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09/08/2011

Journey to Jaipur with Kids as Co-passengers


What a style.


लंगोटिया यार

मास्टर जी Tension Me
Model in the making

पढ़ाकू लड़के
सीधी बच्ची
मुँह में खिड़की
पक्की सहेलियाँ






This was just another official trip to Jaipur. Unlike my colleagues in the field offices, who are regularly on trip to one station or the other in their respective states, being at CAG HQs, I have comparatively eventless life without many trips. This was my second trip in a row after trip to Ranchi. Having woken up at 3:30 in the morning to catch the 06:05 Ajmer Shatabdi, I was feeling asleep and was almost in the other world when sudden laughter and shouting of some 50 odd 5-6 year olds woke me up, I knew this journey is going to be somewhat special, other than many others that I have undertaken. I found the experience too tempting to add one post on this to my blog.
Soon after they were on their seats, jumping and fighting started.  Tea kit was served to all. I saw one girl making tea with the cold Rail Neer mineral water that had just been served. Her friend mocked at her and called out for “ Miss” saying “मिस-मिस देखिए इसने क्या किया?”.  While some were looking at tea kit with wonder, some tore it apart to find their favorite stuff: the dairy whitener. I still remember the golden childhood days when the dairy whitener meant for emergency situations to serve tea to guests could not last longer due to the three mischievous two legged rodents of the home.   
Isn’t it unfair to offer children with something they should not be having at this age? Why doesn’t the Railways provide for some other healthy alternative for the children?
Two boys were busy in the usual डिशूम-डिशूम until the teacher intervened. After a while I wanted to use the washroom. I was about to enter when I was stopped by one of the teachers that, children are waiting in line, please let them use it first. OK, I knew this line would not end till I could wait, so I took the wise decision to use the lavatory of the other compartment.
In such a huge group of 50 children, you usually find children of all sorts, not so troubling, shy and speechless variety, children whose voice box seems to have been made specially at the Bosch Sound System’s factor, children who are born mountaineers, trying to ride the chairs in the Chair Car compartment, children who were asking for ‘lunch’ right from the moment  they boarded the train (“मैडम आपने तो कहा था कि लंच मिलेगी? कब मिलेगी ?) My seat was right behind their last row. After watching them for almost an hour, I could not resist asking their teacher “ Would you mind if I take photographs of your students?” He permitted me with a smile. I have posted the best of the photographs and some videos that I took. Though I wanted to take photographs of them doing their usual stuff without being conscious of being videographed/photographed, the moment I took the camera to them, they all started being good guys giving nice poses, some of which were really worth applause.
The attendants on trains are found to be serving usually with expressionless long drawn faces. They were found smiling all along. The TTE told me “कान खा गए। इन्हें तो बस लेडिज़ ही संभाल सकती है। ऐसे ही थोड़े ही न कहती हैं, एक दिन सम्भाल के देखो तो समझ में आ जाएगा ।“ co-passengers could not resist a laugh.
Though I was sleep deprived, I could not complain as they had made my journey memorable. 
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