We live in a country where if you want to travel from one place to another, a train is the fastest, cheapest and sometimes the only means of travel available. And let’s not forget that not all of us can afford frequent flights. Train journeys are something most of us look forward to, be it alone or with a group of friends. It becomes our makeshift home for those few or many hours. Some friendships and relations are forged, some gossips are shared, laughter and tears are followed and a bag full of memories made. On these journeys, we meet some typical people, who leave a mark on us, irrespective of whether we talk to them or not. Let’s have a look at these (I am sure you can find yourself there too 😛 )
1. The stalker
This is the person who keeps an eye on you without probably saying a word with you during the entire trip (creeps you out, doesn’t it?). Sometimes you don’t even notice this person, till you get up (umm.. okay…you want to use the loo only when I do?). Be sure of meeting at least one of these kinds and sometimes if you’re lucky, you’ll be the apple of the eye for an entire group!!
2. The hogger/foodie
We’re Indians; we live to eat, don’t we? This category is the most popular one in any train. Over and above carrying their own snacks (which is usually an entire bag in itself!!), these people will have a variety or two of each type of food at every halt. And, they also know which stall would have the best one! (Don’t be surprised if they are bosom friends with the food seller :P)
3. The chatter box
This one’s like a live radio. However much you try to ignore and even when you don’t respond to what they’re saying, they blabber on and on. They don’t even need an audience. If there’s an opposite o the phrase ‘talking to a wall’, these people would define it (shut up, will you?!!).
4. The reader
How to recognize the nerd? Simple! Look for a book in their hand or in the luggage. This breed prefers the company of books over human company. You’ll notice them reading, sitting near the window, the compartment door, the upper berth, or any corner away from the crowd. (It is good to carry a book while traveling though; it is actually sometimes better company than people).
5. The sleeping beauty
If only people got paid for sleeping, this breed would be millionaires. They can sleep anywhere, irrespective of time, place, people, and even noise. In fact, I know a few people who admit that they get the best sleep on trains. (quite literally a home for them then).
6. The music lover
These days it’s common if someone doesn’t acknowledge your hello, reason being, they did not hear you. Why? Coz they had loud music on, with earplugs dug deep into their ears (I am one of these, so let’s not bitch). There are these kind on trains as well. They neither care nor are they concerned with what is happening around them in the compartment. And if you call them or try to engage them in conversation, be prepared for a war (“Leave me alone with my music!”)
7. The encyclopedia
Some people should have memory cards and hard drives named after them. They have so much knowledge and so many stories to share that the entire journey will get over, but their stories won’t (be aware of the know-it-all, snobs and the fakers here though, they have a category of their own). Ask them anything, talk on any topic and these people will have an anecdote ready (Chawanprash much?).
8. The photographer or the nature lover
As Aamir Khan says in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, “Mera pehla word na mummy tha na daddy, woh tha CAMERA”; these people put the dialogue to apt use. Their eyes are hardly inside the train and their hands are busy capturing what not!! And God forbid, if they own a DSLR, they’ll let the whole train know (again, I am a little of this type too, so shhh!!).
9. The momma
Some people believe that the weight of the entire world is on their shoulders. They just have to advice, warn, admonish, pamper, spoil, and do all other motherly things with people around them. (“Don’t run in the compartment, you’ll fall!!, Don’t put your hand out of the window!!!”) Yes, I can see you shaking your head to this one.
10. The love birds
The newly weds, the second honeymooners, the retired couple, and all those who just can’t get their hands and eyes off each other, we’ve all come across these kinds during our train journeys. Some make us go ‘Awww’ and most make us go ‘Ewww’. Whatever may be the case, we have to put up with them!
11. The long lost friend/relative
Yes, it has happened with you, hasn’t it? Sometimes we run into relatives so distant that they delve into entire family histories and details of past meeting that we say “Yes” just to shut them up. And, of course, if we’re lucky we run into a long lost friend, and the journey becomes something else only after that coz there’s not enough to catch up (“OMG!! You? It’s been ages, my God, look at you!!”). And that’s just the beginning.
There are some of us who fall into more than one category here (like me…JFYI..I fall into 4) and there are some of us who can relate to only one or none. That aside, it’s hard not to come across at least one of these people in our travels, and even harder to forget them. Next time you are in a train, think of these and maybe you’ll be amused to discover an entirely new breed. May your trips always be safe and pleasant though!!