What do we call this?

On my way back on the train to my work place, I was relaxing listening to music while a gentle man walked past me and sat opposite to me. At the next station he placed his handkerchief on the seat and got down at a station. It’s the Indian form of reservation. This reminded me of the story that a foreigner told me when he visited my house once….

David*, a social worker, guest lecturer to MG university and a medical doctor. He was on his way to a place in Tamil Nadu to visit a college there. He boarded a local bus to the college and found a vacant seat. But there was a film magazine on it. ‘Someone might have got down but forgot his magazine’ David thought, moved the book aside and took the seat.

It was not long before a heavily built man came over and tapped on his shoulder and said “This seat is mine”. “But I am sitting on it” David replied. “THIS SEAT IS MINE” he repeated, irritated.

“I kept my magazine on the seat when I left” he said.

“Well I am not moving”. David said sternly.

The heavily built man sat on the seat next to David pushing him aside. It was hell for David for the rest of the trip. He was squeezed in between the rusted window railings and the heavily built man. ‘The man was indeed throwing his anger on him’ David thought. David was finally relieved when his destination arrived and he got down. He could hear the man shouting something in Tamil.

‘Thank God I don’t understand Tamil’ David thought.

Well you can’t blame David for what he did. What do we call this type of reservation?

*Name changed to protect privacy



  1. Well people do this all the time. And its become something of an un-written code that we are all expected to follow. Strange!

  2. […] Tags: Airports, General, railway stations, Seats I have written about a similar topic “What do we call this” sometime back. The reason why I write this again is because such incidents affect us […]

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