10 July 2007

Laloo's magic and small town India aspirations

I had heard a lot of hype about the "upgradation" of tickets to the higher class, but I really got to see the "magic" recently while I was going to Ahmednagar. I was travellng on a waitlisted ticket but still managed to eke out enough space to "exist" in a reserved coach. The TTE gave his meanest, dirtiest look but smiled to the couple sitting across and told them that their ticket has been "upgraded" to 3AC! Ofcourse it meant a cheerful smile all around because there were a couple of more "illegitimate" passengers there. Two people moving out obviously meant more space to sit! There was a group of students from Raipur. They had come to Pune to secure admissions to a BCA college however were told that the admissions had stopped long before their results came out. They were not bubbling with energy but were not depressed either. They were talking excitedly about the apparent vastness of Pune and its filthy but rich streets. They wondered aloud that nearly everyone gets a job in Pune irrespective of their qualifications, you only had to posses two skills: ability to handle computers and speak english. Unfortunately for them, these were the two skills they lacked. But they had a little plan to make up for this deficiency. Next year they would be back, with better english skills and a working knowlegde of computers and on time! Once there, studies can continue. Suddenly I also caught their infectious enthusiasm started feeling positive!
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