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The Uncommon Sense

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Common sense, are the two words we have heard so many times that we use them mostly out of reflexes. Anything which constitutes an obvious sense is common sense for all of us. “Do you want your cold drink to be cold”….of course I want it cold, it’s common sense you idiot…!!!! But these words which look so obvious to us are violated most of the times. These two words being very common among common people, sadly, are brought into action on rare occasions. I don’t say that people should be perfect and no mistakes should be made, but still there are a lot of annoying things people do and by people I mean educated people.

For instance, a few days back I was travelling on a train. I normally don’t like moving around a bunch, but even so I don’t know for some strange reason I was feeling rather comfortable that day. When I boarded the train and came to my seat, I saw the train attendant ready with a pillow, bed sheet and quilt. I was startled to see this happen so quickly, as usual, nobody comes for an hour and until you start feeling cold and rubbing your elbows to get some heat. To make my day further another attendant came with a tea and then the ticket collector came to check my ticket. It all took place in the first 15 minutes. Usually the ticket guy comes around 3 at night and wakes you up from your sleep, if you are able to get any by then. But this was a wonderful day. I was so happy to be travelling on this particular day, on this particular train and in this very compartment. Merely as an old rotten saying goes “Good times and good things don’t live long” my ecstasy was about to stop.

I was happy making my bed as the train reached the next halt. Soaked in my bliss, the minute I put my head on the pillow, I heard a sound. It was a human sound, a child, shouting at the top of his voice in celebration of boarding the train with his family. I can clearly say the voice was reaching towards me from around 10-15 meters. Then again, I heard some other kids, all around 8-9 years old or close, doing the same celebration ritual. I could hear few grownups too, mumbling to each other about the baggage, their number and if every bag and suitcase was with them. This family, which has just boarded the train, for some unknown reason was extremely excited. I am not judging, anyone can be excited, if I was in their place I could have been equally excited if my city was on fire and this train was the last train to save my life. I hope this is their reason too, or else it’s impossible to justify the enthusiasm they had.

Even after this horrifying moment I still had hope left that I cannot be that ill-fated to end up in adjacent seats with these people. I knew it was a lucky day and things will go my way. Yes, I was wrong. The happy family stopped near my seat, and finally sat exactly in front of me. A husband, wife and 3 annoying kids…. Perfect.  Without any warning the guy switched on the light, blinding me for a second, no sorry no nothing. After a while when my pupils adjusted to the light, I saw them struggling with their luggage. The family was totally clueless where to put their 7 big bags and to make it worse, they were talking in loud voice while deciding where to put them. “Okay, let’s put the big bag here…. na na… let’s put 2 small bags here first and then the large one….” Really…. I mean what the hell are you discussing? Just quietly put them anywhere and drop dead. Finally they figured out the mysterious luggage puzzle and sat down. After a while I noticed all three kids, 2 boys and girl, looking straight at me in a scary manner. I instantly closed my eyes and started acting as I was sleeping.

I might have been asleep for 5-10 minutes that suddenly my shallow dreams were shattered by a shriek. The girl was screaming like crazy as her brother has broken one of her wings. Yes… she was wearing plastic wings. I don’t know why she thought that she needs to look like a princess/angel in the train at 10:30 in the night. And Anyways the wings were looking totally fake and garish; the boy did the correct thing. But as she was hurt, she needed to tell the whole train that she was the dupe of such serious offense by her brother. The boy under question here was totally enjoying it, as he must be planning it for a long time. The most noteworthy thing about this whole picture was the carefree attitude of the parents; they didn’t hold a hint about it. I purposely hit a sound from my cheek to express that I was becoming agitated by all this. The mother heard me and began berating her children for drawing so much racket. The way she was scolding them made it clear that it was not the first time they were doing it, her tone has clearly hidden message for me that “ Hey Mister…. See… I have scolded them now… what more can I do…?”

As I was totally awake now, I saw in front of me the father of the children, who really looked busy. He was watching me straight in the eye and at the same time, probing his nose with extreme commitment. I could have taken my eyes away, but I wanted him to feel embarrassed and give up, but he didn’t. For straight 5 minutes he was probing it…. Come on… 5 minutes….!!  What the hell do you think will come out of there? Do you think if you probe it long enough, a genie will come out and grant your 3 wishes…!!!! It was really disgusting. Emotionally it put a dent in my imagination. I lost hope and turned on my side. A lot of things happened afterwards like chatting, mumbling, moments of great laughter and of course they started eating the food they brought. I was crying inside, but what could I have done.

My train arrived at my station next morning; I never slept for a single second and was exhausted. On the way home, I was thinking about the journey I just survived. Was I really asking for too much? Don’t I deserve a simple journey, a journey without such adventures? Why can’t people just think about others before they do things, why they can’t use common sense…. Or should I say UNCOMMON SENSE.

Syed Danish

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4 thoughts on “The Uncommon Sense

  1. What an upsetting train journey… sorry to know you had to go through it.
    Unfortunately some people do lack social etiquette and do not care or rather to do not know how to conduct themselves in public.

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