1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Farewell With Fruits & Knife To Save Thirumangalyam (mangalsutra)

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    6,415
    Likes Received:
    6,717
    Trophy Points:
    470
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:FAREWELL WITH FRUITs & KNIFE to save thirumangalyam. :shocked::shakehead::scream:
    This Anecdote as told by my spouse's younger sister:
    It was a balmy night at the long platform number 13 in Victoria Terminus now turned Chatrapathi Sivaji terminus. The huge platform clock hung from roof was indicating time approaching ten o’clock. Beneath a shabby lazily revolving antediluvian fan, opposite of my compartment, a lanky old man wearing a monogrammed T-shirt tucked in ripped jeans and a boy in half-pants on his lap seemed in deep slumber on a concrete bench.
    My brother-in- law (BIL) who stood close to the compartment window outside was often shifting his gaze to those two on concrete sofa. BIL did narrate couple of his eerie train journey experience.

    BIL’s friend’s mother Lakumi (L) over sixty plus sporting a large maroon vermilion dot on her forehead and I were allotted seats in Second Class three tier Reserved compartment. L occupied seat by the window and I sat next to her facing forward journey direction. I was pleasantly surprised and greatly impressed when a septuagenarian couple related to L turned up to bid farewell.
    They exchanged greetings while the old man passed , a mini-basket of cherry red apples & golden yellow oranges along with a fruit knife taped to it, through window bars into the hands of L.
    BIL & I were introduced to them. As desired by L, under the dim roof-light, I cut the apples into dices, peeled rind of an orange and distributed cut fruits among us. With the glinting knife and few pieces of fruit on it, I left the red plastic plate on small foldable-shelf fixed to the side panel between windows. L desired that plate and knife to be wiped clean and kept in food-basket.

    The PAS disrupted the cacophony from time to time, indicated that departure of the train likely to be further delayed. Time was nearing eleven, stalls closed, vendors vanished and those who came to see-off other passengers and us had left already except my BIL. The platform looked almost barren.

    It was past midnight. At a distance seat a lady was joking “yesterday’s train might leave as tomorrow’s special”. The aisle and the passage near the entrance were filled to the brim by haphazardly placed luggage and illegal and or ticketless passengers. The piercing air-horn of local train, at the adjacent concourse indicated that the city never sleeps.

    A jerk of the compartment at that moment, indicated that the engine had just been attached at forward-end of the train. From PAS, a heavily distorted incoherent voice announced first in Hindi followed by Marathi and English that the train would leave the platform at 0030 hrs and regretted for the delay in departure. The two seen slumbering on concrete sofa, stood up, stretched and lazily disappeared behind a closed stall.

    Now all set, I visualised the guard at the rear end of the train busy showing the ‘all-ready’ hand signal, waving horizontally the green lamp three times and a man from front engine peeping out. The train began rolling forward gaining momentum. We could watch in dim light receding outline of BIL on the platform waving hands.

    As the train was picking up momentum, amidst its click-clack, I heard an audible impact; and bewildered to see the unshaven face of lanky man who was seemingly sleeping on concrete sofa was precariously hanging near the window outside of the compartment; while his right hand darted in-between the horizontal steel-bars of the window, his fingers gripping the dangling thick gold chain with Mangalsutra (thirumangalyam in Tamil) that hung from L’s neck. She cried and crooned her neck toward him! The train entered the vast open space with multiple rails and sign-posts flooded by tower lights.

    In a jiffy, my right hand moved on to the apple-plate below the window, grabbed and gripped the glinting knife from it and punched knife’s pointed end on the wrist of the hand that was gripping L’s golden thirumangalyam. Wide-eyed, I saw blood from his injured hand splashing out staining right-sleeve of L’s white blouse and her chin and cheek. While the chain-snatcher fallen out, a dazed Lakumi aunty dabbed her closed eyes with the Mangalsutra, perhaps thanking her "Lord". I pulled the safety chain which required quite an amount of power. The train squealed and screeched to a halt. Lakumi aunty hugged and cried over my shoulders.
     
    Loading...

  2. iamsrihere

    iamsrihere Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,844
    Likes Received:
    1,953
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    A nice narration.I could literally visualize the scenes..
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    6,415
    Likes Received:
    6,717
    Trophy Points:
    470
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:Thanks for the compliments from bottom of my heart. very encouraging comment. Regards, God Bless Us All.
    Happy Deepavali.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    iamsrihere likes this.
  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    4,841
    Likes Received:
    9,628
    Trophy Points:
    408
    Gender:
    Female
    Interesting anecdote.

    I had a different experience in Train travel in 1965, when I was just 23,.I was married, not yet got children.
    It was off time.There was absolutely no crowd in the train. The travel was from Tiruchirapalli to Madras via main line.We were in Tiruchy in conneection with my husband's grandfather's death.As I had joined RBI just then, I had to return to Madras and my husband stayed back in native place to do other rituals.
    I got into the train at Trichy Junction. At Thanjavur , a lady in green saree with red nose studs got into the same compartment with two kids, three year old daughter a girl infant of just 22 days.
    Her father dressed in typical brahminical style in Panchakaccham( seemed to be a purohith) requested me to take care of them, as he could not accompany her due to financial constraints.
    At Kumbakonam the woman asked me to bring water.I got down and brought water from the tap .She specifically told not to run away with her kooja(water pot in bronze).After a few mts she told me that she wanted to relieve and requested me to take care of the kids.She asked me where to go.I showed her the way to the bathroom.
    The train left Kumbakonam and was proceeding.The lady didn't return.I got panicky .Both bath rooms were open.With two children to take care I didn't know what to do.I didn't want to pull the chain since the train may stop midway making me insecured.I asked help from men playing cards.They simply brushed aside my request and asked me to silently get into another compartment and continued to play.
    It was 8P. m. The train used to halt for 20mts at Mayavaram.I boldly got down along with two kids ( a big gunny bag ,the lady brought) and lodged a complaint to the station master.As usual he said that the complaint has to be lodged with railway police and that I had to necessarily remain in mayavaram till the matter settled.
    He advised me to proceed to Chennai along with the kids for a night and it is better for a young girl like me to be in a known place where I had many relatives to support me.I had three sisers in Madras.So I decided to continue my journey. The porter's wife gave me milk in a bottle and a 'paalaadai' ( Shank' ) to feed the baby.

    The elder child didn't ask anything.She was satisfied with the plantains and bakshanam I gave.
    To take care of the infant was a task.It was 'no diaper' era. I had to very often clean the baby .I tore of my saree in my bag and used the clothes to clean.Feeding with shank was a risk. I was afraid that the child may choke to death while feeding.Praying all Gods and Goddesses , spending a hell of time with responsible as wellas guilty feeling -I can't describe my feelings-what to do with the children, if the police refused to take custody .Would it have been wiser to simply leave the children in the compartment and move to some other compartment, avoiding all these tensions?Though I was just 22 ,born in a joint family and having seen lot of infants I knew to handle even a new born baby.
    It was 6 A. M. The train halted at Mambalam station.I got down with two kids and occupied a bench.One or two known faces looked suspiciously at me since they knew me newly married and me sitting with two kids.After 10 mts, a man in beard came.The girl 3, ran and hugged him saying'Appa'.The man didn't even ask why a stranger had come with the kids and what happened to the mother.He just left the place saying that he would have tiffin in the nearby hotel and come back.
    Having taken so much risk, I did not want to entrust the kids to an unknown person( in spite of the girl addressing him as 'appa'.
    After 10 mts the station master helped.The railway police came and made so many enquiries as to what made me to take such a risk and the details of my husband, family etc as though I was the culprit.For two hrs I waited at the station.No relative could be informed as there was no phone.
    I think God listened to my prayers.Mayavaram Station master had immediatey taken steps to convey the information to the earlier station to find out any lady with the identification given by me,roaming by the vacant fields nearby the station.The porters and locals , immediately spotted the lady and sent her to madras by the next available train along with railway escorts.
    The next train reached Mambalam at about 8.15A. M. The lady got down.Her husband also returned .There was a happy union of the family.
    The lady just snatched the child from my hands and without conveying a word of'Thanks' left the station.The husband and wife were made for each other.We could not expect'thanks' from such people.Thank God, I was relieved from all the problems.
    While leaving that lady informed the police that she did not know that there was toilet in the train.When I showed the way to the toilet she had mistaken that she had to get down and go out.
    When I wrote a detailed letter to my husband, my mother-in-law and others appreciated but my husband threw a word of caution before helping strangers in unknown places.He expressed anxiety what would have happened if the kids were illegal and the lady had purposely left the children in the train.In that event I would have been booked under'kidnapping' and would have been imprisoned.
    All is well that ends well. But there is a possibility of ourselves being caught while helping voluntarily.We should be smart enough as how to help and where to help without being involved into legal tangles.

    That was the greatest lesson in life.

    Jayasala 42
     
  5. Sunburst

    Sunburst Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    2,128
    Trophy Points:
    270
    Gender:
    Female
    Hats off to you!! To show so much courage in time of adversity like this especially in a moving train with strangers and men around is truly commendable . I would have panicked for sure !!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  6. Sunburst

    Sunburst Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    2,128
    Trophy Points:
    270
    Gender:
    Female
    Got goosebumps after reading this . I could so visualize this .
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    6,415
    Likes Received:
    6,717
    Trophy Points:
    470
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:Namaskaram. You had captured the moments of incident over five decades old, when also your mind was pure and crystal clear; for such persons, risk taken knowingly or unknowingly, seems to vanish when cosmos Herself conspires to lend succour to turn the adverse circumstances positive. you had done your duty as ordained by circumstances, without expecting any reward or award and the benevolence would have ere now returned to you and to your family members in some form or the other. You had a trying experience indeed. thanks for labouring to share the incident with IL'ites. Regards. God Bless Us All.
     
  8. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    6,415
    Likes Received:
    6,717
    Trophy Points:
    470
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:Quite so. In times of adversity only, many turn towards cosmos for succour. Thank You. regards.God Bless Us All. Happy Deepavali. :ciao:
     
  9. iamsrihere

    iamsrihere Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,844
    Likes Received:
    1,953
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    You seriously had lots of courage Mam..It is surprising the lady didnt even realize how lucky she had been to have herkids taken care of by you..I understand she misunderstood the location of the toilet but didnt she speak with you anything regarding this?Atleast to give reason as to why she disappeared?
     
  10. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    4,841
    Likes Received:
    9,628
    Trophy Points:
    408
    Gender:
    Female
    She didn't speak a word.I don't know whether her travel in the train was the first time travel.My total anxiety after the local police enquiry grew multifold and I was totally relieved when I handed over the babies to the lady I met in the train.Other details, such as 'thanks', the circumstances that made her get out of the train, didn't matter much as I was greatly relieved of the burden.Even today when I think of what would have happened
    had she not been traced,, sends hot flushes to me.

    Jayasala42
     
    iamsrihere and Thyagarajan like this.

Share This Page