There are three types of people on the planet. The good ones, bad ones and the ones on Indian trains. Once I was traveling with my wife and one year old kid on a Garib rath to Bangalore. The berths allocated to us was Side middle the infamous berth that Lalu
introduced and Side upper. Now since the kid always rolls around when he sleep, we needed a lower berth for my wife and kid to sleep.
My wife talked with a lady in her twenties requesting her to exchange her lower berth with our berth. She refused! I went around the compartment met two guys who had a lower and upper to exchange with our berths, they refused as well. Now I cannot blame them just because they refused to do me a favor. But is it too much to ask? Are people this selfish? How many times have to offered your seat to an elderly person or a lady with a baby?
I would only blame these youngsters upbringing. What I have seen growing up is my father offering lower berths to the old and women with kids. It hurts when people are very selfish and do not give the slightest compassion or care towards others.
We found a vacant lower berth and occupied it, while my wife and kid slept on it I waited. It was midnight.The train reached the next station and a man in his fifties walked in I requested him for the lower berth. He refused saying that there is a lady and a kid
with him. Since that sounds very reasonable and fair and most importantly since its his reserved berth, we got up. then I saw his ‘kid’. He was a teenager. I requested the man again. He bluntly refused, saying that he wants all three to be together. I told him that our
berths are the ones opposite to his. He just said ‘No we cannot’ i could see his wife looking helplessly and his kid with no expression on his face. I am sure thats not what he is been taught in schools.
We picked up our blankets and moved. The kid woke up and then the compartment woke up.
It was half past one. Seeing this, the young lady who previosly refused the lower berth offered to help. I told her its fine ‘I thought this train was for human beings, guess I boarded the wrong one.’ I said.
The man did not stop. He even wanted us to move the luggage around. He had just two suitcases and did not require all the space he was trying to make. He moved peoples luggage around roughly. His son and wife watching all the arrogance around. I guess that shouldn’t be what he be learning.
Now it okay to refuse to do a favor. But then there is sometthing called ethics,compassion. Guess you would get that only if you are bought up like that.
Next day morning, over hearing their conversation I learn t that the husband-wife were government school teachers …
Nice. Now I know what those poor kids are learning.
Ps : This was the only time I had to face this in my numerous experience as a traveller on Indian railways. We have many times requested for a lower berth and was never refused before, thats why this experience deserved a post.