Last Friday, I headed to work earlier than usual and got surprised. You must be wondering what could be so surprising on a Friday morning. So after many months, I got a chance to board the Ladies’ Special train – a train that has women-only.
I entered and caught a seat, and within seconds, observed that everyone in the compartment seemed to know each other. I’m guessing these women take this train regularly hence the groups and friendliness. Here’s a litmus test — if you’re a Mumbaikar you would have experienced at least one of these groups in a local train.
Train Idol: This is the group that sings all along. Even if the group decides to take a break, one woman starts crooning. At times, they also play antakshari. Gets noisy, but what the heck, who cares? This is singing in the train.
Miss Headphones: She is definitely the kind who prefers isolation from the chaos. My guess? She listens to music, podcasts and most importantly, chooses to stay deaf to the world. Also, it’s amusing to see some hand-banging, grooving or lip-syncing randomly.
Seat-Savers: Personally, I hate this group. Before they can even catch their breath, this bunch starts interrogating the ones who are already seated. Popular questions – Kahan uttar rahe ho? (Where are you getting off), Kisi ne seat lagaya hai kya? (Has anyone called dibs on your seat), Thoda sarko na… thoda shift ho jao (just shift a little). Believe me; this can get annoying and hilarious, depending on your mood.
Gossip Aunties: Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law top this category. Not just that, you will also find women cribbing about their bosses or some colleague they probably dislike. Nothing can get more dramatic!
She-Bookworms: They love reading! Whether they have a seat or not, they read. Also, there is a handful that’s faithful to the morning newspaper. Up-to-date is what they like to be, I guess.
Talk to the Mirror: At least three stations before their destination, they pull out a tiny kit from their handbag and hello! It’s time to doll up.
Munch-Munch: The moment they enter the train, the bag opens and out comes the tiffin box! They don’t care if the world stares at them. It’s breakfast time, buddy!
Prayer Time: While you have some who chit-chat all the time, some women prefer meditating or praying. You will see a lot of young as well as elderly women flipping pages of prayer books or caressing beads.
On-A-Call: Enter, take a seat and hello hello! Despite all the noise and commotion in the compartment, they don’t mind making phone calls. You will see them smile, blush but what’s worse is when they slip into an argument. The entire compartment will have to forcefully witness the squabble.
Sleeping Beauties: Last but not the least are our sleeping beauties. I usually call them bobble-heads because their heads move in all directions. If you have such a lady as your neighbour, heaven save your shoulder!