The lower berth dilemma

This happened with me once. It wasn’t horrible because I didn’t lose. I hate losing. I would kill myself or kill that girl before giving up my seat.

So once upon a time there was a boy who got a lower berth on a train. He was travelling to his grandparents house and had no worries on his mind. Looking out of the window he could appreciate the greenery of mother nature in all its might.

“oi”, a voice said, addressing the boy.

He looked up to see who was calling him. A young woman stood at the entrance of the compartment. She was probably in her twenties. Even on a train journey, I think the make-up on her face weighed more than the luggage she was carrying and I kid you not she had a suitcase.

“Yes?” I asked.

“I have a seat in this compartment and it is an upper berth. Can you exchange it with me? I want the lower berth.”

The boy looked at her with an extremely thoughtful face. As if he were giving it serious thought.

“umm… no?” he said instantly and the usual expressionlessness returned to his face.

“You dont know how to talk to girls, you have no respect.” The girl said, she was beginning to raise her voice.

The boy gently dug his hand in his bag. She looked at him hoping that her scare tactics had worked, she was probably thinking that the boy was packing his bag pack and shifting to the upper berth.

The boy produced a BlackBerry in his hands and a pair of senheisser headphones. She was furious whem she saw the items. The boy plugged in his headphones and kicked back to relax. Everyone in the compartment looked at the boy, some had a slight smile on their faces.

The girl was as dangerous as a volcano about to erupt.

“You dont know how to respect girls, I am a girl you have to give me the seat. you wait, I will call the police.” she shouted at him.

The boy wasn’t playing music in his headphones and could hear what she said but upon hearing this he pressed the play button.

The railway police (RPF, I think thats what it is called) arrived at my compartment a few minutes later, the boy pulled off his headphones. The policeman said,

“Why have you been harassing this woman?” he looked angry.

“What did I say?” said the boy.

“This woman has filed a complaint that you were harassing her.” The policeman said.

The boy stood up and asked the people of the compartment what his words were. All of them told the policeman that all he said was “NO ” and that this woman wanted a lower berth but he wasn’t giving.

The boy fished out another phone from his pocket. It wasn’t a BlackBerry. It was a dabba phone that had been recording everything since “can u gimme ur seat”. He handed the phone to the policeman.the policeman heard the recording. The woman’s face had gone pale.

“Would you like to exchange seats?” he asked me this time.

“No!” said the boy and sat back into his seat “But I would like to file a police complaint against this woman for defamy and taking unfair advantage of a public servant on the next station.”

The policeman took the woman away and that was that.

(I did try to file a police complaint against her, but I was a minor back then and I didn’t have my parents/guardian with me so I wasn’t able to.)

Somesh Kelkar


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