ji ka order hai, Anda Curry special banaye….Beta humara to humesha ka hai train se, Ramesh apne hi gaav se hai, accha ghar jaisa bana deta hai”
Or on politics:
“Bhaisahab kaam to Lalu ne kiya tha Railway main, kayapalat kar di, kya shaandaar system banaya hai, Bihar ko faayda karaya lekin aam aadmi ka khayal rakha hai usne” or “Yaha gaadi delay kara denge, yeh mantriji ki constituency hai na, unka aadesh hai ki har station par rukwaaya jaaye”
Or on sanitation issues:
“Beta yeh jo bhi bolo, chai ke bagair pressure banta hi nahi” or “Beta yeh railway ka toilet dekh kar aati nahi, pressure hi nahi banta” or “yeh Bilaspur par cleaning waale aate hai, hum to uske bhi toilet ke liye jaayenge”
Or on life:
“Beta aap to accha padh liye, humaari bhi iccha thi khub padhne ki, chalo hum nahi aap sahi” or the final classic one…
“Beta yeh jeevan kya hai, railgaadi hi to hai!!!”
Can’t agree more.
Just a a slight deviation from the main topic but whenever I think of this I laugh a lot, one of my friend told me that the pay-and-use toilet at Khandwa station was called Bobby Tatti House, in honour of the great Raj Kapoor classic…