Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Bhusawal Blues: 2

At Bhusawal station the next morning, I am not in a good mood.

The whole of the previous night I have sat wedged underneath the washbasin of a stinking toilet with five other people. It has been a hot, humid journey in an overcrowded compartment, the predominant impressions of which have been the smell of sweat and urine and a sort of in-your-face intimacy such large number of people in such confined spaces inevitably brings about.

There is no Bisque on the platform.

I splash some water on my face from a public tap, brush my teeth, and go have a cup of tea. Even though it is hardly seven in the morning, one can already feel it is going to be another hot, sultry day. Hours go by and by ten, I conclude something seriously has gone wrong and Bisque is not coming anymore.

I curse the man. I also curse my stupidity. I have no phone number, no address, no way to contact him.

I get out of the station and walk up to the bus stand, with a vague hope of finding a bus that will take me to the Bhusawal power station. The bus stand is milling with people and every bus that turns into the stand releases clouds of fine, red dust that have me running for cover. The heat has by now become unbearable and I beat a hasty retreat back to the cooler confines of the station, ruefully accepting the fact that I am not made of stuff that make for great adventurers!

The silver lining in the cloud comes in the form of golden brown toast done to perfection and a fluffy omelette, with liberal sprinklings of onions, tomatoes and green-chillies, from the station restaurant. Hunger satiated, I walk along the platform and find a comfortable bench under a strategically-hung ceiling fan. It is close to noon and the station is deserted except for stray dogs playing between the tracks and groups of weary porters slumped against the pillars.

I fall asleep only to be rudely awakened an hour later by two belligerent policemen.
Photo Courtesy: Indian Railways

4 comments:

Cynic in Wonderland said...

cops even? this is fun! tell us more. did u spend the next night in a thana ..with the uhm ..."smell of sweat and urine and a sort of in-your-face intimacy"

Rada said...

Cynic!

Do you remember the old Manna Dey song?

"Poocho na kaise maine.."

More revelations this sunday!

narendra shenoy said...

Hey, enjoying this story! I've always wanted to do somethiing like this...

Eagerly awaiting further dispatches

Rada said...

Naren,

Hope Part 3 does not come as an anticlimax!
Cynic was obviously disappointed!

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.