Have you ever run after a departing train and managed to board it just in the nick of time? As Kajol did, years ago, in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge...And as Kareena failed to do, more recently, in Jab We Met?
Well, I did this morning....And, it was nothing like in the movies!!!
For starters, there were no handsome heroes, either on the train or off it, to make the run worthwhile. At 5:45 a.m, potential candidates were still tucked in their warm cozy beds, oblivious to my plight on platform no. 7 of Bangalore's central railway station. All I had by way of company was an unkempt porter in clothes that reeked of sweat and with a breath so stale, that I am sure, every little microbe in the vicinity must have quietly curled up and died.
He looked, smelt and sounded like a typical Bollywood villain's flunky.
But, with my train due to depart in precisely 10 minutes from a platform right across the station and no other porter in sight, my options were limited. Come hell fire or high tide, I had to board that train home. And so, the villainous porter and I ran as if the hell hounds were breathing fire at our heels.
I wish I could claim to have run as gracefully as the Bollywood heroines. But sadly, I was bogged down by several layers of lard, a rather large hand bag as well as a laptop bag about to burst at the seams. And, I am afraid that I must have resembled a podgy little potato rather than a sinuous beauty....A squat little spud on heels who huffed and puffed and jerked and jolted all the way up and down the stairs and across the bridge until the train was in sight. To add insult to injury, the villainous porter who bore my cases on his head not only outran me with ease, but also paused at intervals to cheer me on!!!
We managed to make it into the train with a minute to spare.
While the porter stashed my bags away, I sank with relief into my seat gasping like the proverbial fish out of water....Given the sweat bath my body was experiencing, I probably smelt like one too.
Baggage stowed away safely, the villain turned hero beamed in triumph at me. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, a voice warned me against making hasty judgements about people. As I wheezed out my gratitude to this most unlikely of knights, I was accosted by a grubby outstretched palm which I promptly lined with three crisp 50 rupee notes.
" Madam, ini 150 kodi....." [ Madam, give me 150 more]
The noxious fumes from his mouth quite overwhelmed me. Too exhausted to argue, I extracted a crisp 100 and as I rooted for more amongst the jumble in my bag, the train jerked and gently began to move. The villain porter grabbed the 100 in my hand and had dashed down the passage, out of the door and onto the platform....Before I could even say Shakthi Kapoor.
Once a villain, always a villain!!!