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- The Rail Demi Gods
Posted by : RioZee Saturday, March 19, 2011
It was 17th March around 7.30 P.M. to be exact.
I was looking for reservation in train in the ticket checker room at Gauhati Jn. Adorned in blue pants and white shirt, just to add impression on them. A youth of 20 years of age approx. entered the room demanding a complaint book. Other officials looked at him with disgust and motioned to go to another room. I asked the youth what was the matter and he showed me a slip of charge of berth allotment written on it. Total amount on it showed 332 r.s. Now he said the t.t. had taken 500 r.s. from him and did not return any money. I tried to pacify him, saying it was futile to take all the trouble. BUT, He was adamant on putting up a complaint, come what may. From the look in his eyes I immediately guessed he was thinking of me to be a T.T. too. I excused myself, saying I am also a fellow passenger like you. You can go ahead with your crusade. With the boy gone looking for the C.book, the T.T. who had taken 500 from him emerged on scene, looking for the complainer. The all bursting with youthful energy the angry young man too entered the scene. Both entered Station master’s chamber. Within 10 minutes the boy was seen begging on his knees for forgiveness. I don’t know what had conspired within the closed chambers. The rail police took him to their cell. The look on the T.T.’s face was like a God in human flesh. Even Alexander would not have won over such victory. I felt pity and disgust in my heart. I felt totally helpless with mobile phone a dead box as all outside prepaid sim’s were blocked in Assam. I shied away from any advice to them as I was there on a totally unknown land. Kanchenjunga express was beckoning me at platform. I started my earnest with the T.T. to get a berth. He sternly denied. I coaxed him, can I get on the train and you can make the ticket after checking. He again clearly warned me not to attempt such mistake. Then I requested the coach attendant for some way I could board the bloody train. He pointed towards a man dressed in casuals, in a learned tone, told me. You see, friend, that man is a vigilance officer. He hasn’t been provided a berth. How can you expect to get it. I had a flash thought to brief him for the poor youth. I treaded towards him and enquired if he was the vigilance officer. He sternly asked me” Who told you”. I said," the coach attendant" & tried to say about the poor youth’s plight. But was turning on deaf ear. He asked sternly “what do you want”. I knew I didn’t want to go to jail to accompany the poor soul. I said “just one berth in this train. He took me to the T.T.,the demi God of the railways and said “Look, he is the owner of the train. He can only help you.” A look of extreme exuberance emnated his face. I again seeked him for berth. He clearly denied. I knew this wasn’t the train for me.
I waited for another train to come.