Rajdhani Express
Traveling even in the AC two tier of Shatabdi/ Madras Mail (or is it called Chennai mail now?) gives one this feeling – cut off from reality, far from the dirt, dust, larceny and prostitution of earth, this is an Avalon created by wily and successful men. I felt rather uncomfortable chaining my attaché to the seat – as if being on my first Rajdhani trip couldn’t let me off from my typical middle class extra alertness. Mrs. Vasin of D.S.P. Township, having boarded from Durgapur (She also manages a boutique), made a request to call her husband, showing that she knew of this particular facility of Rajdhani…id est, she has had many previous experiences of traveling in Rajdhani. Even though, of the three Rajdhanis that pass over Durgapur-Asansol, only the Sealdah-Delhi Rajdhani stops at Durgapur and this train had started for just over two years, only since Mamata became the Railway minister. Why, did Mrs. Vasin go through the trouble of chaining her luggage? Of course she did not.
Around fifteen to ten in the morning, an elderly gentleman entered the coach along with the railways attendant and requested for permission to check under the seats. His suitcase was missing from the A-1 coach. Mrs. Vasin was very hurt – “O my god, even in the Rajdhani these things happen, really India is –”. She kept her sentence incomplete. I filled the blanks in, in my mind – “Disgusting”.

Maybe it did not appear on my face, but yes, at that moment, a smile did sparkle within my head.