Friday, 16 September 2016

While in the train...

My train diaries have always been quite interesting. This one was even more. We usually, rather, always, end up reaching the railway station with a lot of hullabaloo. This time around, it was no different. As a matter of fact, it was even worse. I had to skip my lunch which I never do because of my everlasting gastric issues. My husband was behaving weirdly strange over WhatsApp. My saasuma is one superwoman who faultlessly believes that the whole world rests on her.
My sasurji is untouched by the worldly issues and is usually hooked on to the stock market. I guess, that's how opposites attract. My grandmother kept mumbling for no God's sake. My little girl was scouting around with this strange set of species yes including me who kept packing, unpacking and re-packing for 'x' reasons. Well, we hurriedly arrived at the station with our bags betraying at every step when the straps broke one by one and the zip played funny, only to listen to the delayed train's announcement. So, we all had enough time to squabble about whom to blame for this ruckus. Thank God, it ended up somehow since the good train managed to escape from pangs of late coming. I heaved a sigh of relief! 

A lot got settled once the train started. After two hours of peaceful time on the wheels, two couples barged in with their massive luggage which were mostly memoirs from Kerala. No prizes for guessing the contents, yes they were the two "special Ss of our land - Spices and Sarees". They were returning from their tour and we soon made friends. The next day a lot of pleasantries were exchanged with of course they being gujjus, we helped ourselves to munching khakras and bhakarwadis

They kept on sharing their thoughts about Kerala and one major doubt exclusively from the ladies side - Why Keralites are dark skinned? So I finally pitched in to showcase my wee bit of knowledge, explaining about the harsh, humid sun and its harmful effects on human skin. I further added that we have fair, medium complexioned and dark skinned people in equal proportion. I also cited examples of places like Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Sri Lanka etc. They were in awe of the beautiful churches, the greeneries, the well maintained landscapes and the literacy rate.  

Then, Saasuma also joined in the conversation with her terrific Hindi. She was usually into discussing how girls should dress up, how should they behave with others, how well she has brought up her boys, etc etc. 

Then the second lady who was one self proclaimed best saasuma in the world, began with her dominant voice how much she has struggled in her early married life at a very young age, how she hardly cares about looks still looks miraculously beautiful, how she managed to bring a broken family together mending ties between them thus making the family happier and united.Their conversation soon took direction to pregnancy care in no time. How saffron helps in giving a fair complexion to the baby, how a mother's behaviour affects the little one inside. I had never audienced such a marvelous conversation of the mother-in-law fraternity. The Konkan routes are fun to travel through, though I never saw any light at the end of the countless tunnels, I still believe our age old proverb. 

I began reminiscing the times spent with my girlfriends. I was startled to having known how the maid was sent on leave when my Girly 1 visited her in-laws, how poorly she was treated by making her sit on the floor while the rest comfortably took to sofas, how she was made to eat heavy curd daily which made her look like a badly inflated balloon at the end of her long holiday. 

My Girly 2 added that this was nothing compared to her, she was never allowed to even talk privately to her parents by her Ex-in-laws who always pressurized her to get money and material from her place. She was then happily divorced and was enjoying her freedom with much joy and better challenges, so on and so forth, I could only add that saasuma and I, differ in generation gap thinking which is quite obvious and acceptable. 

Anyway, the saasuma chit-chats on wheels was getting too much on the nerves, so myself and the first lady somehow managed to escape from the conversation. She got engrossed with her hubby. I with my good, old best friend and my last resort - My book. Thank God, for books and thank God for my reading habit. I wouldn't have been spared otherwise because all I would do is nod my head in affirmation. Who wants to say a YES to everything that is spoken and discussed about? 

Then came my favourite Ratnagiri station, vada pav vendors poured in and a feast broke out in the train. As time passed, a variety of vendors kept visiting the train passengers. It was fun to be around them, simply bargaining for 5 - 10 rupees, when they hardly charged us.

My saasuma didn't leave a single salesperson disappointed and had shopped something from each of them. It goes like a part of her charity work to those who work hard to live and support their families and then of course getting petty stuff at reasonable prices too. So, its both ways and it does good... 

On a wiser vein, just be good for brighter days ahead. 

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