Suburban trains are discriminatory
Trains are chauffeur driven, traffic-jam-free, on-time mode of conveyance and that is why I take it to work everyday. I also get to contribute my bit for a cleaner, greener planet.Taking into consideration all the above mentioned factors, I travel by Chennai sub-urban train everyday, an hour a day.
Having said that I find trains, the sub-urban ones, to be extremely discriminatory – economical and gender.
Ladies first, so let us take the gender issue, first
Why would anybody be at a station at 9AM? To go to work or reach someplace important. Be it women or men. No one wakes up and says, let me just take a ride in the crowded train!! Exactly! What sense does it make to have Ladies’ special train at 9AM on a weekday, when wherever the women want to go is the same office the men are trying to reach. The office timings are no different for men, it’s same as that of women employees. Then, why in the world would you want to have one whole train dedicated to ladies. You say women’s safety, ok, fine! But there are Ladies’ compartments in every train. Safe enough,no?!
Then there is the whole “1st class” and “2nd class” division. 1st class tickets are costlier and there is not much of difference between the 1st class and 2nd class compartments, if you are first-time traveller in these trains, you will hardly spot the difference. So how does one know he/she got into the wrong compartment – meet the hostile stares from the 1st class gentlemen. That is the litmus test. The stranger is usually spotted wearing casuals, shabby-looking, chappal-wearing (that’s the look all the young kids are going for these days, but what will the 1st class, clean-shaven, in-formals and shoes, uncles know!). Once the target has been identified, a sense of restlessness begins among the 1st-classers, which turns to hostile shares and by now this “target” notices that something is off in this compartment, why is everyone so “well-dressed and old-looking”, like a rat mistakenly entering a room filled with cats, this person starts looking for any, ANY signage to understand if he is in the wrong place. This guilty search for comfort confirms the 1st-classers’ doubts and the bravest of the 1st-classers will go up to him and say “thambi, idhu first class, nee adutha compartment le yeru” (brother, this is 1st class, you get inside the next compartment). Please understand, no one really knows what ticket has that passenger bought, the ticket is not displayed at all. All this judgement and hostility based only on looks and economic status of the passenger. Poor fellow!
Please take it with a pinch of humor! 🙂
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