Monday, June 28, 2010

Meals on Wheels

Though the quality of food on Indian trains has vastly improved, certain travelers refuse to give up the age-old ritual of elaborately packing food for their journey. Considering that we might soon have the Right to Food, disallowing these passengers from carrying their daily bread, which their mother on earth has prepared, would be against our democratic ethos. However, the collateral damage caused by the food to the neighboring passengers is neither too serious to complain nor too subtle to ignore. Just like the indigestion it causes to its vociferous consumers.

This is one among the plethora of grouses that we silently put up. I too remained so till I saw Rang De Basanti last night. Inspired by it, I thought I must take the initiative to prepare draft guidelines on dining in trains and fight for it with candles on streets till the candles melt the guidelines are prominently displayed in every compartment and a committee consisting of the TTE, Coach Attendant and the Guard are formed to oversee their implementation. So here they are.

Please do not carry more than 250 gm of food per passenger. The claustrophobic compartments should be the last place where you would want to have a seven course meal.

Please carry disposable plates. Train is not the place to flaunt the heirloom cutlery gifted by your parents / in-laws on the occasion of the colossal disaster, popularly remembered as your marriage.

Eat when necessary. Just because you have nothing to do, don’t keep munching like a camel chewing the cud.

Eat light. This is not your last supper and India is not a starving nation. There is going to be enough food at your destination.

It is not mandatory that you buy what every hawker sells. Give others an opportunity to satiate their hunger.

The wash basin is not your sink. Please don’t use it clean your heirloom cutlery. Watching your violent gluttony one of your co-passengers would want to throw-up. So, please keep the wash basin free.

Please clean the seat thoroughly after you eat. Pushing the spill-overs under the seat is not cleaning. It attract rodents which might have difficulty in distinguishing the remnant food from your foot after you put out the lights.

Sambhar, Rasam, Dal, Buttermilk etc are not anti-bacterial disinfectants. So, if you have spilt them, don’t spread them all over the floor with your dirty shoes.

Do not use the sheets supplied with bed rolls for cleaning. You might say that they are already stained. Remember, they are stained precisely because sometime back one of your ancestors used them to clean.

Carry some tissues. Don’t go around begging for newspapers. Not everyone spends time eating. When you can carry few tons of food and cutlery, the few grams of tissues should not matter.

If you still cannot control your urge to binge in trains, you may visit this place. It offers good food and the train ambiance.