My travel back to my home from Bangalore yesterday by Banglore-Guwahati Express was another interesting experience. As usual on this train there were more passengers than it could contain. So in my section, instead of the usual 6+2, we were 12. Don't ask me where we found the space, but everyone had some comfortable corner. I occupied the upper berth, almost all the while.
The best part of the journey was when the train reached Ongole. Since I woke up late, I had no idea of what the time was. So when the train reached Ongole station, I got off the train to take a walk on the platform. I looked around to see if there was any clock or digital watch to see the time. Finding none, I did the next best thing I could think of - I asked the man sitting on a bench. He gave me a strange look, glanced at my wrists and then with great solemnity looked at his watch and told me the time "11 o'clock." I could very well register every move and thought of his but decided to play it cool. And so, I politely thanked him and then continued my stroll. Once in a way I casually looked in his direction to find him still watching me intently... He must have been wondering which planet I came from, not to have a watch or know the time.
The second experience was the learning that railways have almost closed down all the phone booths on railway platforms. Understandably with so many cell phones (more than cell phone users), the need for these landlines has reduced considerably. It took me 35 minutes of search to find one on the first platform of Visakhapatnam railway station. Strange but true...
For others, this observation of mine may be strange ... but true!!