Thursday, November 08, 2007

Diwali eve

FINALLY on the train home on Diwali eve. Dead tired after spending five hours on a crowded platform, waiting for a train which kept getting delayed and delayed and delayed. The saving grace was the platform humour which erupted in spurts from one or the other corner, much like the firecrackers in the sky - which unfortunately were no great shakes at providing entertainment to the tired crowd at the station. Anyhow, the train, usually on time, decided today to get delayed by almost four hours. So for those of us, who had dilligently reached the station well on time, it turned out to be a bloody long wait.

"Yatri krupaya dhyan dein, Delhi junction se chal kar ... ko jane wali ...Express tees minute deri se aane ke sambhavana hai." ..after the said 30 minute, turned into "...Express...ek ghanta aur thees minute der se aane ki sambhavana hai", and so on and so forth. By the time the fourth announcement was made, about two and a half hours after the original delay, the platform could do nothing but erupt into giggles and chuckles (or maybe it was chuckles and giggles, I am just too tired and sleepy to remember exactly). The same people who a minute ago were damn irritating, - the group of tipsy men listening to music on the phone at full volume, the kid running around between the legs of passengers while the mother looked on with pride and the father looked on with exasperation, the constantly quarrelling couple, and so on - each time the mike crackled on, loud "shhhhs" rang through the platform, followed by an agitated and just barely controlled silence. After the first few annnouncements, the chuckles were accompanied by "Maro yaar announce karne wale ko",clearly said in jest by the large group of college students sitting next to me. Who said it and then simultaneously erupted in laughter. Maybe the message got through to the railway announcer nevertheless, who, in the very next announcement, went deadly silent after the first four words, "Yatri krupya dhyan dein..". Thats it. The sentence remained unfinished. The mike silently crackled, while around the platform merriment rang out and a loud voice said, "Ab bol na himmat hain to!!!".

But now that one is in the train finally, and on the way home for Diwali, here's wishing everyone good festivities and good cheer on journeys home. And for the railway employees at the Delhi stations, well, here's to crackling mikes and just about amused passengers.

Happy Diwali all.