The capital of any capital is the station
The capital of any capital is the station. The population of the station of the average Indian city significantly exceeds the population of a large Russian regional center such as Perm. Hundreds of Indians settled on cold concrete at first in anticipation of a lucky ticket, and then settled down by inertia; Thousands of people greeted in anticipation of the arrival of such an impossible and so desirable iron box; Millions of mourners lost themselves in the crowd without the hope of ever seeing the sunlight and breathing in fresh air. No space was invented: the ceiling and walls are not visible behind dirt, dust and iguanas, all three race to take up any angstroms of free Euclidean space, which in India, without a doubt, is five-dimensional.
Benevolent Indians will gladly listen to your sentimental life story about how hard Krishna brought you this forgotten place, how long you tried to get to these four square centimeters, to finally take a nap, how important it is to disperse this hundred or two bodies to see the number platform of your train, which leaves in two minutes. After hearing, with a no less benevolent smile, they confess to you complete ignorance of the English language, after which, removing the smile and adopting the pose of a hungry dog with the appropriate expression of eyes, they will require money for providing clear and accurate reference information. Applying the skills of creeping out of the subway car to Vykhino, where the clock always shows rush hour, with your left foot you smack the fat cow-poo, which symbolizes everything that happens around, while the right one is repelled by the annoying motoricsheaters. It is here that there is a paradise for the egoist – you immediately turn into the navel of the Earth and become necessary for absolutely everyone. Without exaggeration, a crowd of disparate fans runs after you, ready to wear your belongings, push your train, eat your food, take pictures with your camera, write reports for you.
But all the greatness of the stations falls before the greatness of the trains.
Passing through the maelstrom of people, events, phenomena, we finally achieved what the usual time should be avoided – the car. Our seats were somewhat occupied – women with children sat on them, disabled and retired people stood on top, adults and young people were lying on top – about twenty people in our two places. The brave officer, having assumed an impossible mission to free the occupied armchairs, as well as a stick, was ignored. While he was having fun, we took a standing position in a nearby luxury car with a fight. Further, the inexplicable began to occur.
If a citizen of another country appears in the Indian train, this is the event of the day for all passengers, without exception; if he is white, this is the event of the week, if there are two of them, they are from Russia and fools are a life event, and if there is a bear with them, this is equivalent to the second birth of Shiva. We were immediately lined up with a train-long queue – to shake hands, take pictures, hear, say we, look, don’t shine. People called their friends from all over to show it, they called their relatives in distant corners of India and reported good news. At first it was funny, especially after the words “Who wanna be a bear?”, When the bear’s cap under the hoot animals flew off into the crowd, it was taken for the gifts of the gods and began to get at each other as a crown.
After half an hour of endless show, the picture changed – the two quietly sat on a different floor, which the local brahmans gave them, while the other twenty-five people stood side by side and watched every action. These types just fit, stand next to and stare at you! There are only three things that they can look at forever – how the garbage burns, how time flows, how you do anything. From head to toe, capturing every movement, in happiness and sorrow – they stare endlessly.
Even longer, these good-natured creatures can observe only the incredible struggle between those who managed to take a seat by the window, and those who, in a desperate jump, managed to cling to the half-broken window frame of the fast-paced and beaten train. At first, the presence of lattices and the lack of windows on the windows amused us, but then the order of things was fully justified: the car was packed with sprats in the can, all the doors and windows were blocked by Indians, but the number of passengers at the stations only increased. They jumped onto roofs, hung on handrails, on one another’s feet, on the arms of the lucky people who had already achieved the goal, pushing them out. Those who did not have time, with the departing train wrote out an apology and wishes to get to tomorrow the same.
Stones and bottles are thrown at the trains. A couple of times on the siding.
The driver is also a Hindu, but he was less fortunate to overtake someone hard, but he still succeeds. To let me know about myself, they say, I’m here, I’m with you too, he buzzes one after ten motor rickshaws.
The concept of a boarding ticket is also vague, like the outlines of Asia. Your train can only arrive on time by chance. Late for six hours – in the order of things.