It lasts for usually for 35 minutes if not delayed by proper signals and handling lever problems of level gates. It blows entirely hot for many times, seldom cold but occasionally enjoyable when it is a mixture of both. This is my regular "daily passenger's ignoble and grueling strife of the local train journey. But I prefer and enjoy this daily forward and return journey from my residence to office and back.
I stay at Barrackpore, a suburb of Kolkata, about 35 Km distance from the main city and my office at Park street. Barrackpore, a historical cantonment town is also a terminus station has few advantages. At least at the time of forward journey a comfortable seat near the window is almost guaranteed.
I am a newcomer in this city who lived in deep forests for most of his professional life. But now being posted at H.O I stay at Kolkata and gradually started learning to live here and the most important part of it is how to go in a local train minimizing the troubles. I learnt few thumb rules.
The most coveted seat is near window facing in the forward direction of train movement. The most beneficial standing is standing between two rows of benches, no pushing and occasionally if luck showers, you may get a seat.
I usually prefer the super packed up Kalyani Local of 6.30P.M and deliberately reach the platform just at the optimum time of 5 minutes before the leaving. Time earlier and later than this I miss many things.
Pushing a bit and taking the elderly man's advantage I placed myself standing near the door. Just a minute before leaving, the great push placed me luckily in the corridor just below a fan. The train started moving, the people standing near the doors extended their hand to pick up the some passengers running in the platform to make the last minute dangerous effort.
One young man sitting just near to me offered me a seat but I pushed another deserving one. Another young man went further. He vacated his seat giving more comfort to the sitting rest but stood near the window blocking the fresh air.
One of his friend said" Nothing unusual, his party is also vacating Bengal."
" This is our policy. We are ready to suffer for the comfort of others. Our party's defeat is temporary one"
" That was not a temporary one, it shall continue. You lost because you people desperately started snatching the fertile lands of the Villagers. You people thought that you can force the villagers to bow down before you, but they braved the booth jams and kicked you back."
" Oh why can't you people keep cool man. Saurav never mind these naughty bums. "
" No you see those EVM machines are...."
It is too hot here and not very interesting to me. The train left Bidhannagar and with a greater push I was shifted to another position in the corridor.
This time I was in between two sitting rows facing opposite to each other. On my left were kids returning from the same school and on my right there were young boys and girls probably from the same college.
" You know today the smartest boy Subham was caught."
" Subham! How come?"
" You know he wrote in his home work copy We get milk from packets. I corrected him. I told him the cows give us the milk and while milking the milk in the bucket is hot. He corrected and went a step further. He wrote we get milk and Curd from the Cow. Mam asked him to explain. He said that while milking the milk is hot. So if a piece of tamarind is fed to cow you can straight way get the curd." People standing with me also laughed a lot.
In the other side in the row of young boys and girls also there was an IDEA MASTER.
" One should propose a girl taller than him. You know why? In future there shall be peace and love in their small nest. Her yells will be over your ears. She has to lower her neck to talk to you and you know that is only when they whisper and blush."
with common roars of laughter some one from them said " What an Idea Sir ji!"
SirJi is very popular and he is also known as Guruji. A "Bhakt" of him came near to him
" Guru, that day the song you are singing aiming to flirt that hippo ..."
" Yes Go On"
You were singing " OH Hansini, Oh Plussini, but I did not quite get you"
" Oh that day, another thin bird was also by her side. Aarre Buddhu! Hans means Duck. So Hansini is 'Duckini' and Plus means Yoga. So Plusini means Yogini. I was actually calling them Dakini- Yogini " Now even the elderly people sleeping in the comfortable seats of window compelled to get up from their evening dosing with the roars of laughter.
Stoppage "Sodepur" came and the crowd became little thin. Two more stoppages to Barrackpore and I was proceeding towards the gate.
I had a glimpse of a middle aged person who was still running in the platform. The young men near the doors picked him up. The man instead of thanking was roaring.
" Aare what sort of people you are? "
" We only helped you Dada and you are angry."
" Why should I not be. I was only two compartments before you. I could jump out of the Compartment at the last moment and I was running so that I do not fall. Now for the sake of you people I am back in the train."
A gentleman known to him came near to him controlling his laughter and consoled" Dada get down at Barrackpore, you shall get an empty up train. "
"I shall be more than half an hour late. And these flowers from Mallickghat, with so much heat they may get spoiled."
" Flowers for Boudi. Dada I forgot. Wish you a happy marriage anniversary. Dada be a little late carry a big packet of famous Biryani From "Dada Boudi" Restaurant just near the Barrackpore Station. Boudi shall forget her tempers and be too happy."
" That's an Idea"the man now no longer grumbled.
While he was at the platform the young men who lifted him from Sodepur Said" Happy Marriage anniversary Sir. Show this token card at "Dad-Boudi". We contacted the manager from our cell. A gift packet is getting ready for you. Please accept our gift of Special Biryani in Hot pack ."
Proceeding to No 14 level crosing gate I looked at a big hoarding and mumbled " WHAT AN IDEA SIR JI!"