Saturday, 28 April 2012

indian railways:har safar me magic!!

As the train left the station, me and my friends after a hectic 3-day visit to berhampur began settling down at the topmost tier........the compartment was brimming with people of all classes......and since it was late night nobody cared making any remarks as generally happens in a train. Just when i was about to close my eyes to a dream of lullaby i was pulled back to life by a gentleman with a loudspeaker-like voice.....he was probably in mid-40s with ruffled hair and a white shirt dipped in brown dust......he was literally shouting-“mui enu basithili”(sambalpuri) which the man sitting on the seat was not responding.......he once again shouted at the top of his voice which probably made the man notice him this time.......he looked at the man in white shirt and gave him a puzzled look and said-“mousa kana hela??”...........
so, there i was sitting in a train where two parts of odisha were trying to communicate over the matter of seat occupancy. Since i happen to know a bit of sambalpuri-accent(thanks to my sambalpuri friends at hostel) i stepped in and did the needful. Soon the thunderous uncle melted down and to my surprise mr.sambalpuri and mr.cuttacki were having a fruitful discussion over family matters in not-so-fluent hindi.

after some time the train stopped at some station (i was too lazy to come down and look at what station it was) and there boarded another gentleman. He took his seat by the side of mr.sambalpuri and asked mr.cuttacki “agyan kuuade parjanta jiba ki he??” .....its not possible to describe the accent over here but it invited puzzled looks from both the uncles sitting there.

so here was a certain mr.berhampuri who was on board with mr.sambalpuri and mr.cuttacki.  Mr.cuttacki initiated a hindi conversation with mr.berhampuri and soon all three of them were having a gala time in their not-so-perfect hindi just like they have met again after ages.

We all would have heard and most certainly read about how Indian railways has played the role of unification of india in our history classes. We would even have observed how different states and cities exist symbiotically for a small time in the Indian railways. But what i was witnessing was the micro-mini version of that unification. Every state has some divides......may be on the basis of accents, or dialects, or style of living etc etc......and the state railways was coercing the amalgamation of the divides. The three uncles may not become the best of friends but they did prove one thing.......we may classify ourselves into a hundred categories.....”fir bhi dil hai Hindustani!!”(or in this case “odishi”)

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