Wednesday, September 26, 2007

of queues, trains and buses...

you see it all around you... and its not just here. people hate standing behind someone else in a queue. its a direct hit on their self-respect. they might be headed nowhere for all they care, but a queue wasnt made for them. so here is a guy supposed to be behind me in line for a train ticket but insists on standing right next to me. and thus is born the second queue... make it a point to remind him of his rightful position on the serpentine and i get the philosophical nod... "hmm... i know". my words however arent encouraging enough for him. its a land of equals after all. this is how democracy is deciphered. the right is exercised when we reach the ticket window... and our man tries to thrust his note in before i do... a stern stare is met with a grunt of cheap liquor. he's in his senses alright!


one thing i like about this city - its got local trains! reminds me of mumbai. but yeah, not that the locals use them... here in chennai, it is little more than a giant toy. picture this - on either side of the compartment you have not more than 2 seats per row. at the design table, either they expected people to get their daily exercise by standing all the way or so ashamed of their work, they hoped (and ensured) as less people as possible would get onto them... and dig this... the signaling system in chennai stations... they still have someone step out of the station master's room to flash a red & green. yes, i heard that guffaw of yours :)

now here's another thing that really intrigues me. i knew restaurants are to shut down by 11pm. i think this was more for the watering holes as a measure of control. now food courts in chennai central station follow the rule to the T. there's a whole group of hungry travellers at the doors and the stall owners are more than glad to shoo them away.

stall owner: no! get lost. i cant serve you. its 11pm.
customer: but am paying you for it! and its not even 11 yet!
s/o: so!? (10:50 actually but i truly madly deeply hate customers) you better come up with a stronger reason than that my lad!
all this as he rather hurriedly covers the shelves as if we looking at them might end up urging him into making a sale. but then, he looks at it more as "groan! he's gonna make me work! baah!!"


now here's my another favourite crib section. BMTC :) bus stand to home is a rs.3 ticket... pay the conductor that much and he gives back a rupee with no ticket... EVERYTIME. insist on a ticket and you will hear the fiercest of the snarls and made to get off at your stop from a running bus :)