An eventful train journey and a drool-worthy parantha…
According to my mom, Chennai Central station is a haven for pickpockets and local goondas who apparently hunt down girls.
Honestly, amma, have you met me?! I have seen my share of “Kill Bill”!
As I sit pondering over an ingenious idea for a best- selling novel like JK Rowling’s, the juicy oorga packed along with my thayir sadam in a stainless steel dabba stains the entire bag and the pallu of the aunty who mistook the bag for a foot rest. Now, I unleash my super “kuch kuch” skills and enquire about her family in the hope that she will change her position and I can kick my bag beneath the seat.
The train comes to a jostling halt at Arakkonam junction where a sea of students enters the reserved compartment and demand that we host four extra people in an already full three-seater. The four extras look like they need the entire stretch of the Nile bank to seat them.
A huge quarrel soon erupts with everyone yelling “No way! Get out” in their respective mother tongues; I swear I even heard Sanskrit. By the end, two mediums and four larges were squeezed into a three-seater and all of us looked like arrested hookers in a police station. Soon bits of youthful topics such as Nayantara’s private life opened up for debate.
When the hot sun blazed high and my blood sugar ran low, auntyji opened her diamond-like glittering Tupperware container to reveal the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my life.
There was my bundle of golden joy smeared with enough butter to even make Shilpa Shetty quit her diet. Mooli paranthas... It took every nerve and fibre in body not to jump over and snatch the box and chew the parantha piece by piece slowly. My fantasy with its sweet folds came to an abrupt end when one co-passenger nudged me with his elbow to pass the lid of a Tupperware container with a neatly torn piece of parantha.
The train halted abruptly and this brought me out of my reverie. My craving for paranthas, especially the one featured in my journey, will never be forgotten. Maybe it will when Iyengar ammas learns the magic from the Singh mamis.
PADMAJA KADAMBI, III Year, BA Sociology, M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women