I am a low-impact traveling freak and usually; I love to travel in train. This article is based on one of my travel experiences in north India.
Bihar is a beautiful region in our country. It’s full of contrast—a blend of loving and notorious people. As per the legend, if you’re traveling across that region in a train, the people, who board from any station in this region, will snatch away your seat. If you object, they’ll not think twice before becoming barbaric.
So, with this deadly perspective, I once had to travel to a destination that would cross this lovely as well as notorious region. I was with a friend and we had reserved two berths in class II sleeper coach of our great Indian Railways. We boarded the train from a railway station before that region and wanted to interact with local people, so we didn’t sit on our berth. The train was stuffed with people and we let our berth be empty to see what happens. What happened next will blow your mind away and will shape this article.
There were people who already had an eye on us and our berths. One by one people started coming to us asking for a permission to sit on the empty berths. Asking? Sounds unbelievable, right? Read more.
I noticed an old man, struck by poverty, dressed shabbily with stress in eyes and sweat on the body due to scorching heat. I asked him whether he would like to sleep for a while on one of our berths. On hearing me, he became a zombie and just kept watching me with amusement, wonder or surprise. I don’t know but he didn’t say a word. On insisting he occupied the empty berth. He didn’t say anything but his whole body was sharing gratitude probably because this was the first time in life he must have seen someone gift his reserved berth so some stranger. But, such are my ways to connect.
The journey was a long one and we all had many such unprecedented experiences with each other. On one side was this false belief of snatching, barbarism, and one side was this polite asking etiquette of these people from Bihar.
All my life we have been fed with wrong information about certain people and, sometimes, they turn out to be completely different. I don’t know if I got lucky that day, or the people are never like that but that day I realized that from far it looks like that people are disconnected but when you come close and interact with them, they’re just as loving as us. In the end, with a closer look, you find out that we all are connected.