Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ghonchu travels by train

Ghonchu had traveled by train many times in the past. Having seen the movie ‘Jab We Met’, he was always hopeful of meeting a ‘Kareena’ to whom he could be a ‘Shahid’. But as luck would have it, he had drawn a total blank in all his previous journeys. On prior occasions the closest he had come to a ‘Kareena’ was the girl in the next compartment who had refused to talk to him since he was in another compartment. Ghonchu resented compartmentalization. Why was it that only people from the same compartment could talk to each other?

However, another opportunity had presented itself. This time he was going from Bangalore to Bombay and back. Being an incurable optimist, he went to Yeswantpur station with a smile on his face humming the tune ‘hum jo chalne lage’. He reached the station fifteen minutes before departure. On entering his coach and after finding his seat, Ghonchu was pleasantly taken aback. There were not one, but three Kareenas’ sitting there and gossiping. No one else was there. Ghonchu kept his luggage and thought to himself, “jab Bhagwan deta hai, to koi kanjoosi nahi karta”.

After sitting opposite to them, he observed some other people passing by and lingering in front of their compartment. Ghonchu glared at them and developed a fierce liking for the compartmentalization concept. After getting rid of the undesirables, he sat back trying to decide which one he liked the most. After some thought, he chose the middle ‘Kareena’. But then suddenly the left ‘Kareena’ smiled and the right ‘Kareena’ laughed in quick succession causing Ghonchu to become dizzy and murmur “left, no right”. Suddenly, he realized the three were looking at him maybe because he had been staring at them for too long. To avert embarrassment, Ghonchu showed great presence of mind and asked, “Are you all going to Bombay?” The middle ‘Kareena’ replied yes causing Ghonchu to switch loyalties again.

However after this ‘breaking-of-ice’ conversation the three of them studiously ignored him. Ghonchu wasn’t perturbed; he felt 24 hours was a long enough time for a person of his capabilities.

The train now started moving. Suddenly, three ‘Shahids’ entered their compartment and sat down pushing Ghonchu to the corner. The six of them chatted freely while Ghonchu looked at them with a sinking heart. Suddenly one ‘Shahid’ (looked more like Amrish Puri to Ghonchu) turned to him and asked, “Hey, we are a group but my seat is two compartments away. Would you mind switching seats with me?” Ghonchu, even though an incurable optimist knew that he was beaten. “Too many ‘Shahids’ spoil the broth”. He accepted defeat and said yes to Amrish Puri. After all, there was still the return journey to come.

PS: During the return journey, his compartment consisted of an elderly couple and three fat men in their forties who kept chewing paan.