My heroism vanished and I stood there hapless as a sheep. I confessed that I did not have ticket and that I was just 5 feet away from the incline of the platform and that I just came to see my collegue off, and that too that I'd be leaving. Not without giving me the fine! He said in the most welcoming tone Come to my room.
In his room, I meakly said I'm sorry! but I soon realised that he was not going to change his stance. Realising this, I changed my stance, he said Nikalo do sau tirpan rupaye (Please shell out Two hundred Fifty Three Rupees). I threw my bag before him and said I don't have a single rupee apart from 4 rupees which i have for transport. If you want, you may have these! Now it was his turn to get a jolt! It was not possible to extract money from me anymore now, for i was in my same old miser form.
He asked me Where do you stay? Jadavpur came a short reply in the same breadth. He felt the shadows of Jadavpur University guys closing in on him. He was a weak fellow, craven too. I always wondered what is with these guys that people find them so- I mean people respected them until I witnessed a few goddesses of Engineering boozing and smoking weed! The IIT girls looked as harmless rabbits before them. After all, whatever they do in the campus, they were no match for these goddesses of Planet Jadavpur. And after declaring myself as a denizen of this planet, I boosted my position to that of pinless grenade which if held for long could blast in the face of Mr. B. Roy Choudhury. Yes, that was the name of TTE.
He was now being as polite as he could. He asked me, What is your department? I said Architecture. It was as if this word did some magic on him that he said Oh! You too are from Architecture (pronouncing "ch" as in chicken)? and he stepped forward to shake hands with me. I was waiting for this. This was the signal that this guy could be tweaked. I asked him Are you too and Architect? He was thrilled at being called as an architect, in a place where noone knew more of him than just a ticket collector. He said, no er, I did a PGDCA course in which i had a course of Space management hehe, that's all!! It never matters if it's a single course or the whole curriculum, people become architect from heart, and i see that kind of feeling in you. Say, why don't you apply for further studies in Architecture? That guy was gloating with joy of an architecture student calling him an Architect. He was simply thrilled. Seeing that, I continued, And if you need some formal training then allow me to introduce you to my Boss. He is always happy to meet and help courageous people!
Can I have your Number please? He asked, humbled. I gave him my number and said If you have doubt, then you may ring me to check the validity.
Oh no! I was not doubting over this, but say, could you give the number of your boss too?
Oh, Sure! But please don't mention him about this incident!
Definitely!! You are like my younger brother, and i want to talk to him for some training in architecture! Will he recognise you? and come on, just catch any train. No need to buy tickets! Just tell my name to whoever asks you!
but...No no no!! You must go today by train! It'll be my pleasure. No more buts! okay? He looked akin to the Maharaja of Air India, just that flights of Air India are much worse than a calcuttan local train in comfort. I nodded my head like a good boy and went back to the station. In the train, my mobile rang. It was he who was trying to check my number! I picked it up.
Is this Nimesh?
Yes, Can i help you?
Er, No! Actually i just called to see if you are comfortable or not.
Actually sir, thank you for calling me, and i'm in all the comfort!
That poor screwed up thing did not know what to do. After some good nights and bye byes, he ended the call. I surely had won, and landed in a boggie which was overstuffed with people who were not going to get down on Jadavpur, and were one helluva flatulent. I started shouting at the top of my voice Utarna hai! Utarna hai!! And those good people gave me the way and after floating through them for next 30 seconds, i found myself on the Jadavpur station. When i turned back, i saw those nice people cursing me for the trouble i caused to them! That ended a long day for me.