August 01, 2012

Voice of Virar

Love for your neighbours on the train has finally come to the Virar local.

In a warped way.

At Andheri, I got on a Churchgate-bound train that originated at Virar. A bubbly kid who had one of the fourth seats didn't want to sit. She asked someone else first, and I was the next person she saw standing, she asked me if I wanted the seat. I did, yes, so I sat down and the kid happily pranced all over.

Shortly after, when we were close to Dadar and there was practically no one without a seat, I heard a woman complaining about the way 'Andherila-chadli' (someone who got on at Andheri) was so comfortably seated when the seat could have gone to a long-suffering Virar person. I tried to ignore her at first, because I couldn't see a single long-suffering Virar person who was still standing, but when her references to me became too obvious and frequent, I couldn't resist a conversation with her. Please find below a transcript of one of the most inane conversations I have had for a while.

R: Do YOU want this seat?
Champion of Virar rights: No, I don't want to sit. This is not about you, so why don't you shut up? That kid doesn't know anything, how could she give you a seat when X is still standing.
X: She asked me; I don't want the seat.
Champion of Virar rights (momentarily stumped): But Virar people don't get seats. That kid was stupid and silly. (At this juncture, a lady who got on at Bandra occupies an empty fourth seat. Said champion glares at her).
R: Is there anyone here who got on before Andheri and doesn't have a seat yet? I'd be glad to let them sit.
Champion of Virar rights: No, there isn't, but why are you talking so much? I am telling you that Virar people don't get seats; you don't know how hard it is...(at which point I return to Foucault, who is suddenly eminently pleasing to the eye).

Moral of the story: Anyone who has the gall to live before Mira Road should stick to adoring empty seats, and forget about sitting on them.

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