“QUIRKY EXPERIENCES IN INDIAN TRAIN TRAVELS”
The TTE did the rounds and by observing him deal with some, it became clear that he didn’t brook any requests for confirmation of berth. His responses varied from politely refusing senior citizens to a terse response to the youngsters. Those with unreserved general tickets had an earful. It takes a lot of guts to enter a coach with an unreserved ticket and stay in the game.
The first indication that the person sitting next to me had a general ticket emerged from his shifting from one seat to another. His restlessness gave away his predicament and sooner than later he became the cynosure of all eyes. People started to openly question him making it clear to him that his being in reserved coach was untenable. The moment someone would cross question him, he would smartly take a topic and divert attention so much so, that his engaging with people saved his day.
Came night time when everybody slept, he waited inside the toilet to escape the TTE and the police rounds. He knew, that once the coach fell silent, there would be none to challenge him sleeping inside the coach. Stealthily he crept in and laid out his bedsheet and air pillow and slept on one of the berths. At the next station, when a passenger demanded his berth he gave way, only to lie down in the corridor, as if none would question him in the act. This was without doubt, getting on the nerves of the passengers.
Despite telling him to move out of the coach he would somehow make his way into the coach. He kept insisting to every new person that his berth is on the other side of the coach. Whenever somebody would be harsh with him he would move till the doorway. In no time he would be back to hopping seats or go off to sleep in an empty berth.
Finally the railway police did the clean up act. Called in to handle this person they spoke rough with him. They forcibly made him get off the train at the next intermediate station and took him away. But my guess is, he would have convinced the police. By some smart work he may have got into the unreserved coach at the far end of the train.