Tuesday, October 03, 2006

We are like this only! Pushing, pushing, chalo, chalo!

The man at the back of me says, "Chalo, Chalo, Chalo," while prodding me gently somewhere in my dorsal region, around where my kidneys would normally be. Normally, because now I am tightly wedged between the man at the back, whose face I can't see, and a man with sweaty armpits in front.

"What's the hurry," I say, "the train ends its journey here, in CBD Belapur. It will be here for another ten minutes."

"But I won't get a window seat, na? I want that particular seat. My friends from other stations look at that seat. Besides, I have to read the holy book, and throw flowers into the sea when it crosses the Vashi Bridge."

So I let the man pass ahead of me. Minutes later, he and I are getting down at Kurla station and he is again prodding me, this time around the solar plexus, and, "Chalo, chalo, chalo," he says.

I have seen this in stations, municipal offices, banks, in fact, anywhere a bunch of Indian could possibly be, even airports. No sooner the aircraft comes to a stop than there is pushing and jostling, swearing, and "Chalo, Chalo, Chalo," this time a bit more subtly considering that "firangi [foreign] madams and hawai sundaris [flying beauties]" are around.

But go anywhere, we will be pushing, dhakafying, shoving, cursing, women molesting, because, "We are like this only, no?"
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