A lot of things happened during those three or so years of commuting from Burdwan to Kolkata but a few will stay in heart. Two that pop in mind are a little boy from Bihar, Kishan, a very pretty boy about ten years or so old. He used to sell snacks on the train I returned in, when I was lucky, Bidhan, it was an express train that ran from Howrah to Asansol and when I worked in compassionate offices I used to avail it.
I was his regular customer, I often wondered what he felt, kids of his age were supposed to be pampered, taken care of, here he was far away from his actual home toiling day and night!
The second one was funny, and not funny maybe! There was a galloping local from Burdwan to Howrah and back, called Super by daily commuters, I never could manage to catch that train, only government employees could, but once in a blue moon I could, and that was one of those days, back then some groups of young men used to climb these trains with some musicians and sang for the passengers to earn, it was not unwelcome at all because the journey lasted for more than two hours.
That day the group that climbed the train sang a popular hindi song, there was a line in that song that somehow sang about setting fire of love in the heart of the beloved, and emphasized more on the fire part than love part 😉 That very day the ladies compartment, in which I travelled always caught fire.
The train was stopped in a deserted railway station after dark, there was only one known face in that train that evening and we were soooooooooo glad to see each other! phew! finally we could manage an all stop local, and that night I realized why I have been told a thousand time to go for the mail trains if I miss Super and Bidhan. Never climb any local after Super, ever!
Just imagine, even though we shifted to a general compartment there were only a few male passengers in that compartment, and everyone from outside could see that there were two women in the compartment! boy that was creepy!
Whenever I hear that song by Kishor kumar I remember that actual happening of that song, in a jocular way, but his desire of setting fire indeed materialized!
If you know hindi songs then the song is “Dilbar mere… main aag aisi laga doonga ke khinch ke chale aoge…” something of that sort.