Around the world with Expedia contest by http://www.expedia.co.in contest reminded me of another one of the gems that I met during another excruciatingly long train journey of mine. The train was the legendary Sanghamitra Express connecting the classy, posh, refined, urban Bangalore city to the rustic, loud, gregarious, tolerant and tenacious Patna! I was onboard to attend my cousin’s wedding in Varanasi. It was a 40+ hours journey and I had prepared my mind to be zombified with boredom, but fate had other plans! The universe had conspired and connived to entertain the heck out of me, to keep me rolling in the alleys, laughing, snorting, and laughing some more. Ok, maybe I exaggerated a bit, the point is- I met a hilarious guy in the train.
Now there are two types of funny guys in this big bad world. One- who know they are funny and the other kind- who are quite unaware of their own hilarity. This guy was a cross breed! He though he was being funny but he was funny for the lameness of his endeavours, not their hilarity.
So here goes the story-
I take my berth, gulp some water, brace myself for the onslaught of boredom and catch a guy giving me a blank, cold, stare. He goes in pure Bhojpuri- “Yes I am talking to you! Do you think you can ignore me whenever you want?” Startled, baffled- I politely ask- “Excuse me?” only to notice the earphones neatly tucked in his ears hiding under those long locks coloured with the weirdest shade of burgundy. His French-beard, short stature and Rajpal Yadav like mannerisms all added up to write L-O-S-E-R on his forehead in capitals. He frowned at me and went back to his phone-talk, I simpered. “Arti, I am sorry, after all you’re my wife, na? Who will I shout at if not at you?” Hmm.. lovers’ tiff. I smiled to myself. “Sweet”.
“Prachi, I love you, how can you even think I can be cheating on you?” he went again some 20 minutes after hanging up to “Arti”. “Oh! So this loser is going behind the back of his own wife!” I thought to myself. All the sweet things I had thought about Arti and him started vanishing. “Prachi, you’re my wife na? You’re my wifey wife na? You’re my shona! Mwaah!” he went on. Ohh.. k.. I deduced that this guy isn’t all that married as I thought him to be. Actually his idea of romance is to call all his girlfriends- his wives. “Naaice” I murmured. “Two-timing loser that he is, at least he’s not afraid to commit.”
It was 2 am, he had marked his territory on the uppermost berth and had permanently acquired the mobile phone charging unit for his private use. I was half asleep when I heard him say- “This TTE has annoyed me so much! Pooja, if you’d have not made me promise not to hit anyone, I’d have broken that guy in half!” I giggled to myself and went back to listening to songs on my earphone. He was beginning to annoy me. Three girlfriends? Really?
Next day, an elderly gentleman sitting in the same compartment coughed a little, the weather as it changes from Bangalore toward the Northern part of the country can mess with peoples’ immune system. It can be felt even in the air-conditioned coach. A concerned Prachi from the other side asked whether it was Alok (Yes, from his continuous bragging and calling himself in third person, I could make out that his name was Alok) who coughed. The braggart went- “Yes, it was me janu! It’s ridiculous! You can sense whenever the slightest thing is wrong with me.” I think the elderly coughing gentleman felt cheated. But, Alok couldn’t care less. I was amazed how a simple cough can bring two hearts together. One of them made of gooey jet black tar.
Alok carried a laptop and stayed connected with Tata Photon. Seriously Tata Photon could have used a better brand ambassador. When he was not playing loud Bhojpuri songs, he was busy making “fransip” on Facebook. How do I know? Because it was at least three times that I heard him say- “Hey! Is this Ritu/ Priya/ Roopa/ (any other random name)? Hey just found your profile interesting…” and go on to flirt shamelessly. By the end of the conversation, he’d be married to the girl!
I don’t know whether India has suddenly started manufacturing gullible girls or he was a really good con-artist, whatever it was- it was sickening and hilarious at the same time.
The phenomenon reached its crescendo when he changed his religion during one of his endeavours. He said- “Hello? Is this Razia? This is Shohaib speaking….”
When he googled a “kalma” and read it out loud on phone to impress her, I couldn’t help but give myself a “face-palm” and that was the time when I saw him smiling and winking at me. I winked back at him! I felt tainted. I felt maggots creep under my skin!! I wish I could take my wink back!