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Mumbai to Delhi

The day came and went but not like any other day. I was on my toes the whole day. A lot work needed to be done. I had to work on my manuscript, finish my experiment, pack my bags and catch a train. And in between there were phone calls from friends (many of them call me only once a year and i do the same). There was a lot to talk to but i didn't have time. A childhood friend got irritated when i told her that i will call her on tuesday (instead of saying i will call you in a couple of minutes). It took a while to pacify her. I will be dead if i don't call her up tomorrow.

I reached station 15 mins before the departure time (that was an achievement). I really love traveling by train. Most of the time when i am going out-of-station for a vacation or for professional reasons, the 'high point' of the trip is the train-journey. Will write something about it sometime soon.

But this particular time, i was unhappy because of one reason. Many of my friends could not wish me since the network coverage kept disappearing in between. I could speak to some of them though... but i may have missed some important calls :(

I had to make corrections in the manuscript and mail it to my labmate from Delhi. So, i started working on it just after sunset. Till then I was listening to songs and looking out of the window. The first lot of co-passengers were a loud-gujju-family who got down at Surat. At there place another gujju family came in. This one looked like an NRI-gujju family (an elderly couple, a young couple and their kids). They spoke with an accent (i am bad at identifying) and tried to look very sophisticated. Somehow i didn't get a positive feeling about them. And i was right....

Around 10pm another co-passenger, a foreigner, complained of fever and requested the young male of that family to find a doctor for him. I was half asleep at that time, but i could hear what was happening around. The man asked the train-attendant to find whether a doctor was traveling in the same train. The train-attendant left and did not return. Another enthusiastic man came and comfortingly told the guy-in-pain that a doctor will be here in 10-15mins. This guy also left.

More than 10 minutes lapsed and neither the doctor, nor the train-attendant were in view. The guy was too restless by then. He was not able to sit on the upper-berth, so i asked him to climb down and sit on my berth. The NRI-gujju-family was busy feeding there kid and checking the temperature of the milk for the younger one.

I asked the guy to explain his problem to me. He said that he had fever and a very bad backache and he was afraid that this pain was related to kidneys. Another problem was that he could not speak proper fluent english (he was a Russian) so i didn't get half of the things he said. I asked him to sit there till i find a doctor. I crossed my coach towards adjoining ones to look for the ticket-checker. Finally when i found him, i requested him to look at the chart and tell me if one of the passengers is a doctor. Luckily he found one and asked the train attendant to call that person. Since i didn't trust the attendant, i went myself and unfortunately the concerned person was not a medical practitioner but a professor. I got so irritated. The reservation form clearly asks "doctors by profession" to tick-mark that specific box and i was clueless why this man did that.

I headed back to my seat and on my way i was feeling bad that i will have to face that guy and tell him that i could not find the doctor. I really felt bad. The guy said thanks to me and quietly climbed up his berth and lied down. I told him that if he needs anything in the middle of night he can wake me up. And if he wants to get down the train, then also he can ask me for help.

I was angry at the insensitivity of the people around. People really don't care. I was specifically angry with this NRI family because they must have spent years in a foreign nation and they must be able to identify how it feels being helpless in a strange land. Still they did nothing...apart from opening their mouths and dropping meaningless words in air....


JC said…
do you still get surprised on seeing such people? and dont get angry for that professor, his ticket must have been booked by either his phd student or any jrf fellow in his lab and you know the pressure on these two species, so i think you should just forgive them all...thats what jesus did :)
Shazia said…
@ Jeet
I get irritated yaar when I see such people. Can't help it...

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