Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A strange coincidence of biscuit banditry

by KParthasarathi Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Howrah-Chennai mail arrived at Rajahmundry station on time. There was the usual rush of passengers getting in and out of the train. The hawkers were busy selling their wares. A middle aged couple got into a 3 tier reserved sleeper coach and occupied their allotted seats. They looked decent and well off. The lady was in a Conjeevaram silk sari with a couple of what appeared gold chains around her neck. The man was in a traditional laced dhoti worn in pancha katcham style. They looked around at the co-passengers and gradually settled down. They were seen conversing softly and smiling at each other intermittently.
When the train stopped at Eluru around 5.45 pm another couple slightly younger in age boarded the coach and after searching for their berths sat opposite the middle aged couple. They too looked decent with the lady in a chiffon sari and the man in trousers and T shirt. After the initial silence the ice was broken by the elder lady enquiring how far they were travelling. It appeared both the couples were bound for Chennai. With both of them drawn from Andhra, they soon engaged themselves in animated conversation in Telugu and the ladies became very friendly. The men too joined soon. The time passed easily making the arduous journey a pleasurable experience. Two hours passed by unnoticed when the train entered Vijayawada station.
It was dinner time. The bearers were bringing the dinner to those who had ordered. The older couple took out a tiffin carrier with two big containers. It had lily white idlies with some hot chutney to go with They offered the top container to the other couple pressing them to join the dinner. They replied that they too have brought their dinner and took out a similar lunch box. It contained crisp and soft chapathis and alu sabzi along with lime achaar.They in turn offered the top container to the older couple. Both were hesitant to accept initially with the men looking at their wives but soon won over the other. With dinner over the passengers soon retired to their berths to sleep.
The train reached Chennai Central early morning at about 5am.The passengers soon disembarked and the train was almost empty. One porter who went into the coach saw two couples sleeping. He tried to wake them up in vain. He alerted the police men who came inside. Looking at them one of the constables exclaimed “another case of biscuit banditry. Funny the culprit has drugged two couples in the same coach.” Another policeman after looking at them said ’the thief surprisingly has not removed the jewelry. Where could he have gone without relieving them of the gold?”

1 comment:

  1. WOW, this is great!
    excellent sense of humour. good descriptive expressions in: "lily white idlies", "crisp and soft chapathis" and "conversing softly and smiling at each other intermittently".