One of the most irritating aspects of a train journey, especially if you’re travelling by Sleeper class is someone walking upto you and while comfortable seating himself, asks you to adjust on a reserved seat!!!
“Thoda Adjust kar lo” seems to be the favoured line of “Jugaad technology” across India and across the Indian Railways. I have always attributed it to apathy and lack of willingness by government officials to hold the bull by its horns. Sometimes, I wonder if POK(Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is a result of “thoda adjust karlo”
People dont seem to care and officials couldnt be more indifferent. Being a part of “IRFCA”, I come across stories that depict this apathy in the “indian Railways”. The following is a story one of the members posted expressing the “sab chalta hai” attitude of a TTE ( Travel Ticket Examiner)
Nowadays, everybody goes “ga-ga” over the Garib Rath Expresses. But
let me recount one of my most harrowing journeys ever on IR on board
the ASR-SHC Garib Rath Express on which I had the misfortune to
travel recently between NDLS-BE.
1. The train arrived at NDLS 5 hours late (around 4 PM as against
1110 AM)headed by a LDH WDM 3A.
2. We had our reservation in the AC Chair Car (thinking it would be
a journey of hardly 4 hours) but hundreds of passengers were trying
to get into this compartment.They were the usual UR Jansadharan Exp
type of crowd with big tin cannisters and over-flowing gunny-
bags/sacks on their heads. Hence getting into our compartment was an
ordeal by itself (stoppage at NDLS was only for 10 min), with the
danger of getting hit by sharp objects always looming large in the
3. The AC Chair Car was overflowing to the brim with the
passages/other free spaces blocked by people, obviously without
reservation. Predictably, our seats were also taken away by “others”
who had to be pursuaded to vacate.
4. The seats were narrow and uncomfortable with hardly any elbow and
leg space. I think more than 108 seats are provided in the GR as
against the customary 70 or so.
5. The atmosphere was stiflingly hot with so many people inside the
compartment and the AC threatening to shut down any moment as the
doors were kept open by the motely crowd. People were even sitting
on the hand rests of the aisle seats as well as on the floor.And the
noise ! Just like in an UR compartment.
6. In this confusion, somebody vomitted on the passage floor and the
mess was obviously not cleaned by any sanitary staff in the four
hours that we spent with handkerchief pressed against our noses. We
thanked our stars for some other small mercies (nobody did no. 1 or
no. 2 in the passage as it was impossible to go to the toilets
because the coach was so overcrowded with passages blocking the
passage). We also had no other alternative but to strain our
bladders to the maximum for over 4 hours !
7. When the TTE came to examine our tickets, I asked him how
unauthorised passengers in such large numbers were being allowed
inside the reserved AC CC coach. He replied sternly that every body
had a ticket, albeit WL ticket, and that all WL passengers were
allowed inside AC CC coaches in GR trains. I was too fed-up by then
to argue with the TTE any further.
8.We were more than happy when we got off at BE at 8 PM as our
gruelling journey came to an end.
I too have had my share of experiences with TTEs unwilling to take any disciplinary action. I remember,on my trip to Goa with friends on Goa Express in 2004, one side of the coach was full with home going jawans of the Indian Army. The noise and the ruckus they created was enough to ensure that we couldn’t sleep in peace. Add to that their squatting at the doors ensuring that no one could get on or off at the stations.Finally at Jhansi,I think, we got down and spoke to the TTE. The TTE’s response ” I wont do anything about it, but if you have a problem,pull the chain and present the problem to the officials”.
The eternal optimist in me still believes such issues would be resolved….till then “thoda adjust kar lo”!!