An Open Letter to the Minister of Indian Railways

Trishann Henriques emulates a frustrated commuter in Mumbai.

Dear Minister of Indian Railways,

First of all, thank you for taking me to my destination every day. Yes, you are better than the rickshaws, and for the most part, even the buses. Bow down, take a moment before I begin with your inadequacies.

For starters, it is a task entering the train compartment, let alone finding a comfortable seat. Wait, let’s just make that ‘a’ seat. Why must I pay a hefty price for an extremely inconvenient travel? Why must I pay for a first class pass, which by the way costs close to Rs 700 per month, for getting pushed and shoved, yelled at and jabbed every single day?

You might say there is always the second class if the first class rates are too expensive? I say, no, the second class is much worse than my already horrible daily ordeal by the first class.

Let me explain the situation at peak hours. To reach work on time, I have to stand a foot away from the compartment, somehow manage to jump in before the train stops while I tug onto my bag – that runs the risk of being snatched, torn and even robbed by my co-travellers – by the handle so that I don’t fall, as well as hold onto my phone which might get stolen if not in my hand.

Yes, all this in the name of punctuality.

Do you know how annoying it is to have your clothes crumpled every day before you even enter the office? Why crumpled? Because of bodies rubbing and pressing against my clothes that I spent 15 minutes ironing this morning. Yes, 15 minutes of my day wasted. Just wasted.

I’m sure you also don’t know that those devices you call ‘indicators’ don’t actually work. They blink and do these funny things with their red and green lights, but they sure as hell don’t display train details. It’s entertaining, so thanks, I guess?

I hate waiting for your perpetually late trains to arrive 10, 15 even 20 minutes after its stipulated time as I wait at the railway station under no overhead shelter in the scorching heat of the sun. If it does show-up, it is stuffed like extra peas in an already small pod. And if I do manage to make my way in, the scenario is nothing less brutal than a war. There will be hands in my face, my hair will be everywhere but in the place it’s supposed to – my hairclip, and my shoe is half off my foot and my ironed clothes, crumpled. I already mentioned that. Ironing, what a waste of time.

It would be really fancy if you could maybe adhere to the general laws of time, for once.

It’s a struggle. 6 days a week. But of course, you wouldn’t understand because you probably have never travelled by this majestic mode of commute in your life.


A really frustrated commuter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here