Friday, July 23, 2010

Train Commuting Etiquette for Bombayites


I knew I had to do this someday, so why not today? I know etiquettes are tedious things but they have to be written, especially when one has been commuting to well nigh thirty years, the year I started commuting to work being 1980 (oh, those were the halcyon days of the 8.30 chembur local). So here goes. Since I am a man who travels in a gentlemen's compartment (hardly gentlemanly conduct there) I am writing from a man's view point. But it is equally applicable to the fairer sex, the better halves and the corporate chamak challus.

A Little Push While Getting in and Out

You may be forgiven a little push while getting in and out. But don't overdo it. After the push smile broadly showing all your mis-aligned dentures and say, "so, so, sorry, I didn't observe you standing like a stupid donkey at the door." Sorry. Don't say that, you will get beaten up if you do that. Just a smile and a lot of nodding of head would do.

How to Break a "You Pushed" Fight

Soon after you get in you will be dragged into a "you pushed" fight with your neighbour which will go on as follows:

"You pushed."

"No, you pushed."

"You pushed."

"No, you pushed."

Since the common threat of the argument is "you pushed" just give him a huge push and say finally, "you pushed, so I am pushing you back." Watch him fall and the admiring looks of the bystanders. But this isn't practical, is it? Just give him a look of disdain and a small push and say, "I pushed so what? Everybody is pushing each other."

If the Man Next to You Leans on You

If the man next to you leans his coconut-oil-gelled hair on your Arrow shirt and is breathing his idli-sambar into your face give him a gentle nudge with your bag, or umbrella. Keep doing this till he removes his head and deposits it on the man standing opposite.

If the Man Shows an Unwarranted Liking for You

I know. I know. What the heck? They are all men. But there are those types you know. You dislike contact but for them it's heaven sent. So lean towards him with an exaggerated snigger and breathily whisper, "I am not that type, you know."

(More later, son is repossessing his computer by force. So I will continue this tomorrow.)

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