Monday, April 20, 2009

Musings of a train journey

I boarded the train early morning. Being a day journey, it was a chair car. I was waiting for passengers to board, hoping for something interesting to start the day as sleep eluded me despite having woken up at 3:00 a.m. Came a couple, around their 50s, man in a safari suit, to find that they, husband and wife had seats in two rows, one behind the other. Hence, they decided that they would sit in the same row of two seats, and ask the other person to move to the row at the back.

Fifteen minutes later came the other kathapathram (actor in malayalam) of the story, the man in white. He came up looked at the piece of paper in his hand. He told the man in the safari that the seat he was sitting is allocated to him as per the ticket. The man in the safari told him that yes, and asked him, "Could you sit in the seat behind ? It is mine". The man in white went over to the seat behind and put his luggage on the rack above.

The man in the safari said, "Hope you do not have a problem in moving over". To which the man in white answered, "You have already decided that I will have to sit here. Then what is the problem ?" The man in the safari said, "That is why I am asking if you have a problem in sitting there ?". The man in white said, "It is okay" and went to meet the rest of his family sitting on the other side of the compartment.

When the man in white was comfortably out of ear shot, the man in the safari tells his wife, "Look at him, how big his ego is? I just asked him to sit behind and he has to speak like this."

That got me wondering... who is the person with the ego, the man in the safari or the man in white. Wasn't it already decided by one who came early where the other should sit ? Was that right ? What would the man in safari have said if the man in white had refused to part with his seat ?

Of course, one has to adjust during a journey. But can one expect the other to toe their line of adjustment ?

As I was musing about one and the other, the train started moving. I was happy that the small issue did not lead to flared nerves. Smiled thinking, maybe the early morning, still half asleep and the air conditioning in the compartment have to be thanked.

1 comment:

Arun said...

Inconveniencing others is my birth right! (I am being sarcastic)

Respecting fellow human beings is a dying characteristic in a country respected for its moral traditions!