>I know its a rather pompous title… but no other title came to my mind.
It’s striking how easy it is to come upon a clichéd topic. It is almost clichéd to write that you are writing about a clichéd topic. But write I must. If anyone guessed, well guessed…it is about my train ride back home.
The stupid college calendar had shown that our exams were ending on 30th. So the train tickets were booked early and I was all ready. But horrors of horrors, when the date sheet was put up, our last exam was on 27th. Several frantic calls later, it became known that all trains through Nowhere (as I like to call the place I study) were packed. So very cleverly, I booked my tickets from Hometown. After the debacle named disarmingly as exams, more about them sometime else, I boarded my bus and went to Hometown and boarded my train.
My seventh sense (sixth is my laziness) was already sensing something amiss when I entered my compartment and I heard a person talking loudly. I thought no more about it and went up to the top floor and slept peacefully till the morning (or rather afternoon). Cursing myself on missing breakfast, I got down at the next station and had a quick brunch. As I got back to my seat, I saw the person whom I heard earlier smile at me rather wolfishly. I smiled back with my own misgivings and sat down. Suddenly he asked me why I was looking so sleepy. Since I had just woken up, I felt that to be a rather irrelevant question but my eloquence failed me at that moment and I quietly replied that I overslept. Looking rather triumphant, he asked the next question which left me shell-shocked. ”Do you want a policy that protects you in case you oversleep?” Good God, he was an agent. Not any agent, not somebody from the Matrix but somebody far more dangerous… an LIC agent. And lo, the person sitting next to him was also of the same breed. Almost fainting with horror, I tried to stealthily slip away but failed miserably. Cornered as Captain Haddock was by Jolyon Wagg, I was offered policy after policy starting with sensible ones such as recession to totally bizarre ones like attendance policy where my attendance shortage would lead to me getting money. Though it was tempting, I hastily refused reasoning that I was yet to earn any money and would definitely contact him or his brethren whenever I felt in need of one.
I was regaled with stories of his success tales, the number of lives that he had saved and so on. I was expecting to hear some stories of his Uncle Anatole too, but was mercifully spared. Soon I found that the entire train was packed with LIC agents apparently going to Delhi for some summit and most were looking for some prey en route. Students particularly broke ones like me didn’t interest them and they thankfully left me alone. I of course got my fair share of offers before they came to know of my situation.
All too soon the train reached Delhi and I bade a hearty farewell to my journey-mates whom I realised were not as dangerous as they are made up to be (somewhat like the proverbial dog who barks loudly). But maybe my being a non-earner may have contributed to their apparent tameness. I know this comes very late but I wanted to write something and this was the first thing that came to my mind. Anyway, I will post something better next time.
Hasta La Vista