Last day when I was travelling by train to Ernakulam, I came across an absolutely irritating moron. I feel damn guilty now that I did not bash him up for his inconsiderate behavior. So to let out at least a bit of my frustration and to lessen the guilt I feel for not killing the guy, I thought I would write it out.

I got myself a Sleeper class ticket to travel from Kayamkulam to Ernakulam. I got into S11 compartment as I knew people from Ernakulam and beyond would normally be reserved in S11. Once I took my seat, I noticed a guy lying down on one of the side-upper berths. The guy was in a flashy blue shirt and totally non-coordinated trousers, with his hair unkempt and with a stupid pair of spectacles. As I was about to look away, his shoes caught my attention – the shoes he had on while he was lying on the berth!! I looked at the shoes and the guy for two minutes to ensure that I was not mistaken. And then, shamelessly, I looked away and sat as if nothing happened.

After a while, the guy got down and went to the washroom, it seems, because when he came back I could see drops of water (hopefully), on his shoes. I thought that he would sit down on one of the seats after that. But no, he decided to reclaim the berth, which was not even reserved to him. And there, with the wet shoes still on, he stepped on to the side ladder and got on to the berth. He sat there for sometime with his legs hanging down in front of a person sitting on the seat below. After nudging the guy’s leg once or twice and seeing no effect, the person got up and asked the guy to remove his shoes. So he decided not to disturb this person anymore, and.. no.. did not take off his shoes. Instead he pulled his leg up with the wet shoes still on. I had my mouth wide open at this act of total inconsideration of someone else who would have to sleep on the berth. But still, I did not say a word.

Later on before reaching Ernakulam station, he got down again and went to the washroom. This time around when he came back and was about to step on the side ladder, an elderly person sitting next to the ladder asked him why he was not removing his shoes when he was going to get on to the upper berth. He mumbled something that was lost on the elderly person and us and so, he decided to let the guy do whatever he wants to – which he happily did by once again getting on to the berth with his shoes on.

The entire duration of the journey, the pathetic moron kept talking into his phone at the top of his lungs and every five minutes stopping a passer-by to ask if we had reached Ernakulam station. I kept rehearsing the following line to tell him before I got out – “Next time you get out of your house, learn some manners.” Although the words kept forming a lump in my throat, I did not say anything. Later when I thought about it, I was shocked by how I have stopped reacting to any sort of uncivilized acts happening around me. I have joined the choir in thinking that I would react if it affects me. And the saddest part is, I do not even care anymore. Because whenever I have tried to react to something like this, especially to support others, the very people who I was trying to help have acted as if there is something wrong with me. So now I have stopped reacting to anything and volunteering to help, unless it affects me or someone wants to make a difference.