Thursday, August 05, 2010

Case of the Missing Cushion

Last Saturday, on my way back home from office, I noticed one entire seat in Ladies First Class compartment empty. I wondered why, as I got in. And when I did, I got the answer. The cushions were missing. The seat had been cut open with a sharp object from the middle and the cushion had been pulled out. The ripped open rexine was then covered over it from both sides. As it was raining outside and some seats were messy with rain water, this seat was totally avoided as water had collected in the folded parts of the rexine. Later on as the crowd started pouring in, someone suggested cleaning the seat and making place to sit. A few ladies, who were already wet, decided to forget hygiene, and preferred to sit through the long journey!

In Mumbai, it is not uncommon to see parts of public infrastructure being robbed / flicked for making fast bucks. Earlier the swanky dustbins, introduced a few years back on Mumbai roads, were robbed. Later on they were anyways discontinued after the train blasts and the Taj Hotel sabotage, for safety reasons. Then, when the ticket punching machines were introduced, we had street urchins to beggers to drug addicts, feeding the machine with papers and cards just to have it punched with 'something'. This something was of course the ticket validating time and station codes. When genuine people punched their tickets, the ink was barely visible, cutting a sorry picture in front of ticket checkers!

One of my previous posts, had pictures and stories of two missing seats from Ladies First Class compartment alongwith with cushion and rexine and the supporting plank below. Long back I've seen a couple of autorickshaw seats with railway logos while travelling in an auto. I wonder whether only the rexine part of the seat was ripped apart for it or the entire seat was flicked to make a luxurious seat for the autorickshaw !

Now as we slowly intent to convert Mumbai into a Shanghai-like city and have the Metro soon to be launched, I wonder how many more such luxury items (for which the working class is heavily taxed at source) will go missing ! God bless Mumbai and its citizens. Especially the train travellers!

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