BaloneyGeek's Place

BaloneyGeek's Place

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Incredible India

The 12311 Up Howrah Delhi Kalka Mail for 22nd December was 12 and a half hours late. Yes, 12 and a half hours. It left at 8:10 AM on December 23rd. It was thus at 6:30 PM that it reached Mughalsarai Jn.

The train stopped for almost 45 minutes at Mughalsarai. They attached a Pantry Car and removed a couple of coaches. That was plenty of time to see some "this happens only in India" antics. What was more, we didn't even have to leave our seats.

We were booked on coach B2, an AC 3 Tier coach. We were on berths 1, 2 and 3, which is at one extreme end of the coach. About 30 minutes into the stop at Mughalsarai, we saw a beggar enter the coach from the other end, sitting on the floor and dragging himself from coupé to coupé.

Our coupé had a BSF administrator. Him and his friend was having dinner. When the beggar reached us and asked for alms, he said:

"Nahin denge. Hum logo ko bhi aise nahin milte paise, kich kaam na karke. Aap jao, chaye waye bana lo station pe."
"We won't give you any money. Even we don't get money without doing anything. Why don't you go and make tea at the station?" [People will buy that. On Indian trains, in a single journey, the average person will consume a week's worth of tea.]

The guy kept whining. Finally, the BSF guy said:

"Mere paas change nahin hai."
"I don't have any small change"

The guy replied:

"Aap do na. Mere paas change hai"
"Give me whatever you have. I have change."

Just to remind you, we're talking about a beggar who's dragging himself along the floor of the coach because he can't walk.

Anyway, the BSF dude gave him a few coins.

Then the beggar calmly stood up, brushed himself, opened the door to the vestibule and walked straight out.