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This is the situation of a typical sleeper class train in my country. Too many people but less space, toilets are soiled and full with shit, no water in taps, no seat even with reservation, sad faces, painful eyes, thirsty lips – thirsty for change, thirsty for a revolution. And then starts a conversation with a humble rural family who was sitting on the entrance with four children with them.
“Why are you sitting near door?” “No seat.” “Hmm, bad. I pray for you.” “What to do? In our country there is shortage of trains. Government doesn’t do anything.” “Oh no, we have the largest rail network in the world.” “We can also think about population control or manage density of population. Government can’t do everything.”
Then came the part when the train enters the region of Bihar and as the cult goes, people snatch your seat, even if it’s reserved. BOSS! I didn’t find anything of that sort. People were polite and asked if they can share a seat. Rather, these two men (deeply rooted in poverty) were so happy when I offered them my berth to sit. Instead they were amazed about the kindness and warmth of a co-passenger. Maybe, I was lucky today or this is the truth or maybe, maybe, it’s my mind playing tricks on me.
I think, there is lot of scope of co-living when traveling through crowded long-distance routes and coaches like sleeper class. We can choose to, at least for a while, see the bright and positive part rather than just blaming and cursing. After all, we are all human inside and whatever the question, love is the answer. There is hope, if not despair, choose to see it and be the change.
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