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Thursday, January 16, 2003

Welcome the Southern Railways ladies and gentlemen. We will endeavour to make your journey as memorable as possible. For a little more than the auto fare from your residence to your friendly railway station, we will seat you in the cramped comfort of a general compartment and propel you at various speeds across thousands of miles of nothingness (ok! Some villagers, cows and assorted life forms) to get you safely to your destination. And the best part is that you don't even need to reserve your ticket! Your ability to joust, yell, grapple, fight and claw will stand you in good stead.

Pay us twice this amount and we will give you a cushioned butt repository. We call this the Third Class compartment. This time around, the windows will be operable, the fans will work at times, the toilets mostly have running water and the passengers don't all look like the underprivileged who populate 99% of our country. (Ok. Ok. Bihar IS an exception!) Beggars still manage to wander in, but hey! Chuck a few coins at those who pretend to sweep the floors on all floors and you can get rid of them. Aim to chuck the coin into a pile of dirt and the dirt maight disappear too.

Can't stand the heat? Well, for an exorbitant sum, we will safely ensconse you in Air conditioned comfort. You can choose from a three tier or a two tier based on the proportions and contents of your wallet. In the three tier, you will get a done-up version of the IInd class compartments. What about when it gets cold? Well, we will give you a white shroud to spread over your berth, a pillow to sink your head into and a comfortably warm blanket to keep you in just-the-right-degree-of-cold.

But the AC two-tier compartments... Ah! That is altogether another story. Not only do you have more space due to lesser berths, but you will be pampered to the extent possible. For in addition to the bedding accessories you get in the three-tier AC compartments, you get an additional shroud here! And the bathrooms, they are a class apart. Dinky Mugs (chained to the pipes of course) a rack for toileteries, space for a room freshener and wonder of wonders, a dinky little fan to cool your backside while you excrete!

Not to mention mute attendant boys who foolishly grin at every glance you give them, ready to fall and sweep the floors at your command if Now that is the pinnacle of comfort. Thank you for patiently hearing me out ladies and gentlemen. We wish you a pleasant journey.

The Road Show has finally come to an end! Thank heavens.


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