Strangers on a train

by sidin in

Yes, yes I have finally moved bag, baggage and missus to Delhi and have spent the better part of the last week sneezing in our flat in Dwarka. (Thinking of the mammoth savings in rent I make here compared to my place in Wadala is somewhat comforting.) But before I launch into blogging-as-usual-from-Delhi I must drop a line about an interesting incident that happened on the Metro a few days ago.

So there I am with the in-laws and the missus on the blue line from Connaught Place to Dwarka. The train is crowd-less but there aren't any seats free. Somewhere mid-way, after Rajouri Garden I think, the mom-in-law gets a seat. She is wedged in between a Japanese mum with a PSP-clicking child, and a couple of African guys.

One of the African guys get up, my dad-in-law ushers the missus towards the empty seat. But before she can sit the African guy mumbles something and and scrambles his way back to the seat. The dad-in-law is very miffed and begins to say something when we calm him down and tell him to let it go.

Someone mumbles something about "better not take pangas" with "these African types".

There is much wrathful eyeballing happening all around till both men get up just before Nawadah. Both the missus and dad-in-law take their place. I still stand. One of the guys comes over and says: "I give the old man a seat but he give it to that young woman. Young woman can stand. I want him to sit because he is old. In our country we respect old people."

He sounds half-offended when he speaks.

I tell him that we respect old people in our country too.

Soon, but of course, we begin talking about India and Nigeria, which is where they are from. "Some things about India we like. Some things we don't," they say honestly when I ask them about living here. Turns out both guys are professional footballers with the Ruia Royals, a football team in the local Delhi league. (Anyone who can throw light on this please do. I could'nt Google up anything.) Both of them live in Nawadah and they were just back from a match.

When their station came we shook hands, patted backs, traded smiles and then they were off.

"These African types" were actually very nice people indeed.

I felt very, very sheepish after the whole incident.

Regular nonsense postings will resume from this weekend. Have a fantastic 2009 everyone!