Kickbacks and kicks in the back

by B. R. Gowani

Indian Railways refuse to change
neither do they increase the general coach room sufficiently,
nor check the conduct of its TCs
some of these Ticket Collectors act deplorably
(but then, we met a few TCs who were perfect gentlemen)

general compartments are always overflowing:
limitless tickets are issued that can be used on any train

heading towards their destination
those scared of hanging by the door-side
or squatting on the rooftop
slip into the reserved cars
by paying the difference/bribes
they get the empty seats

but the seats come with advisement:
“get off before the final station –
buying the train ticket
board the local train there,
to finally reach your intended destination”

we did the same
many times over
mostly with kickbacks
and sometimes with half-bribes and half-official payment
and on a rare occasion,
we only paid the official ticket-difference

many poor people, sitting on the floors,
by the doors of reserved compartments
got kicked by the TCs, in front of everyone

most of the time, we and many others
articulated our dilemma with money
and thus kicked back the TCs, in front of everyone

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

Comments are closed.