Keeping Decorum #BlogchatterA2Z



Travelling at night, I complete my dinner and prepare to sleep. On a cold wintry night in the sleeper class, the chill winds blowing on all sides, makes it difficult. Despite that, with some winter wear, I try to manage, hoping to cut off the chilling winds. This stays possible by shutting fans, closing windows and doors, in the compartment. Even so, what I would experience that night, left me thinking. Do people travelling together, feel enough, to share and care? The least expected of the passengers, is maintaining decorum.

It’s 10pm and time to switch off the lights. Yet one family wanted the lights on for the reason they haven’t had their dinner. Fair enough since there is no point in discomforting them. But once others were off to sleep, this family continued keeping the lights on and their chatting causing disturbance. The need to stay awake, as the station arrives at midnight, became an excuse. Being elderly citizens, I offered to turn off the lights, and remind them at their destination to get off. They ignored my request, and went about their ways.

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The railway police, doing their rounds, instructed all passengers to down the window shutters and keep doors closed. This due to previous attacks of stone pelting by unruly villagers along the way, makes abundant caution necessary. This elderly family resented, but grudgingly did as told. With the police gone, they decided to open the window shutters, without care for safety and security of other passengers. I could sense their rebellious nature, right from the start, through their journey, till they got off.

For a while, the co-passengers respected the age of this family and kept quiet to a point. That they refused to switch off the lights became a debating point. Quiet murmurs grew louder, giving a sense of predicament. As the night passed, not only did the chill winds took toll on the rest of us, the fan kept switched on, too affected us. This caused the double effect of chill on me, as i sat next to them. Do I demand for my middle berth to sleep or do I “adjust to the circumstances” and wait, till they got off the train? Having the misfortune of occupying the middle berth, I bore the impact of their antics.

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The duo of TTE and railway police appeared on the scene, as if God sent, and this time they didn’t mince words. A stern warning from TTE, to bundle them off, at an intermediate station, had the desired effect. Getting wiser in no time, they assured cooperation with the rest. As a result, I got my way to shut down the windows and fans; I took their help to shut the doors as well. Taking my middle berth, I went off to a good sleep. It dawned on this family that they had crossed the red line of acceptable conventions.

I will cover overcrowding in sleeper coaches in one of my upcoming posts.
Until then here’s signing off for the day. Please come back for more tomorrow.
The quirky experiences on an Indian train travel continues….


  1. Sometimes our own sense of propriety becomes our limitation. On this occasion, showing respect to old age became a contesting point. Unmindful of what others might think, feel or say, someone could have thrown in the hat and showed them their place. It is equally important for elders to be respectful and considerate…… after all it takes two to tango.


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