I generally like to travel by second class. To tell you the truth we travel first class only when Rekha is with me. I know, all this while I have maintained that I preferred the lively atmosphere of the 2nd class to the deafening silence in a 1st class compartment of a train. But that`s not true. Rekha doesn`t give me money for such small luxuries.
Last time I asked her she said: “Why do you spend money on unnecessary things like tickets?”
When I pointed out that the TTE didn`t consider it unnecessary, she stumped me. “Can you please tell me what you did with the ticket to Madurai you bought last time? Isn`t it useless now?”
Even as I begged, she quoted her father. It seems her father would say: “Tickets are like fire extinguishers – a waste of hard earned money….once bought never to be used…till they lose their expiry dates.” Her father`s job required that he travel a lot. She has also told me that for around three months, he had been to Saudi. Perhaps, the TTE had caught him….after all the punishment for ticket-less travel is three months.
As I was saying…and I promise I am saying it from the heart…I love traveling by second class. Today at 6.30 p.m. I will be leaving for Madurai to spend a day with my father….and I will be back with stories on the guy who lost his chappals under the berth, the guy who knocked himself down in the upper berth because he was too tall, the guy who could not sleep on the side-upper berth because he had a huge tummy, the guy who chained his suitcases to the berth… but lost his keys, the guy who bought packed chicken for dinner and spilled it on the berth, and the guy who dropped his mobile in the train loo (that`s me!).
Guys (and gals) brace up for a real second-class article!