So I hope there are at least a handful of people awaiting the part II of my almost adventurous trip... Yeah even if you were waiting, since you have opened the page you better read :) I would start exactly where I left the Part I.
Thus entered LG with a loud bang (literally) and found her to be placed in the sleeper class (for non availability of tickets in AC classes... ahem ahem...). Fully aware at the usual stares, she went and sat at the empty place near an aunt, who vaguely resembled a Tamilian. What else could LG do, other than asking if she was a Tamilian, but hell no, she was Malayali, born and brought up at AP (actually Yerraguntala, or the similar sounding places, forgive me for my poor grasp of Telugu) and married to a Marathi, living at Bombay. She was actually visiting her mom's place for Dussehera (how religious!! Note to self). Not bad for a ten minute talk and not bad for the ever silent LG at all.
Opposite to her was an old man sleeping, who would occasionally smile at LG and then continue to fight his sleep. In the left out space somehow seated was a young guy (of course North Indian), whom LG clearly remembered stamping and rolling her suitcase on. Hesitant he was to give any reaction, and trying to avoid being found while he saw her... Yeah another one usual "boy-girl" game... Ugh!! LG had outgrown all this, so lost interest soon. And then there was a Tamilian uncle sitting near her... In the upper berth already some guy was sleeping and then the side berth occupied by few college going guys, maybe RACs... Thus the scene opened up in front of LG's travel...
Understanding the scene was not so friendly; LG quietly opened up her voluminous book and started reading. She was almost on the last fifty of the 450 pages, so her interest was overwhelming and finished the book in half an hour or so... Triumphantly she gave a big smile and closed the book with a thud (sometimes emotions overrun!!)... While she was digging for the next big book, the old uncle had got up, with the help of the other guy and was sitting watching her... So again the courtesy smile and he asked her if she had finished the whole book and continued to explain his reading habit comparing to hers. He had so keenly watched her, while she was in the other world of books... She nodded and explained her habits briefly... Thus began the unlikely friendship between the old thaatha and the crazy girl...
Knowing LG and her ability to articulate, do I have to tell that the thaatha was so intrigued? He continued to shoot at her variety of questions from her family and life to her belief in God, at the same time he gave narrations about his own world... Without doubt, LG knew in few minutes their discussions were the only spectacle in their compartment, everyone else had stopped talking among themselves and chipped in their views and thoughts... Hesitantly THE guy too, asked her about LG and her job... Understanding and fed up with the boyish hesitancy, she continued the conversation to make him comfortable... Soon, the thaatha, the diverse cultured aunt, THE guy (who turned out to be a Bengali) and LG, formed a real team and continued their talkathon till eleven thirty.. Then the thaatha chased them all to bed - sorry berths (reminding LG's own thaatha)
So she found that the upper berths were occupied by the Tamilian uncle and yet another guy, and requested the new member for the berth and soon she flew up to her berth.. But finding the whole set up was not letting her fall asleep, she started to start talking the Bengali guy who was in the side upper.. Yet another of the other ridiculous conversations
She: So what you told your name was? (Almost sixth time)
HE: & ((%^^%^%*) (unpronounceable)
SHE: Come again please!
HE: ^^*(*(*) (another set)
SHE: Ok... (Completely ignorant of what he said)
HE: People call me "*^** (shorter version)
SHE: (couldn’t control her giggle and embarrassment) I really didn't get your fuller version, in the first place...
HE: (takes his card and gives to her)
SHE: Oh ******* (Beware * not the usual censor cut words LG is famous for, but just his name... I am being ethical, guys, leaving his name out of it)
While this was going for a while, underneath their berth were constant chattering noises from the college guys... Soon, LG and the B G (Bengali Guy herein after referred to as B G... and forgive the pun) were seriously overhearing their talks and engrossed in their own nostalgic talks... Suddenly there started a loud argument and then ******** words in Tamil (yeah now it is just the usual beep)... The thaatha had been disturbed by the guys and had started an argument with them, then supported by few Tamil speaking aunts in the next compartments... Next thing LG realized was, she had ducked her head and was acting like sleeping... She remembered her school days, when the teachers come through the corridor; the whole class would act suddenly very quiet... In between her chuckles she saw BG had done the same, and was just then looking up from his berth... Both again chuckled loudly and continued their conversation but more like a last bencher's talks in class, without the teacher’s knowledge...
Added to this, were a lot of seat changes and the berth stealing (!!!)... And a small mouse moving here and there just to entertain LG during her sleepless times... Next day to LG began by 11.30, that too due to some construction noise in some station.. Down there was literally no place to sit, because several other non reserved people had lined up to get a seat even for a minute.. So LG resigned to sit on her upper berth and continued to roll and try to sleep.. But with the heat seeping in, she had no other option but to come down..
She then slowly read all the papers around and tried to solve the crossword, Sudoku etc and waiting for people to de-board in the nearest station... After a long wait the whole crowd had got down, leaving thaatha, LG and BG left...
Then again the conversation had started on a different phase, now pointed at the changing times and the generation gaps... Wow!! It was one of the real hot discussions between generations in reality... The discussion was literally cooled down by BG buying us all tea... Then we were again chased by heat and thaatha to sleep (come on he owned the lower berth, so whenever he felt sleepy, we had to)
At last the adventurous journey ended being the best of my times!! But... hey how come a post mine without a cliché... Before they de-boarded, the old man touched LG's head and blessed her... then added that LG was unique and matured in thoughts for her age... and he wished he had a granddaughter like me... WHOA!! Now that was a compliment...
YES, I wrote this from my train to Hyderabad :) :)