Thursday 16 July 2009

Old memories in a train!

Last week, I went to Mysore by Chamundi train. Six years back, I used to travel in this train on every Friday from the then Bangalore. After I went to Hyderabad, I didn't get chance to travel in this train. Even though now I'm in Bengaluru, my frequency of Mysore visit has come down drastically.

When I sat down in the train, my memories went back... This train was so familiar to me and the commuters too. Out of these commuters, some were regular passengers, few were vendors and beggars.

As my train started, I hoped to see some of those familiar faces(vendors and beggars). After 30mins of journey, none of those faces turned up. As my coach was at the engine end, I thought, it might take some time for them to come to my coach.

Even after train passed Ramanagara, nobody turned up. I was a bit disappointed. I still remember those faces.

There was this beggar who was blind and he had always carried a tamate (a Kannada word for folk musical percussion instrument) while singing a song. He used to sing folk songs and devotional songs.

Another beggar who was old but had good voice and he was known for his PB Srinivas songs from old Kannada movies. On public demand, he used to sing for a long time at one place!

There were two beggars (who seemed like couples) and both were blinds. Lot of people used to give coins to these couples. Some times, I had even seen a young girl along with this couple. Fortunately, this young girl was not blind. I still feel sad for their state.

How can I forget another beggar who was most irritating! He is a old person but he never resorted to any singing but he was "literally" begging from everyone. His voice was very loud and many people were giving coins only to make him leave their compartments!

As I said before, there were familiar faces who were Vendors. Just like, one old person (peanut seller) who always wears a white but dirty kurta. He never looked like clean. Most of the times, he was drunk!

Another old lady who was also selling peanuts and was very active.

I cannot forget one young man who was a peanut seller but conscious of cleanliness. To encourage people not to throw the peanut shells on the floor, he used to give additional paper to all the buyers! I really liked his idea. Over the period of time, other sellers were also giving additional papers and in some cases, commuters were demanding for that!

There was a coffee vendor, who was asking as if he's serving a guest at his home!

As the train had crossed Maddur, I was sure that none of these would turn up. Where are these people? Did they get a better job? Did they find a better place for their profession? Are they alive? I stopped myself from thinking more and called a new face for a cup of coffee and a Maddur vade.

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