I mean, Delhi to Dehradhun. The AC Special train from Delhi to Dehradhun seemed to have arrived on the platform right out of a deep freezer, and the Vs were mighty excited at the prospect of enjoying a similar temperature the next 3 days in Mussoorie. It was a late night train and Varun dozed off the instant we were inside.
Vyas insisted on sitting and gazing out of the window for sometime despite telling him that he’d only see darkness and that it was already 12.00. I think he doesn’t appreciate the advantage of ‘borrowing’ wisdom yet and thinks he has to experience everything first hand before coming to a conclusion. Ten minutes later, he realized that even his spectacles were of not much help and did not shed any light on the outside world.
A few minutes later we all were comfortably tucked in our sheets only to be woken up by a fellow passenger, aged around 40. He had somehow remained invisible till then though his baggage was there and was asking us if we had taken his rug. We double-checked before denying because mistakes happen.. Varun and I were sharing one, while the other 2 Vs had one each. The man was not convinced.. Why would the Indian railways deny him a rug- no? So it must be one of us.. And since we had kids with us and it was also freezing cold, he persisted the matter further saying… “I understand.. yahaan tho chaar honi chahiye… aapke chote bacche hain, agar aapne ne..” (there must be four rugs here, how come only 3? you have small kids and if you have taken it….) and was checking our berths personally, validating if it was one or two rugs. We let him ‘examine’ and one more time of polite ‘explaining’ happened. With the AC blower right on top of our heads, we had to maintain our cool and besides, we had to empathize with him because without that rug, he’d wake up stiff the next morning..
He continued to sulk and kept asking no one in particular a little loudly as to why only his rug disappeared, and that he was sure somebody had taken it. At which point, the hubby reminded him that the rant will help if directed at the TTR (TTE) /assistant in the coach… Looked like he got the ‘Mohammed should walk to the mountain’ message because he walked up to the TTR and there ensued some animated conversation and I don’t remember if I saw or imagined him pointing towards us once or twice during his conversation. After some more mumbling and grumbling, the railway folks gave him another one. The next thing I heard was at once a guttural and nasal snore. This time, it was not the hubby😉