The train compartment was not crowded.
It could be because it was the early morning train.
I got into the least crowded coach knowing it was a very temporary thing – the feeling of peace.
At the next stop, a family got in. With a KID! A fidgety bloody kid! And they sat in the chairs in front of me! It was a chair car.
The kid, wound by an invisible spring, stood on the chair and looked at me.
If he was looking for some pampering, sweet smile, cuddly talk, sorry….I was not in the mood.
Ever since my children grew up into single-minded teens, my tolerance level towards younger, especially kids under 3 years of age, has come down dangerously.
This kid started crying within three minutes. His mom opened her bag and gave a toy, which looked like a badly battered superman toy.
This kid took the toy and started banging with it on the seats near him, threw it up, which was caught by the moron dad, who was expecting an applause the way he was looking around after he caught the toy. I rolled my eyes and did a very unfailing, ‘seriously’ at him when our eyes locked.
The crescendo was building up…
I knew that many were at their wits end including me a good half an hour later.
The young chap with a ripped body sitting near me caught the toy when it landed near him.
The father turned to him: Sir…(actually saar)
…expecting the chap to return the superman(?)!
I could see a positive result to the crescendo!
The boy, didn’t return the superman.
Instead he addressed the man:
Hallo, what do you think of yourself sir? (spoken in Tamil but the sir was not saar!)
This is your house? Or your parents’ house? That you make so much noise? You and your overfed son?
He gave back the toy which was in two pieces now. I don’t know when or how he did it.
“If you make noise again….sir….you will regret it….”
I could hear muted sobs from the boy and whispers from the parents. Soon they shifted to another compartment.
I turned to my young co-passenger and thanked him.
The trip from Chennai to Bangalore didn’t seem so challenging!